First Impressions: Durarara!! x2 Shou

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Episode 1: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

This episode is basically about Celty running from the cops, the whole thing being televised in the news and this is how we get to see every other character in the show again: they're all watching Celty on the news. Well, except for the violent blond guy who is watching his brother's interview on TV instead.

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: 
What's there to say really except that it's fun seeing the old gang again. Nothing has really changed. Everybody is still up to the same old shit. There's still a murderer on the loose. And I guess it's up to everyone again to stop the murderer. 
The art is still topnotch. I'm not really digging the music. I don't know if I'll continue to watch this series. 
God I miss Baccano. Why don't they make a sequel of that instead?

First Impressions: Death Parade

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EPISODE 1: Seven Darts

A young newlywed couple, Takashi and Machiko, step out of an elevator with no memory of what happened to them before arriving there. All they remember is that they are supposed to be on their honeymoon. They find a mysterious white-haired bartender who welcomes them to "Queen Decim" and introduces himself as Decim. Without explaining anything to the couple, Decim proceeds to tell them that they are going to play a game with their lives on the line and until they finish the game, they cannot leave.

So what do our intrepid duo first do? They try to find a way out. Not surprisingly, they fail and then Decim reveals to them a horrible sight hidden behind the bar: dead bodies of people hanged upside down. This forces Takashi and Machiko to play along with Decim, thinking him to be a mad man. When they play the roulette, they end up choosing the game of darts, called Seven Darts. Decim explains that the player with the lowest score will win, but added that the targets are connected to their nerve-endings so that they would feel the pain of each hit.

As they play, Takashi and Machiko's memories gradually return and they both realize that they are not as happy as they thought they were and that they were both dead, having earlier died from a vehicular accident on their honeymoon. Takashi also remembers on their wedding day overhearing Machiko's friends talking about Matchy having an affair, which leads Takashi to believe that the child Machiko is carrying is not his. All through their wedding, Takashi pretends to be happy but deep down he harbors resentment towards Machiko. When Takashi confronts her about this during the game, Machiko reveals that Matchy is actually Machida Yuki, an old friend of hers, but later admits that she was indeed having an affair with another man.

In the end, Takashi loses the game and attempts to attack Machiko but is stopped by Decim, who reveals that he is the arbitrator who decides through the death game who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. He then puts the two back in the elevator. Afterwards, Decim talks to two companions of his and it is revealed that Takashi's soul is going to be reincarnated while Machiko's is going to the void.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
The story is a pretty lackluster one for a series opener. Or have I become jaded? I wasn't shocked or moved by the story of Takashi and Machiko. The whole point of the death game is to reveal a person's true nature when tested to the limit. So they both turn out to be horrible people. But who do you think is more horrible? Takashi, who got cheated believing his wife to be true only to learn on his wedding day that she had an affair with another man? Or Machiko who believed she finally found the right man in Takashi only to learn later that he had not been true for he hated her for her past? And who got the worst of the lot? Takashi gets reincarnated. He will have to go through the pain of life all over again. Machiko goes to the void. She will become nothing. 
 Actually, I'm less interested about the players and more interested about Decim and his companions. What's their story? Are they spirits as well? 
The art is good. Not anything to write home about but fairly decent. The style is pleasing enough but doesn't really stand out from the rest out there. 
I'm not particularly impressed by the music, OP or ED. The OP seemed a bit too bouncy and kind of forced. I guess that's the point? Hmm.

Anime Winter 2015 Line-Up

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Based on this list, he Winter 2015 anime line-up looks to have a few interesting titles. Maybe 2015 is the year I get back into anime.

DEATH PARADE

SYNOPSIS:
After death, humans go to either heaven or hell. But for some, at the instant of their death, they arrive at the Queen Decim, a bar attended by the mysterious white-haired Decim. He challenges them to the Death Game, wherein they wager their lives and reveal their true natures. Decim himself is the ultimate arbitrator of who wins and who loses, who lives and who dies. (source: ANN)

This is by Madhouse, one of my favorite studios ever. The poster looked interesting. The title has a certain panache to it. And the premise is sufficiently dark but curious. Color me intrigued.



DURARARA!! X2 SHOU

There's no synopsis available but then again this show defies any. But this is the first part of the second season of Durarara!! More of the usual shenanigans of the group composed of eccentric characters. Should be fun.










ROLLING GIRLS

SYNOPSIS:
Ten years after the Great Tokyo War, each prefecture in Japan has split up into independent nations. Each nation is ruled by a prophet called "Mosa" and an army called "Mob" as they start to compete to take over other countries. Four "Mob" girls from the Saitama clan, Nozomi, Yukina, Ai, and Chiaya, are ordered by their "Mosa" to travel around Japan riding their motorcycles to mediate multiple battles between nations and clans as they emerge. (source: ANN)

From the studio (Wit Studio) that gave us Shingeki no Kyoujin, comes this bizarre story about four cute girls on motorcycles.... It's so fucking weird. So of course, I'm going to watch it.




SHINGEKI NO KYOUJIN: KUINAKI SENTAKU OVA1

This is the backstory of my waifu, Captain Levi.... Nuff said.












PSYCHO-PASS MOVIE

Apparently, they're releasing a second season. I can't remember if I finished watching the first season. This anime looks so good but the story kinda meh. Maybe a movie is a better format for its premise. We'll see.