Sunday, February 6, 2011

FIRST LOOK: Gosick, Infinite Stratos, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Kore wa zombie desu ka?

 Gosick (1-5)

Gosick is a story about Kujo Kazuya, a Japanese transfer student at an exclusive academy in fictional Sauville -- which, in this anime's alternative reality, is one of the countries that emerged victorious after the first world war. Being the only foreigner at his school, Kazuya finds it hard to fit in and many of his classmates call him the "Dark Reaper" behind his back. In his isolation, Kazuya finds himself drawn to the library where he meets Victorique, a blond mysterious girl whose brilliant mind and deductive reasoning are frequently made use of by Grevil de Blois, a nobleman and a police inspector.

Well, the story is pretty much...Sherlock Holmes in gothic lolita costume. I'm not so much impressed with the puzzle work and Victorique's ability to solve every mystery though. Personally, I think the crime-solving needs a little more laying down the predicate because Victorique's solving them a little too fast. However, like the Sherlock Holmes stories, I'm fascinated with the dynamics of friendship between the two main characters. If only for that, I'll keep watching.

 IS: Infinite Stratos (1-3)

Vandread was probably one of the few anime series that I enjoyed despite the fact that it combined two anime tropes I never enjoyed: harem and mecha. I thought Infinite Stratos would be something like Vandread. I don't know. Maybe I just don't have the patience anymore to wait for the story to become interesting. After three episodes, nothing about this anime stands out so I'm dropping it.

 Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (1-5)

Madoka is an ordinary girl who one day finds a strange rabbit-like creature being chased and hurt by one of her classmates, a transfer student by the name of Haruna. It turns out that the creature is trying to contact Madoka in order to turn her into a magical girl whose job is to battle witches. Haruna is also a magical girl but for some reason she doesn't want Madoka to become like her. Madoka also meets Mami, a third year student at her school and also a magical girl. Under Mami's guidance, Madoka and her friend Sayaka learn what a magical girl does but there's one lesson Mami fails to teach them: how to cope with death.

Wow! And I mean WOW! SHAFT finally does it. A smart, brilliant story that takes a fresh look at the tried and old and full of cliche magical girl genre.

Kore wa zombie desu ka? (1-3)

This is also another harem-style anime but kind of combines all other kinds of tropes. So far, it's pretty funny so I'm giving it a go for now. We'll see how the next few episodes turn out.