Category Archives: Completed Series

Review – [C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

I sort of swore I wouldn’t blog about any of the summer shows until I wrote my [C] review. Let’s just say it’s my way of saying a proper goodbye, haha. No, really. I’m serious here.

[C]’s world is vividly painted and full of creative ideas. Set in what looks like an alternate dimension, the Financial District is a place  in which people put their futures on the line for monetary gain. These people are called ‘Entrepreneurs’. Equipped with ‘Assets’, the embodiment of an Entrepreneur’s future,  they’re required to participate in a ‘Deal’ where they face off with other Entrepreneurs, in a 666 second battle every week. The main character, Kimimaro Yogo is a plain college student who ends up becoming a an Entrepreneur.

The concept itself is what drew me in, along with Kenji Nakamura in the director’s seat. The show did have a rocky start but gradually improved over time. The show itself focuses on the opposing stances of the main characters and attempts to deliver several messages at once, all relating to different aspects of the real world. This worked like a double edged sword for [C]. While  the numerous ideas presented were a great source of speculation and introspection, at the same it’s easy to get lost as to what [C] is truly trying to achieve. Given it’s 11 episode length, the show ended up biting off more than it could chew and haphazardly jumped into an entertaining but somewhat confusing conclusion.

Animation wise, the quality fluctuates a lot and the frequent use of clunky CG hinders the otherwise rich setting. There are a lot of weird proportions and distorted faces in places. I do admire the dynamic angles incorporated in each shot though. Another thing I loved about the show is the music, but then, this is Taku Iwasaki (Gurren Lagaan, Now and Then, Here and There). I love almost everything he comes up with.

If you’re willing to sit through some awkward looking animation, [C] has the potential to entertain with it’s unique world. As long as you try not to make sense of everything and apply suspension of disbelief accordingly, you should be fine. [C] is a worthwhile show, and while it’s not a classic it has enough things in it to keep you thinking.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Advertisements

Review – Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

The spring season’s anime offerings were promising, but none as promising as AnoHana. The first episode was possibly one of the strongest ones I’ve seen in a while and the premise itself was simple but fascinating. A young girl named Menma passes away due to an unfortunate accident. Ten years later, she appeears in front of her childhood friend Jinta as an older version of herself. It seems she wants him to grant her wish but she doesn’t exactly remember what it is.

Even before the show aired, the promotional art and teasers pulled me in. I just knew it had to be good, and I was right. By the time it started airing, AnoHana rose to expectations. The story and the characters have a universal appeal. It’s easy to relate to and the characters themselves represent personalities that many of us are familiar with, almost as if they’ve been lifted directly from the pages of your teenage life.

The show did well enough to portray these characters and the emotions they go through. The vivid animation adds a lot to the drama, it really pays off when a heavily dramatic scene comes up.

I have one major qualm about it though. The second half isn’t as powerful as the first half. Most of the build up doesn’t quite pay off and many of the side characters are later ignored in favor of developing Menma and Jinta’s relationship. It’s just a shame that AnoHana slowly stepped away from the chance of challenging it’s viewers and opted to dawdle on a painfully awkward romance. I enjoy romance but neither Jinta or Menma are as engaging as the rest of the cast. Jinta stops giving a damn about his friends and his descent from leader to a social recluse isn’t expounded on. Menma on the other hand, has the mentality of a seven year old girl and her personality stays that way right up until the very end. She does grow, but the changes are so minimal you can hardly appreciate it.

Another thing that bothers me about the second half is the heavy handed execution. The show lost it’s subtlety and that inevitably led to some forced drama. I won’t deny that this is probably just a personal preference but this really made me enjoy AnoHana less. I don’t need to be persistently hammered by sad moments.

That doesn’t stop me from recommending it though. I know I already said this in my last post, but AnoHana can appeal to a wide range of people and there are a lot of genuinely heart wrenching and touching moments that can keep you hooked.

Overall score: 7.83/10

[C] 10 – 11: Maximum Trolling

And so, one of my favorite shows this season end. Okay, so I’m only religiously watching five shows this season.  So C being one of my favorites probably doesn’t say much. But I’m a person who filters out A LOT of what I watch.

I loved [C] and I’ll miss it. It’s a very flawed show though and the finale proved what I always knew. 11 episodes was simply not enough for it to tie loose ends as neatly as I would’ve liked. But [C] didn’t give up, it ran towards it’s end in full speed and what an entertaining ending it was. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a fight as good as Mikuni’s and Kimimaro’s. The angles and the energy put into this whole sequence was amazing and shedding some light on Q’s own motives was appreciated.

I’m not going to judge [C] now. So the part below this will be mostly be about my personal reflections.

Continue reading

AnoHana 10 – 11 is About Crying and Screaming

To the people who watched AnoHana 11 with earphones on, how are you?

I’m going to be harsh on AnoHana not because I hate it, but because I like it. I expected a lot from it, and it has delivered more than once. People who read Hachimitsu should know that. I showered this with praises, especially during the first half.

But, things were already fumbling a bit from episode 6 onwards. And by the 9th episode, it was clear that the creators were running out of steam, discarding and overlooking a lot of points they built up. Why did this happen? I have no idea. Despite that though, everyone seems to love the ending  and this is why I must sit in front of my computer and write this commentary. To me, watching anime and blogging about it is an exercise of observation and a chance to come up with sensible criticism.

Continue reading

AnE – 09, [C] – 09, Tiger & Bunny – 11

It’s been a busy week and because of that, the stuff I have to blog about ended up piling up. So I decided to blog about the episodes I enjoyed the most first.

Ao no Exorcist 09

AnE really stepped it up this week. This was an incredible episode. I’d say that in terms of quality it’s up there with the second episode. The animation was fluid, the pacing was tight and the music blended in very well. I liked how the animators paid attention to the little things, like how the characters walk across the screen and facial expressions.

This also had a decent amount of character development. Specifically towards the main trio: Rin, Shiemi and Yukio although it was mostly centered on Yukio. I have a love/hate relationship with his character. I do admire his persistence to protect his brother, and I wonder if Rin constantly outdoing him will prove as a weakness later. The show’s really good with providing bits and pieces of the underlying plot and building relationships between the cast members. I especially liked Yukio and Shiemi’s first meeting.

The best part is definitely Yukio and Rin vs. Eyepatch-sensei. It was very well done and the animation was eye candy.

There are still a lot of questions than answers in AnE. But we’ve still got a long way to go and the great thing is that AnE is shaping up to be a solid show. The fact that it focuses on it’s characters a lot helps it stand out amongst a lot of other shows under the same vein.

[C]: The Money of Soul Possibility Control 09

Okay, this is what I did with this episode: I decided to disregard the underlying themes and concentrate on the plot for a moment.

Mikuni’s plan to protect reality looks as if it’s backfired, with him possibly overlooking the fine print in this dangerous deal with the Financial District. Kimimaro decides to side with Jennifer, and discovers that his father’s asset looks similar to Mysu. This episode functioned to bring things to full circle and did it quite well.

Kimimaro kissing Mysu on the forehead certainly incited some reactions, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t the least bit affected not because I wanted them to kiss like lovers but because Kimamaro, Mysu and the audience know that if Kimimaro intends to rescue what’s left of the future– he’ll have to part with her. With Mysu gaining more human-like emotions, their relationship feels more complex than it was when they first met.

I vaguely remember calling [C] the prettiest show this season, not out of sarcasm but out of the awe regarding the structure of the Financial District and the colorful beams of light that scatter across the screen. This episode brought back that same feeling of awe. The massive tentacle monster descends and Mikuni stands before a monstrosity, majestic and frightening at the same time.

Call it an unpopular opinion, but [C] has become the better NoitaminA show for me this season and probably one of my top picks. With only two episodes left, I’m eagerly awaiting the ending– regardless of the possibility of a cop out or a train wreck.

Tiger and Bunny 11

Things have gotten really intense, but it’s great to see some humor here and there. And Jake has certainly lived up to expectations of a proper villain, he’s shows no remorse and his eccentricity is reminiscent of The Joker. In that sense, Tiger and Bunny has been doing quite well in the superhero genre.

This was actually much better than last week’s. The heroes sit back as the higher ups form a plan. Ivan finally gets to use his real abilities and works as a spy upon Jake’s release. However, it seems that he’s in a pinch judging how this episode ended. Proving that a superhero going too public is more of a liability than advantage.

[C] 08 – The Disappearing Future

This was the apocalyptic future the show was talking about from the very start. The Southeast Asian Financial District collapses and an entire country is wiped out from the globe. Since the Financial Districts are built to be dependent on each other just as how real world economies are, the Starling Guild is taking countermeasures.

Continue reading

AnoHana 08 – Of Selfishness and Selflessness

Menma finally proves to everyone that she’s real and removes any doubts of Jinta’s sanity. She did this not just for the Super Peace Busters but for the viewers as well. This was another great episode, after a couple of ‘okay’ ones. The emotions run high and some minor characters are given the attention they deserve.

Continue reading