Tiger & Bunny 16 – Livin’ the Dream

Give me a couple of years Kotetsu, I’ll be finding myself in a dumpster too.

While I’m still deciding which shows I should blog this season, the shows I’ve been following from last season have been excellent in their own right. But Tiger & Bunny stands out the best in my memory. This episode directs its attention to the two men whose lives are all greatly influenced by Mr.Legend in one way or another.

To Kotetsu, Mr.Legend was the very definition of a superhero. He lived his life embracing the idea of being a superhero just like Mr.Legend. To Lunatic, he was a father he once put his faith into. But as Mr.Legend’s powers declined, Yuri lost that guiding figure. He accidentally destroys his own father. His father’s death has led his mother to insanity and set Yuri to the path of a vigilante.

Such is the life of being a hero and a public figure. Mr.Legend’s miserable end was disheartening but at the same time, he inspired countless people like him to become heroes. He met a tragic demise but it wasn’t all in vain. That’s why the media had to keep his legacy untarnished, there’s just some things people are better off not knowing.

What I truly enjoyed about this episode is how it gradually unraveled both sides, I think everything that needs to be said about this episode has been said already.

Mr.Maverick is the final boss and Barnaby will break. This is Sunrise we’re talking about.

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First Impressions: Dantalian no Shoka – Rewarding Imagination

Gainax’s summer offering is the last show to premiere this season. Dantalian no Shoka is the story of a man who inherits his grandfather’s book collection along with his mansion. There he meets Dalian, a girl connected to Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian: the library that holds all the knowledge of the demons.

This show displays Gainax’s ability to produce stunning visuals with photo realistic backdrops, rough textures, smooth character animation and the occasional CG. The combination itself sounds off putting but in Dantalian, everything blends well and the CG is used sparingly. The end result is something unique, a style I really have no proper way of describing. It still feels conventional enough, but at the same time it doesn’t quite look like all the other shows this summer.

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First Impressions: No.6 – The Search for Freedom

Bones’ latest offering is an adaptation of Atsuko Asano’s science fiction novel, No.6. A story about two boys in a city called No.6, one of the few habitable cities in the world after the war. Shion is an elite living in the city and Nezumi is a runaway from the so-called correctional facility who seeks shelter in Shion’s room. The two start an unlikely friendship that is short lived because Nezumi eventually leaves without saying anything to Shion.

No explosions here, no death, no boobs landing on someone’s face and no fancy transformation sequences either but…what a wonderful first episode. The story itself isn’t revolutionary, but in the very core of No.6 lies a very human story.

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First Impressions: Mawaru Penguindrum – Hype Can Lead to Vitriol

Oh boy. Here we go.

If there’s anything [C] has taught (or reminded) me recently is that hype is kind of scary and it can lead to inflated expectations. Inflated expectations alone aren’t frightening, but it’s when they aren’t met that leads to vitriol. I loved Utena and I still adore it, it’s one of my top 10 anime. That’s why I was very excited for Mawaru. I think most people who’ve seen Utena and/or Sailormoon were looking forward to this, especially the Ikuhara fans.

Remember Star Driver? That had three people from the Utena team, writing, producing and directing it. And it was a fun ride, but not fun enough for me to stick with it for 26 episodes. No. Before airing, it was also hyped up a lot. Placed in a pedestal labeled something like ‘Utena’s spiritual successor’ or whatever. I think this says a lot about the current state of mind of many anime viewers: We want something as good as Utena again! That’s pretty sad.

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First Impressions: Usagi Drop – Effortless and Effective

Finally. It feels great to see a more family-centric anime this time around. This show had me from the moment it started with that watercolor-like and textured opening. The overall feel of the show was there and I knew I was in for a treat.

2 minutes in and the show immediately introduces us to the main characters, Daikichi and Rin. Daikichi attends his grandfather’s wake and meets Rin. At first, he mistakes for someone else’s daughter. It turns out the young girl is Rin, his grandfather’s illegitimate child and Daikichi’s aunt. Having no one willing to look after Rin, Daikichi takes her in.

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First Impressions: Natsume Yuujinchou San – This Show is Made of Magic

In fact, it’s so magical I can’t even get down to writing this entry because I keep on listening to the OP over and over again. So much for being productive. I first discovered Natsume Yuujinchou through the shoujo magazine Lala. Having no knowledge of Japanese, I was drawn in by the beautiful and sparse art alone. Then, the second series started airing. I loved it. I then went out of my way to watch the first series. If you’re scared of jumping into the third season of Natsume Yuujinchou…don’t be. The first episode does well enough to establish the characters, the setting and the atmosphere of the show.

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First Impressions: Sacred Seven – Rock Solid ‘Meh’

It’s like Star Driver all over again, except this time around– it’s not even entertaining. I didn’t even finish Star Driver but at least  the first episode had a lot of energy in it. I’m not having a great day and Sacred Seven which I hoped to heal my wounded soul did nothing for me. It doesn’t even excel at being campy. Wow. The stylized OP doesn’t help either, something about it feels awfully lame. Maybe it’s the colors they chose to use and the lackluster music.

The first episode was mainly about an aloof guy named Arma (Aruma = Armor, IS THIS WHAT THEY’RE TRYING TO TELL US?) who has dormant super powers. He ends up isolating himself because his powers cause him to hurt people.

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