thin slicing the new season, summer 2008 edition

We’ll sing around the world
Three! Hey I count down
Two! Are you ready?
One! Mou matenai yo
Zero! Ai narashite
What ’bout my star?

The MLB All-Star break is, by far, the slowest time of the year for sports news. It’s to the point of starvation that ESPN has just decided to follow Brett Farve around 24/7 with their A, B, and C camera teams just so they won’t miss out on what he had for breakfast and which gas station did he go fill up his truck at (because, after all, it could be a sign of what team he wants to play for). Hell, this is also when Jim Rome decides to take his yearly two week vacation leaving us with some of the crappiest guest hosts ever. Can anime tie us over until the NBA season starts and NFL/NCAA training camps begin?

It’s time for another thin slicing the new season post. For people who aren’t familiar with my old thin slicing posts, these posts are where I watch as many new shows from a new season as possible and rank them in order of “if I received one episode of all the shows at once, which one would I watch first? Second? Last?” The end ranking is not meant to be quality ranking but rather a “What do I want to watch the most?” There’s going to be shows ranked high and shows ranked low for reasons that may go over your head. Deal with it. For a show to be ranked high, one must be ranked low.

The premise of thin slicing is explained in the entertaining book Blink from Malcom Gladwell that argues how a person’s ability to quickly judge what is really important and what’s not important from a very limited experience like reviewing a movie based only on its trailer or an anime only with two episodes. Oh wait, that’s exactly what thin slicing is about. With that spirit, most of these shows I have only watched the first few episodes… and that’s usually more than I need to form an opinion, justified or not. (And, guys, read Blink. You’ll impress more girls with that than with all the crap you ever learn in philosophy or psychology class.)

Well, enough foreplay… it’s time to thin slice summer 2008.



Must Improve: Too Long To List

Let’s see… shitty animation, poor character design, some nonsensical plot about a conspiracy of superhuman vampire hybrids… uh… yeah… Ultraviolet Code044 (Madhouse). I never saw the original British drama, and I skipped out on the movie, so there’s nothing going on here for me. Just a complete mess. On the brightside, there’s a lot of shower scenes featuring 044, so it has that going for it.



Must Improve: Watchability

So, let me get this straight, in Antique Bakery, there’s four guys running a bakery, and one of them already confessed to another during the first episode. Not only that, the first episode’s plot involved going to a gay bar named “Lolipop” with guys named “Gay of Demonic Charm” and “Rolo.” Needless to say, BZZZZZZZT.

(From Synergy SP, Hayate the Combat Butler‘s studio. I realized that very quickly once I saw the cut-outs… it’s a calling card, much like Shaft and train track lights and LSD hallucinations. Though I didn’t like the pastel-ish color palette used.)



Must Improve: Everything

I originally called Sekirei (Seven Arcs) “the Frankenstein of harem anime.” My opinion hasn’t changed: everything is pretty much a derivative mess. For the most part, harem anime depends on how appealing the haremettes are, and, um, Sekirei doesn’t have a lot of appealing ones. Ninja Master Fuko towers over the lot of them in likability. It also doesn’t help that the fighting melonpan genre is well-populated this season with Ikkitousen, Koihime Musou, and Princess no Rondo also airing.

#14. SKY. GIRLS.


Must Improve: Ridiculousness, Premise, Animation Production, Aftertaste

The only possible explanation for Strike Witches is that someone at Gonzo saw and fell in love with Sky Girls. There’s no other explanation. Whereas Sky Girls was actually watchable and tried to be serious in its tale of flying DFC fightcraft fighting against an alien menace, Strike Witches goes pretty much the other way and takes it to an extreme. First off, the girls do not wear military uniforms or plug suits. Instead, they wear a collection of stereotypical moe outfits complete with bathing suit bottoms. Secondly, the girls all have magical powers, and it’s evident that they’re using these magical powers because they suddenly grow animal tails and ears. Because nothing says serious military drama like flying nekomimi DFC wearing swimsuit bottoms under traditional seifuku. Lastly, because of how the mecha is attached to the girls, they are unable to close their legs, thus guaranteeing plenty of fanservice shots.

(Go watch or re-watch Sky Girls instead. Cuter girls, better fight scenes, superior animation, less guilty aftertaste. Let me stress that last part: less guilty aftertaste.)

(I know anime is all about making derivative works of what came before *cough* Raxhephon *cough*, but to rip off Sky Girls? Isn’t this like someone ripping off Vanilla Ice’s Ninja Rap? Go ninja go ninja go.)

(Seeing the poor animation quality in this show, Tower of Druaga, and BLASSREITER, it’s shocking how Gonzo’s animation quality has plummeted recently.)



Must Improve: Plot, Fighting Scenes, Moe

Is Koihime Musou (Dogakobo) really necessary? So far we have Chinese warlords from the Warring States era reborn as fighting melonpan in modern Japan (Ikkitousen), as DFC lolis in modern Japan (Ryoufu-chan), and now as fighting melonpan in some feudal fantasy reality. Can we please go a year without a series focused on Chinese warlords turned into hawt women? This is almost as bad as the run on vampire anime back in 2005.

There’s really nothing redeeming about Koihime Musou. It’s a mindless show that doesn’t require brain cells to process. There’s definitely ample melonpan and fanservice, but not much beyond that. The fight scenes are fairly pedantic (most are just done via speedlines), and Rinrin, who keeps going “Nanoda!”, is getting on my nerves. The worst part of this series has to be all the fansub groups and anime bloggers talking themselves into either translating this series or writing about it because nothing else looks appealing this season. (Hint: go back and translate and/or write about Kamen no Maid Guy if you’re that desperate for a project.) I mean… does it really take five groups to bring the world an anime that has a 6.05 metaranking?

(Andohbytheway, when I was watching this show, I kept thinking how Koihime Musou must have originally been a B-tier h-game. And… bingo!)

#12. JEAN. GREY.


Must Improve: Dialogue, Attention to Time

So I’m watching Telepathy Girl Ran / Telepathy Shoujo Ran (TMS Entertainment), and at one point, the main character, Ran, is hanging onto her friend Naha off of the side of a building like Shirley and Suzaku. The bad guy is there watching while Ran and Naha have a ten minute long heart-to-heart… why doesn’t the villain just toss them both over the building? Ahhh! To make it worse, earlier in the episode, Ran’s older brother who knows kung-fu sends Ran to confront the bad guy instead of dealing with the bad guy himself. “Hey, I know you’re a middle school student, and I’m a judo expert and 10 years older than you, but why don’t I hang back here with your friend while you go up and fight the bad guy.” Needless to say, I’m probably not the core audience of this show.

Telepathy Girl Ran is about Ran and her two friends, each with unique telepathic abilities, as they solve crime and fight evil in their hometown. Yawn. I think you’ll do better waiting for Shugo Chara! 2.

(Mitigating factor: one interesting concept that they stole from Dennou Coil is the difference between the two main girls. While Ran was nurtured, Naha was shunned. I’m going to start calling them “Yasako” and “Isako” just to be safe.)



Must Improve: Premise, Consistent Pantyhose Policy

I think if Haruka Nogizaka’s Secret (Studio Barcelona) was just about dancing meido, I would have ranked it #1 this season, but, alas, it’s a harem anime featuring a girl who is a closet otaku as the title character. Seems like a pretty average harem anime otherwise.

(Do I really want to watch an anime that perpetuates the negative stereotypes and self-loathing of a hobby that I enjoy? Maybe… especially when I’m noticing that only Haruka is wearing pantyhose.)

#10. GOT. WORMS.


Must Improve: Pacing, Lighting

Blade of the Immortal (BEE-TRAIN) is a killing spree set in feudal Japan, and it features a samurai who has a hard time dying (hence the “immortal” part). Because of his past sins, he travels around fighting villains and righting wrongs, but unlike both Kenshin and Balsa, Manji kills more and more people to atone for the people who he had previously killed. Blade of the Immortal manga is beloved by many fans, and many are excited about it finally being made into an anime. Except, well, BEE-TRAIN is adapting it. I have a few issues with the adaptation. The first is that it seems to be going a bit too fast. The pacing is off, and I think it’s because this will only be a 13 episode series (Pony Canyon announced 7 DVDs, which usually means a half season), and there’s a lot of ground to cover (even if they just do the first arc). The second is that the animation is fairly sparse. There’s a lot of panning of still shots, and the animation is noticeably rugged at some places. This might be acceptable 2-3 years ago, but with Chiko, Code Geass, Macross Frontier, Slayers Revolution, Natsu no Sora, and others pushing forward better and better animation, it seems like Blade deserves better.

(Mitigating factor: Nakkid women OP! I was surprised See-Saw and/or Ali Project weren’t involved in either the OP or the ED.)



Must Improve: Corny Writing, Character Likability

World Destruction (not to be confused with The World Ends With You or The World God Only Knows) is an anime series from Production I.G. based off of the upcoming DS game from Sega. Generally, anime adapted from RPGs don’t turn out that well, but compared with this season’s other offerings, World Destruction is actually fairly watchable. It follows a pretty traditional “guy gets mixed up in worldwide plot because of a random encounter with a girl” setup. Seems like typical JRPG fare, right down to the writing: “There are two kinds of heroes: those who save the world and those who save other people. But wait, there’s also the hero who destroys the world.” Sounds like something I’d write, honestly. OTL.

(Why does Morte look like she’s 23 when she claims she is 16? More importantly, why does she always look like she’s wearing lipstick and make-up?)

(Mitigating factor: If Segata Sanshirou shows up as an eventual party member, it would push World Destruction up a few levels. Would definitely love to see Segata go up against Kogarashi.)



Must Improve: Light Novel to Anime Adaptation

Egads, more of the same. Can you believe that with Zero no Tsukaima Princess no Rondo, we’re up to three Zero no Tsukaima series and still a single Haruhi Suzumiya series? For people not familiar with the Zero no Tsukaima franchise, it’s about mages in an alternate world who stumble across a typical male harem lead (who eventually turns into a lecher)… and then a harem anime / political struggle anime break out. Zero no Tsukaima‘s calling card is how Saito, the male lead, is surrounded by busomy haremettes, only his master and the female lead, Louise, is quite the DFC and thus she develops a major inferiority complex over her lack of melonpan. Basically, a post-Love Hina version of Slayers.

So far, Princess no Rondo seems to be an upgrade over the lackluster Futatsuki no Kishi, and I think it all has to do with the introduction of Tiffania (her introduction is already more awesome than major parts of Futatsuki). Tiffania is the new elf haremette with a name that even strippers envy, and she’s even larger than the already impressive Siesta / Jessica / Henrietta / Kirshe cast. She even made Siesta jealous! I can only see Louise’s melonpan complex get worse, and that’s turning into the most entertaining part of this series.

(Mitigating factor: From what everyone tells me, the adaptation between light novel and anime is going poorly. I haven’t read the light novels myself, but I’ll take their word for it since last season wasn’t that great.)

(The OP for Zero no Tsukaima have all been done by Ichiko: First Kiss, I Say Yes, and You’re the One. Sounds like cheesy love song titles from the 70s. Maybe that’s the point.)



Must Improve: Shaft, Hiro x Sae

I always thought that Hidamari Sketch (Shaft) was a poor man’s Lucky Star… there’s four girls… hanging out… being moe… and, uh… hanging out. At least in Lucky Star, there’s Lucky Channel as well as other characters to break up the monotony from time to time, and Lucky Star has the superior cast. Yuno… or Tsukasa? Miya… or Patty-chan? Hiro x Sae… or Konata x Kagami? Hidamari Sketch x365 isn’t changing my impression of the Hidamari Sou residents– it’s just more of the same.

(Andohbytheway, it’s 2008. Can we stop with these three week delays on the HD airings?)

(Mitigating factor: Shaft being Shaft makes anime less watchable. I’ve flip-flopped on this over the years, and now I kinda wish they just approach anime without inserting their abstract art just to show that they’re capable of it. Did Kamen no Maid Guy need abstraction to make it enjoyable? Did Minami-ke need Musousa and Triforce cameos to make it enjoyable?)


Must Improve: Move the Setting Out of Tokyo

My first reaction to Someday’s Dreamers Summer Skies / Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Natsu no Sora / Things That Are Precious To a Mage: Summer Skies is, uh, wow, pretty! Taking over the franchise from JC Staff, Hal Film Maker amps up the animation quality by incorporating photorealistic backgrounds and settings (more or less lightly cell shaded versions of photographs). I was pretty captivated by the first episode in how the next background tries to out do the previous one in terms of prettiness, and I was disappointed that the series shifted from the iconic rural Japan to Tokyo. There’s two drawbacks to this incredible background work. One is that I’m focusing too much of my attention on the backgrounds and on stuff like watching clouds go by– which might actually be the point of this slice-of-life show so maybe this isn’t a drawback at all. Two is that the characters look incredibly plain against the background. Sometimes, Sora, the main character, is drawn as just three ovals. She looks like an anti-Spiral against some of the more gorgeous backgrounds.

I never watched the first season, but apparently this series does not have a lot to do with the original 2003 offering besides featuring magical girls training at a special academy in Tokyo. From what I’ve seen of Natsu no Sora so far, it’s a solid slice-of-life offering.

(Random factoid: the main character of Sketchbook, another recent Hal slice-of-life anime, is also named Sora. Hal also did Aria, Uta Kata, and Yotsunoha, so I think they have the slice-of-life market cornered, much like Sunrise and train wreck giant mecha.)



Must Improve: Animation Quality, Takashi’s Ninja Skillz

Natsume’s Book of Friends / Natsume Yuujinchou (Brains Base) is about a modern day teenaged boy, Takashi Natsume, who can see spirits. Most of these spirits are after him because he possesses The Book of Friends, which is a magical item created by his grandmother, Reiko Natsume. Now he seeks to calm these spirits and fulfill his grandmothers wish by returning each spirit’s seal in The Book of Friends back to the original spirit. That’s the basic setup, and I was half-expecting Pokemon and half-expecting Inukami. What I got instead is a low wattage morality play. Natsume’s Book of Friends doesn’t have the serious messages or preaching that something like Kaiba or Shigofumi has, and is more in line with something like Kamichu. (Brains Base also worked on Kamichu.)

I did enjoy this series in that it is a simple series that manages to keep my attention by making me want to see the backstory behind each and every spirit. That’s the main attraction: the spirits do not live by themselves, for the most part, and their interaction with the humans (especially Takashi’s GILF) is the heart of the story. As Takashi tries to return each spirit’s name, the backstory of spirit unfolds. This is a very solid show, but I do have two minor complaints. The first is that Takashi is not much of a fighter and depends waaaay too much on his cat-like sidekick to save his ass. The second is that the animation quality is not up to snuff by modern standards. There was a scene that had Takashi in a forest, and when he was in there, the shadows looked like botches. Just not the save level as Kyoto.

(Mitigating factor: Natsume’s sidekick, Nyanko-san, reminds me of a blend between Okami Amaterasu and Garfield.)



Must Improve: Villains

Yakushiji Ryoko No Kaiki Jikenbo / Ryoko’s Case Files (Dogakobo) is a detective anime featuring a scantily clad over-the-top detective and her competent sidekick. This show is a poor man’s Daughter of Twenty Faces. Except that the female lead, instead of being the most awesome 15 year old detective ever, is a 30-something cross between the detective from Darker than Black and Haruhi Suzumiya. Average animation quality, but there’s a lot of real woman fanservice. My only knock against this series has been that the villains have been slightly lame. A corrupt businessman who owns a giant snake? Gimme a break.



Must Improve: Brokenness, Screentime for Shion

I already wrote about the first episode for Birdy the Mighty (A-1 Productions), and this show is pretty much holding steady to what I expect: there’s going to be some very nice battle sequences, but the only way Birdy the Mighty can evolve from being just a fun, mindless romp is if they push and update the broken element for today’s viewers. A girl… a guy… sharing a body… I mean… there’s potential there, right? The show just needs to capitalize on it.

#2. A. CUP.


Must Improve: Bust Size

I wonder if JC Staff did the “explode out of your seat, raise your hand, and go ‘OH ME ME ME!'” bit when it came to finding a studio to animate Slayers Revolution. Poorly-endowed ultra-mage with a complex about her bust size? Don’t they have the market cornered on that genre? (Actually, the original Slayers director Takashi Watanabe seemed to have moved from E.G. Films to JC Staff.) I guess to get a sense of how old this franchise is, the first manga volume was released in 1995, which is about 10 years before the first Zero no Tsukaima light novel hit the market.

This incarnation of Slayers just seems to pick up where it last left off in 1997, with Lina, Gourry, and the rest of the gang seemingly still going on their happy-go-lucky ways. The animation quality has been updated as well as the character designs, but, thankfully, they kept the old tried and true formula with the characters. I think you would have a better appreciation for this series if you had already gone through the previous three seasons, and, honestly, I’d recommend going through those first before jumping into Revolution. No, I’m serious, go watch this and then come back.

(FYI, that boxset was on sale at Fry’s for $25 last week. That’s less than a dollar an episode, which is 4 times cheaper than the next series in this thin slicing.)

(Mitigating factor: Who’s the more likable wrathful DFC mage, Lina or Louise? Both have a complex about their bust size, but Louise takes that melonpan complex to a whole new level. Lina though can actually control her magic whereas Louise cannot. It’s going to be an interesting competition between the two this season. I’m also wondering why JC Staff chose to unleash both in the same season… seems odd that they would run two series with similar gimmicks for the female lead… wouldn’t there be internal conflicts about it? I want to know these things. I think a reality TV series based in JC Staff or Sunrise would be really, really entertaining.)


Must Improve: The $3.99 Per Episode Price Tag

Until Saturday, the #1 spot for this thin slicing post looked like this. Sad hun? First ever thin slicing without a #1 seed? But because I’ve been hearing good things about Xam’d: Lost Memories / Bounen no Xamdou, I decided to hold off on the post until I actually watched it. And that’s the problem: actually watching this series. Xam’d aired worldwide July 16th… on the Playstation Network. It is only available to PS3 owners willing to shell out $2.99 for a 24 hour SD rental or $3.99 for the 24 hour HD rental. The most interesting show this season, and it’s only available for an arm and a leg over a PS3. (Did I mention that I do not own a PS3?)

But in the end, I’m glad I got the chance to actually watch the first episode. This new series from BONES is very intriguing with a lot of potential. It has a decent setup of a worldwide war that will soon engulf a typical high school student turned biomechanical weapon. The art and animation of this series is excellent, and it’s on par or better than some recent animated films. The aesthetics have a certain Last Exile meets Simoun meets Cowboy Bebop charm. The BGM rolls on constantly in the background, almost nailing the mood of every scene correctly. The BGM also doesn’t stop. I don’t remember a scene without accompaniment, and that’s something I can’t remember another anime pulling off– not even Nodame Cantabile.

I’m definitely glad that I waited to include this show in this thin slicing. Like any #1 thin sliced show, it has a lot of potential, I just wish we didn’t have to watch it over a PS3. Xam’d will air like a normal anime series in fall season, but PS3 owners get a two month head start. (And I think I’ll wait until fall before returning to this series.)

(In the first episode, there’s a terrorist act that’s committed that almost kills the main protagonist’s hawt high school friend, Haru. Haru just so happens to be a redhead voiced by Fumiko Orikasa– Shirley! I almost had a “Wait, did Shirley turn into the Kenny of anime” face going for a while.)

(Between this show and Daughter of Twenty Faces, I’d say BONES is making a case to move up the anime production studio rankings.)

(Mitigating factor: the translator who is translating this series is really good. It’s a very smooth localization, and it’s a nice change of pace from the typical overly zealous literal fansub translators.)


Summer season is interesting as it is one of the first seasons in a long time that I looked at and went, “Mmm… there’s really nothing that I want to blog from it.” Talking myself into something like Koihime Musou or Sekirei is the equivalent of signing Jarvis Hayes or Kwame Brown in NBA free agency… sure… you can do it… but… uh… why?

Fortunately, there are a few highlights. Slayers, Birdy, and Blade are solid, but they did make me wonder if this were 1998 instead of 2008. This might actually be the greatest season ever if it were 1998. (Interestingly enough, I remember summer 1998… that was when Lain aired, and it was such a seminal event amongst the VHS fansub traders. Oh how far we have come.) Princess no Rondo could end up epic if it animates the first ever five-way hot tub scene featuring Saito, Siesta, Tiffania, Henrietta, and Jessica. Oh hell, we don’t need Saito… sub in Kirshe instead.

Natsume’s Book of Friends is a show that I enjoyed and came out of nowhere. Summer Skies and Ryoko Case Files are also solid series pending on your tastes. But, by far, the most promising is Xam’d: Lost Memories. It can either reach deep down and become a top tier show like Gurren Lagann or Guardian of the Sacred Spirit, or it can flop like Heroic Age. There’s no in-between. It’s the Michael Beasley of anime.

I choose not to include Mission-E (because I never finished Code-E) and Ikkitousen (because I just didn’t feel like it) in this post. Detroit Metal City doesn’t air for another week or so, and I just decided not to wait for it (it’s also not a full-length series, so I don’t feel that bad about it). There’s probably other shows that I missed, and, as always, the thin slicing corollary stands.


With summer kinda weak, the focus quickly turns to fall, and fall is starting to look like a battleground. Gundam 00, ef ~a tale of melodies~, Nodame Cantabile, Corpse Princess, Clannad After Story, Yozakura, Kurogane no Linebarrel, Michiko to Hatchin, Shina Dark, Kuroshitsuji, Hayate the Combat Butler, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens, Today in Class 5-2, and Kemeko DX. And that’s just the current projected line-up. And it doesn’t include Xam’d joining the fray.

Thin slicing returns last week of October for fall 2008.

53 Responses to “thin slicing the new season, summer 2008 edition”

  1. Yuno… and give this is a high school where the main characters are all in the Art Department (think H&C without the drama and college kids), the abstract art makes sense for a change, unlike say… Negima!?

    As for Antique Bakery, the guy confessed.. and was immediately rejected. Episode 3 is where we have the Gay of Demonic Charm kick in… but not with Tachibana, who appears to have been a kidnap and possible sexual abuse victim. Which explains why he hates cakes, incidentally.

    Koihime Musou is what you get when you get Japanese who hate Chinese.. but take out the guy fucking his way across the Warring States to replace him with a busty girl. And they take out what ‘story’ is left, to boot.

    Now if only Miu returns in the IchiMashi OVA with a Shirley voice cameo….

  2. *While watchin Xam’d*

    -Last Exile-ic settings?
    -Nausica?? With Mononoke-Hime’s face?
    -Cowboy Bebop’s styled opening?
    -Eureka 7 character designs?? With a Nirvash-look-a-like monster hero??

    Here Bones combined all of these, a strange marriage of ideas.

  3. Most shows this season I have them still on probation.

    For fall: Clannad After Story and Today in Class 5-2 (a Coharu Sakuraba work; Doumu again?) are already in my “must watch” list. And so is Kannagi; a show with “Crazy Shrine Maidens” in the title deserves attention.

  4. I think it’s a bit soon for thin slicing after only 3, 4 episodes or even less for some of the series, but it also seems there are a lot of 12/13 episode shows this season.
    The ranking is about the same as mine, apart from Zero no Tsukaima which I gave up on after the first season. And I’d rank Ultraviolet over Sekirei still, and if it’s only because of Romi Paku as the lead character ^^

    Xam’d really looks good, but it’s freaking expensive. If it turns into a new Last Exile I’m very willing to buy DVDs though, if they’re released. And true, the translation is really well done. But that … thing the boy turns into at the end looks ridiculous ><

    What about Batman Gotham Knight? Haven’t watched it yet, but heard good things about it.

    PS: Was there seriously a character called Rolo in AB? oO

  5. “The only possible explanation for Strike Witches is that someone at Gonzo saw and fell in love with Sky Girls.”

    PROTIP: Both lines were created by the same person and the Strike Witches concept is the original that Sky Girls follows.

  6. I know anime is all about making derivative works of what came before *cough* Raxhephon *cough*

    FWIW, I loved RahXephon about two orders of magnitude more than Evangelion.

    Must Improve: Hiro x Sae


    Who’s the more likable wrathful DFC mage, Lina or Louise?

    Pfft. Lina Inverse, of course. I don’t get why you are polling us for that.

  7. When a season comes around that gives me 3 shows that I can possibly watch, its a sad sad time.
    Well at least Summer Skies made it to your top 10, I think I just don’t care anymore for any new anime right now cause ef ~a tale of melodies~ is coming out next season and everything looks so dim in it’s light.
    BTW Isn’t School Rumble 3rd season OVA coming out sometime in the middle of this season?

  8. BTW Isn’t School Rumble 3rd season OVA coming out sometime in the middle of this season?

    It’s out September 17th, available bundled in a special edition version of the 22st volume of the manga. The OVA will serve to animate the climax scene of the “Walking Festival” That has spanned volume 20, 21, and will likely end in 22. The walking festival being the climax event of their term as 2nd year students, with Karasuma set to leave for America once it’s over.

  9. Er, correction. The above is information for the second OVA.

    The first OVA came out this month (July 17th) bundled with the 21st volume of the manga. My statements regarding the Walking Festival still stand in regards to the first volume of the OVA.

  10. Wait, no season 2 for Maid Guy!? BLASPHEMY!!!

  11. Roses are Red.
    Violets are Blue.
    I guess in this season…
    I will watch nothing new.

    Anyway, I hear the Lucky Star OVA is coming out September 26, so we can look forward to that as well. Bring on the fall season!

  12. Surely I can’t be the only one who has an overpowering urge to cuddle Yuno.

  13. /SR rant

    SR is not be worth reading/watching. The end is beyond horrible. Hope SR Z redeems it(If it’ll show what happened before chapter 283… Then there is no hope. If it’ll show what will happen after chapter 283, then there might be hope.) Seriously I wasted almost 4 years waiting for SR to end. The ending is even more horrible than Ichigo 100%. Its that bad.
    /end SR rant

    Sony should make their shows region free T_T. Seriously I can’t even rent it :(.

  14. Well, at least I get to watch the updates/sequels to highly-regarded shows.

  15. What? The anime version of Ben-10 gets the number 1 spot?

    I kid. I’ve been listening to the opening on loop for the past 2 days. I want to link to it, but 4chan seems to be down right now.

    Go to /rs/ and search “Shut Up and Explode”.

  16. I think you’re a bit hard on Strike Witches. The first thing that came to mind when heard it was getting animated was “oh wow, now the mecha-musume crowd’s gonna go wild.”

    If anything, its more of adapting Shima Humikane’s original designs into a show (who, surprise! also had a hand in designing Sky girl’s suits. So at least they’re ripping off the same guy)

    Of course, with that in mind, there’s always the case of LOLGONZO, so IMO the jury’s still out on this one.

  17. Agree with you on Jim Rome, jason- man you see why he gets crazy money when he goes on vacation. Oh, and yesterday was officially the worse sports day I have ever seen on TV.
    Summer seasom has been pretty blah for a casual viewer like myself- only watching Strike Witches, Nokizaka and any scenes of Tiffania’s “assets”.
    Yes, I am just that shallow.

  18. The “Must Improve” reminds me of how analysts often talk about “basketball IQ.” This of course makes me wonder if you can measure the “Anime IQ” of anime characters by seeing how well they see the field and how often they make the right play.

  19. Lina Inverse is the one true DFC. The gold standard. I haven’t seen ZnT, but I know this to be true.

    …Because she’d nuke me if I said otherwise.

  20. >> Lina Inverse is the one true DFC. The gold standard. I haven’t seen ZnT, but I know this to be true.…Because she’d nuke me if I said otherwise.

    Wouldn’t she nuke you because you called her a DFC? Anyway, apologize to the real one four true DFC while you’re at it.

    >> Episode 3 is where we have the Gay of Demonic Charm kick in

    Haess, why am I not surprised that you’re diligently following this series.

    >> Yes, I am just that shallow.

    No, it just means that you’re a valued part of this blog’s audience.

  21. Sekirei manga is great … also if you want to talk about broken how about Charizard?

    The anime … well, censorship means cutting down fanservice that the manga is full of so if anyone is following the manga they have little reason to watch the anime.

    As for Haruka Nogizaka’s Secret … I doubt its harem, the opening might give that impression but it also shows “the winner” meaning its romance.

    Also on the subject of Otaku … well I was reading Cannon Sensei Tobashisugi (note:that is porn) and at around the end they said something about how Otaku were ostracized, subject to ridicule and bullied, perhaps you think they are “perpetuating the negative stereotypes and self-loathing of a hobby” but you must realize being a Otaku was as acceptable as being a “Gamer” a few years back.

    Besides beats the idiocy of Lucky Star that was pandering to Otaku, at least it shows the social impact.

  22. Jason: because it is less gay than Code Geass, they don’t kill off or sideline female characters, and because I’m a Niotamina fan. Whatever else you say about it, it has fewer gay characters, more funny, and less male ass-grabbing and less Rolo. That alone puts it above Strike Witches and Koihime Musou… The latter took out the sex and changed Liu Bei into a girl too – there’s nothing left.

    P.s: the ova is just of Konata and Meito Anizawa… which sounds like a whole DVD of the boring parts but no Lucky Channel to leaven it.

  23. Wow i would of though Gaykery would be higher than… Sh-t Witches and Koihime Musou :(
    I mean at least it has cakes!

  24. That, and Ono’s Demonic Charm breaks men. You’d think Jason would be all over that, and the busty boxer’s GF in episode 2.

  25. Yeah I don’t think that Haruka show is a harem either, looking at the wiki for cast info doesn’t show many potential haremettes IMO.

    I’m just surviving on Macross now… fall looks crazy though. I just watched Today in Class 5-2 OAV though, and I’m fairly sure that covered the entire manga run. With not even close to enough material there for an entire series even if they redo the OAV, I am dreading Fuyuki type fillers.

  26. Xam’d seems really interesting, very impressed by the first episode.

    We may have a winner here.

  27. I guess to get a sense of how old this franchise is, the first manga volume was released in 1995, which is about 10 years before the first Zero no Tsukaima light novel hit the market.Comparing text to text, the Slayers franchise is older still. The first story was published in 1989.

  28. Dont worry guys, Shin Koihime Musou will have guy Lui Bei and Genderbent Lui Bei in the same H game, can someone say playing with yourself? Either way, a damn paradox there. And besides, do you want a hard fruit version of Diao Chan (despite being voiced by Wakamoto) on our melonpan?

  29. Hi,
    Are you sure that Xam’d will air on normal tv?
    I looked at anidb and the ann link you provided both says it’s a playstation exclusive?
    I sure do hope it’ll air on normal tv since I’m from Europe and have no way to rent it either way.

  30. >>Between this show and Daughter of Twenty Faces, I’d say BONES is making a case to move up the anime production studio rankings.

    You may not be watching it anymore but Bones has managed to keep up the high standard of animation and watchability for Soul Eater, also. Usually I find that ‘standard shounen’ types get boring pretty quickly but Soul Eater is one of the few anime I want to watch as soon as a new episode is subbed.

    Bones really do seem to be one of the best studios at the moment, considering KyoAni’s decreasing activity. Though, of course I’m hoping they’re working on perfecting the new Haruhi and starting a new anime that isn’t Lucky Star/a Key game adaption.

    >>Natsume’s Book of Friends is a show that I enjoyed and came out of nowhere.

    It didn’t quite come out of nowhere. Most of the staff are straight from Baccano! so it was either going to be very good or horrible – due to the genre shift.

  31. Soul Eater is indeed as awesome as Shonen can get, the animation is just wonderful. The fighting scenes are so well done and the weird art style is very refreshing. Anybody who doesn’t watch it is missing a greatly entertaining show.

  32. wait… there’s a second season of Hayate no Gotoku? In addition to the already 52 episodes?

  33. wow, i must either suck at math or your spam protection temporarily broke on me. Had to try 6 times before it’d work. @_@

  34. >> wait… there’s a second season of Hayate no Gotoku? In addition to the already 52 episodes?

    Yeah, they announced it sometime after the original 52 aired.

    >> You may not be watching it anymore but Bones has managed to keep up the high standard of animation and watchability for Soul Eater

    You’re right about Soul Eater but wrong about quantity and quality. Keep in mind that BONES had no show airing between Skull Man and Twenty Faces. That’s half a year. All studios need time to reload… GAINAX is doing, what, one show a year? Who cares? As long as it kicks ass.

    >> Are you sure that Xam’d will air on normal tv?

    I saw some really bad analog rips of it floating around on torrents, and it just doesn’t compare to the PS3 version. In yet another case of Sony screwing the consumer, you’re best bet is probably the DVDs. Wish I had better news. It does suck a lot that they’re locking out European customers.

  35. Haesslich: Wow, Antique Bakery? That’s… I can’t find the words to comment on that discovery.

    I’ve read around about Koihime Musou’s adaptation, and I find it REALLY strange to NOT have a female Liu Bei stand-in (since in the game, the player technically WAS Liu Bei). Now I’m not a Three Kingdoms buff like Impz or Aroduc, but I think leaving out the ‘first’ of the three sworn-brothers strikes me as wierd.

    Then again, this IS an eroge adaptation. The historical figures the characters are based on are very likely rolling around in their graves. I’ve heard some folks already bemoaning Guan Yu (who’s been deitified and is actually worshipped in parts of China and Taiwan) already.

    Oh, and is it just me, but was I the only one that thought that X’amd’s character designs looked similar to OVERMAN King Gainer and Eureka 7?

  36. Tch, talk about having a full plate though. I’m barely keeping up with Macross Frontier, Code Geass, and Kyouran (thank God that there’s a long delay between Eclipse-SS’s sub of the show, the stress left over from work usually scrambles the dialogue in my head whenever I watch the RAW), and now there’s Someday’s Dreamers, Slayers, and Hidamari Sketch. *sighs*

    Oh well, better finish burning Densha Otoko and Dennou Coil for storage…

  37. Myssa Rei: Haesslich: Wow, Antique Bakery? That’s… I can’t find the words to comment on that discovery.

    I watched H&C, and Nodame. The chances were low that I wouldn’t at least watch the first few episodes of this, although they do use more CGI than I’m comfortable with… but the cakes make up for it. Cake-pr0n indeed. And there are fewer homosexual relationships than in Code Geass, so I’m content.

    Besides, Jason’s the one who declared he was gay for Hosaka back in Okawari, so I figured this would be right up his alley, having someone who was Ono who also induced a similar reaction in others.

    He’s not GAR for Hosaka, but GAY for Hosaka (voiced by Daisuke Ono).

    Jason: Honestly, on a scale from 1 to 10, how gay are you for Hosaka? I’m about a 12. And I think Maki wants Hosaka all to herself, hence why she’s not letting Haruka see him shirtless.

    Besides, you should see Sixten’s doujin at Heart’s Content if you want broken. Hoo boy, but is that guy broken.

  38. Haesslich: Do recall the origin of the term GAR though, and the fact that it’s very likely it was an actual typo on a comment on Archer (from F/SN). Think about it. It makes sense.

  39. Wait, there’s going to be more ‘Today in Class 5-2’ this fall? Yay! Such a cute (and naughty) series! Mission-E is a sequel to Code-E? Yay! I liked that show.

    So *that’s* Strike Witches… ……Yeah, I’ll be watching that. The guilty aftertaste is part of the appeal. *cough*.

    I’m gonna go look for Birdy now…been meaning to look for the original for ages. And I should really watch the rest of Slayers before continuing in Revolution…

    Oh, and somebody mentioned somewhere here (or in the Louise vs. Lina post) that Lina is in her early 20’s….I think it’s VERY early…like, she’s barely 20 right now, 21 at best. Also, she started out at approximately age 14-16, if I recall the Wiki page correctly, which is around what Louise is…and even then she was throwing around crater-makers like crazy.

  40. I find it alarming that about half of the shows I’m watching are ranked below the halfway mark… Granted, I’ll be dropping Koihime Musou if it doesn’t get a lot better quick, But still… We used to have such good compatibility!

    Well, I guess that means I should just pick up the series you like, since that’s how I got to watch Kamen no Meido Guy (which was great, finished watching the raws).

    I have no interest in starting with the whole Slayers franchise now. I guess I was just born a decade too late. Some of the series (Natsume Yuujinchou, Ryoko’s Case File, Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsuna Koto) I haven’t checked out yet, but their premises just sort of didn’t grip me.

    Oh, and I rather like the new Zero no Tsukaima. Saito has sort of been growing a backbone. Even though it doesn’t make the series really good, the improvement from the second season is so remarkable that it keeps my hopes up.

    And Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu has been sort of hanging in the air, as I’m expecting more of the cast to be introduced so I can fully see the sort of character dynamics… Who am I fooling? I’m still waiting for the meido.

    Blade of the Immortal… Okay, you’re on the mark about the lighting, but just during the first episode, there were a couple of things that had me really pumped. Plus, isn’t it based on a manga that’s hugely popular? I hope there’s something to expect from that.

    Oh, and then there’s Sky– Strike Witches. As a Finn, I’m way too excited to actually see a Finnish character in an anime. Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen… I hope I get some butchered Finnish at some point so I can point it out to my friends and laugh about it. It’s the same kind of fun as with the Star Trek movie where they come to present day Earth, and the crew of the whaling ship they scare away speaks Finnish… (Protip: Finland doesn’t have a whaling fleet, we don’t even have a coastline towards North Sea since WWII). Also, I swing that way.

    I really ought to get my own blog, oughtn’t I?
    Also, if the spam filter eats this, I’m stabbing something.

  41. Yep, Always Ctrl-C your post before submitting – frustration saver

  42. Glad to see I’m not the only poster who is guilty of being strangely addicted to Strike Witches or should that be Sky Girls no Pantsu.

  43. I dont get you Lucky Star to Hidamari Sketch comparison. Lucky Star is otaku feed straight off the production line. Hidamari Sketch is relaxing comedic soup for the soul. I really like both, but both have a completely different style and to say Hidamari is just an inferior version is completely missing the boat.

  44. There’s a whole series about a girl from Finland: Katri, Girl of the Meadows / Paimen, piika ja emäntä.

    >I have no interest in starting with the whole Slayers franchise now. I guess >I was just born a decade too late.

    It’s never too late to get into Slayers. You don’t have to watch it all at once, but you’re missing something =)

  45. I’ve read both Tipping Point and Blink and I seem to only remember the examples orz (Blues Clues, anti-smoking ads, Paul Revere – though I remember what Revere ties to) so I’ve yet to find a practical application for them. Btw isn’t Shaft being Shaft like Manny being Manny?

  46. What? Finnish character. Maybe this(pantyshots) could be the reason to watch some pantyshots. I mean Strike witches. Last time I saw countryman in Flag.
    Seriously I usually can’t watch brainless anime which only offers fanservice. Ecchi is good, but otherwise it’s just so damn boring. There’s always hentai…

    Thanks Jason for writing about Xam’d. Now I’m waiting for it. And thinking if I should just wait or boot my PS3. :P

  47. I can’t believe your unfavorable comparison of Hidamari Sketch to Lucky Star, either, especially with the screenshot you used. HS is adorable.

  48. Yeah, I watched a bunch of Katri as well… I wonder why I stopped. Maybe… uhh… yeah, no more subs on TT. I guess that’s why. Although I wouldn’t need them anymore… No raws that I can find either. Gundammit.

    Anyway, I’ve sort of managed to build a backlog even though I’m only watching a few (read: under 15) series right now. Maybe I’ll marathon Macross F and Nijuu Mensou no Musume when they’re done. Well, for now, I’m trying out Yakushi Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo or whatever. What’s with the long names for series, anyway?

    Oh, that reminds me, what’s the longest you know? I think the best I can come up with is “Sumeba Miyako no Kosmos-sou Suttoko Taisen Dokkoidaa” and “Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig”

  49. Just go with the official english title: “Ryoko’s case file”

    And dunno about longest title, Kono minikuku mo utsukushii Sekai or Hanbun no Tsuki ga noboru Sora come to mind. But the shortest is easy: X.

  50. I don’t think “Ultraviolet Code 044” has anything to do with the British TV series “Ultraviolet”. Isn’t it actually based on the same manga as the movie? The British TV series wasn’t like “Blade” or action-based and actually interpreted vampirism in an original way i.e. it’s a disease like HIV except that the victims of the virus team up and try to take over the world using humans as their “sheep” through conspirancies. Ultimatively they wanted to darken the atmosphere by a nuclear holocaust, if I remember correctly, so that they wouldn’t be challenged by ultraviolet daylight hence the title. It used very little special effects or supernatural elements but was far more creepy and realistic than most stories revolving around vampires – exactly because it kept the unrealistic elements to a minimum unlike all these crappy horror stories involving ugly monsters.

  51. @ Beowulf Lee:

    Wow, that’s sort of funny. I have the CD ‘Shut up and Explode’ is off of and I thought it’d be a decent animu song. Then I see / hear that and there goes a head-slap.

  52. “(Why does Morte look like she’s 23 when she claims she is 16? More importantly, why does she always look like she’s wearing lipstick and make-up?)”

    Hey, what’s wrong with lipstick? I LOVE lipstick. There actually aren’t enough girls wearing it in anime. Sure, it makes her look a little older from an artistic standpoint, but it looks so yummy. Wouldn’t you like to kiss her with lips like that? Sometimes you get these really cool lip / lipsticking shots in anime, (you know, the close-ups of the lips while applying, or smirking that Japanese seem to adore. I adore them too, which is why I have a little collection! ^_^) but where is the lip gloss? With just about every young lady wearing gloss, why don’t you ever see it in anime. It’s kind of funny. I would kill to see a girl with clear shiny lips.

    But yes, never say no to lipstick Jason. That girl looks nice with it on. :D I think you just like girls that are -13 years old. :p

    As for Antique Bakery, I SHALL be watching that. I can only hope for crossdressing (which of course probably means a lipsticking shot!) and cuteness and fluff. I’m sure I’ll get all of those… I have to give my 801 monster some playtime. ^_^

  53. How is it possible to call Hidamari a poor man’s Lucky Star? Hidamari came out first, for one, and it’s got SHAFT to give it the awesome, artsy bits that fit the whole TEENAGE GIRLS IN AN ART SCHOOL theme. The slice of life is great, and I don’t feel like I’m watching a bunch of stereotypes doing lolrandumxD shit for fanservice, I feel like I’m watching the regular lives of the Hidamari girls. A female aniota who is very athletic with a dad who raised her around H-games? How realistic is that compared to, let’s say, Yuno? She’s actually normal. She likes to draw, so she tried and got into an art school, and was able to move into the nearby apartment building, and lives a normal life. Miyako? She’s a different type of normal girl. She’s the artsy, free type. Not as weird as a weaboo actually going to Japan and being somewhat attractive and having awesome hair.

    I like Lucky Star, but Hidamari is far better. It’s a slice of life that is exactly what a slice of life anime should be like.

Leave a Reply