Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mini Updates and Droppage

Another mini-update!

1. Toradora!Like I said before, Toradora! is the show I most look forward to every week. More so now that I think the series has moved past the slice-of-life treatment and is actually moving along a semblance of a plot. It's high time as well, considering how most of the characters have had their share of screentime enough to give us a general idea of what kind of persons they are. Of course, there's still the question of: WHAT IS UP WITH MINORI and AMI? I like them but don't understand them. These girls clearly have issues but they're so vague at this point that it's kind of frustrating trying to guess their interests and motives based on their actuations alone. But then putting that aside, I'm enjoying every episode so far. It has everything to do with the romantic development between Taiga and Ryuuji and the complications it's going to cause to the Ryuuji x Minori tandem. And now that Ryuuji knows about Taiga's feelings and Minori has resolved to do something about her own feelings, it's all going to become one delightful mess. The story has certainly branched out and that's what I like about it.

2. Kemono no Souja ErinYes, I am still watching this show. I think it's interesting. The world of Kemono no Souja Erin is distinctly Asian but it's like a completely different civilization and culture as well and it's fun learning stuff about the touda, the inter-relations between the people and these creatures, and even the politics, although I don't think it's going to be focused any time soon. Right now, it's all hints. That royal adviser dude looks sneaky as hell so he's probably going to end up playing an important role but before stuff like that starts blowing over, I figure Erin still has some growing up to do. You know what this story reminds me of? Avatar: The Last Airbender, without the magic, of course, and with the war between nations downplayed a whole lot.

3. Michiko to HatchinFinally caught up to this show. I must admit, I started watching Michiko to Hatchin well on its halfway point because I'm not too interested in travel series. I didn't know the series is by Manglobe and I didn't know that Watanabe Shinichiro is among the staff. Admittedly, he only directs the opening clip, but this is Watanabe-sensei we're talking about here and So what do I think about this show? It's hella entertaining, like most Bones shows, and the art/animation is superb. But, of course. My only problem about it is the usual problem I have with many Manglobe series. Think: Cowboy Bebop (actually by Sunrise but directed by Watanabe-sensei) and Samurai Champloo. Those two shows have one thing in common: the very palpable disconnect between the characters. Michiko to Hatchin is all about the titular Michiko, a self-proclaimed diva and escaped convict, and Hatchin, a 12-year old poster-child of parental abuse and abadonment. The two get into all sorts of adventure together as they travel through the clogged up streets of Brazil in search of the elusive Hiroshi, Michiko's one-time love and Hatchin's alleged father. Hiroshi is the only thing they have in common and they don't even like each other that much and yet somehow, for some strange reason that is never explained (just as it was never explained in Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo), they are stuck together. Disconnect. The entire series pretty much revolves around that theme. It works though, which is why I still enjoy the show.

4. RidebackRideback. Heh. I am in a state of suspended disbelief about this show. I said before that what draws me to this series is its weirdness. I mean, I don't even like mecha. But the combination of Madhouse (one of my favorite animation studios) and the infinitely odd juxtaposition of hand-drawn art against CGI got me. Add to that a very interesting main character who is as attractive and improbable as the premise of Rideback and I find myself unable to resist watching this show every time an episode is released. After Episode 07, the plot is beginning to shape up as important points finally start to connect and characters begin to get into their roles but it's still too early to call this series as anything more than eye-candy.

5. Samurai ChamplooI must admit that I kind of stopped watching this show for the moment, the reason being that for the past two months I've been swamped with school stuff. Samurai Champloo is one of those shows that retains its entertainment factor without being too absorbing. In other words, it's easy to put down. Like, if I had other stuff to do, I'd simply put the series on hold and I wouldn't feel like I missed anything because continuity isn't really a factor. Each episode can pretty much stand on its own. I think I can see this quality of the series as its main weakness. I use the word loosely, of course, because I know that there are some people who would consider it a strength. I'm actually at Episode 20 now and I still don't see any visible change in the characters' regard for each other. Maybe that's the whole point of the show: sometimes, for no reason at all, people will touch each other lives, without even meaning to. It's even more disconnected than, say, Michiko to Hatchin, where at least we get to see Hatchin begin to care a little for Michiko. Anyhoo, I'm planning to give myself a 3-day break from academic stuff so I'll try to finish the series within that time.

6. Maria+HolicAh, my favorite lesbian. XD Sadly though I just don't have the time to watch this show anymore. The show is still very funny. God, sometimes, I can't believe how honest Kanako is, for a closet lesbian that is and how she can pretty much get away with offhand comments that would otherwise cause warning signs to erupt all over the place. But maybe when I'm finished with Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th, I might backtrack to this show and try to discover again what made the first episode so awesome. But until then, the show is dropped or otherwise indefinitely on hold.


Parka said...

Nice reviews. Maybe I'll pick up a few titles.

Samurai Champloo is great.