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Retroactive Posts: Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? Feb 2013 part 2

May 8, 2013

(Originally posted on March 1st, 2013)

(This article will be spoiler free.)

Hey folks. While a good chunk of my time has been spent on Tekken or League of Legends, I’m still in the process of catching up on my anime backlog.

I’m unsure whether the last one of these was an eye-opener to any of you (*cricket chirps*), but I enjoyed the quick, informative little mini-review format, so I suppose I’ll continue to do these.
Since it’s the end of the month, and it’s only been a few weeks since the last post (which covered both January and the first half of February), this one’ll be smaller, and from here out you can expect only one of these per month.
This way they’ll be beefier and more diverse (depending on how many things I’ve managed to get around to in that month), and enough time will have also passed so that if you were checking out something that had piqued your interest from a previous month, you could have probably finished it up in time for more recommendations.

So here ya go: A quick one!

 

Gunslinger-Girl-Il-Teatrino-1Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-:
 Taking place after the events of the first season, Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino- continues the exploits of the Social Welfare Agency and its fight against terrorism using a band of young, cybernetically enhanced girls. The story this time is also intermittently told through the perspective of a small group of terrorists, giving insight into why they see what they’re doing as a necessary evil.

What I thought: Worth a look if you enjoyed the first season.
One of my complaints with the first season of Gunslinger Girl was that there wasn’t much of a plot. The characters were likable, and the premise was quite interesting and provided room for some memorably disturbing scenes, but it never achieved the amount of emotional investment required to really suck me in.
While -Il Teatrino- never quite reaches nirvana levels of emotional resonance either, it does make strides in the right direction. Backstories are fleshed out, and characters are given meaningful motivations for their actions. The plot can be difficult to follow at times (my eyes glazed over during a couple dialogue-heavy dinner conversations in particular), but unlike the first season (which I did enjoy, mind you), there IS a plot to follow here, and the writers allow for a couple of the characters to play more meaningful roles in how it ultimately plays out.
A big thing to note about -Il Teatrino- is the art style and animation. The art itself is radically different from the first season, and the animation, while improving over the course of the season, seems hastily done. This is especially the case in the first few episodes, where even action scenes consist of panning still shots, and not particularly beautiful to look at panning still shots, either.
The sometimes shoddy animation and slightly altered character personalities take some getting past, but if you can there’s plenty to like about Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-.

 

1338484116_angel-beatsAngel Beats!:
 Otonashi Yuzuru finds himself dead. That’s alright though, because he now exists in a strange sort of limbo which rests on the other side of death. Here, weapons can be made out of dirt, the most grievous of injuries will never kill you (seeing as you’re already dead), and a cute, silver-haired girl named Tenshi desires to have Otonashi and his new band of accomplices’ souls obliterated. Well… maybe that last part isn’t all that great.
Otonashi, Yuri, and the rest of the continually renamed SSS, a school group devoted to battling Tenshi, struggle to find the purpose hidden in their continued existence.

What I thought: Must see!
To me, what makes an anime truly great is the roller coaster. A story can be memorable given the right mix of an intriguing or well developed premise, likable characters, a meaningful message, beautiful art, smart writing or great music, but only those which take all of those things and weave them around a plot that can have you doing your best to hold in laughter one moment, and then stricken with empathy and sadness the next, manage to truly stand out. Angel Beats! rests up there with Chu-2 in this respect.
 Beautiful art and animation. Well likable and memorable characters. A fantastic soundtrack. A finely tuned roller coaster storyline. Angel Beats! is essentially everything that I, personally, want from an anime.
If I have just one issue with it, it’s that it had to end.

 

And regrettably, that is all I have to report for now. I’m amid Tekken fever, so maybe I’ll write up a review for that or an article talking about it in a general sense (how useful could a review be at this point anyway). Until then, give these a quick look!

Give anime storylines the respect they deserve! Don’t look up your plot synopses on Wikipedia!

From → Anime

2 Comments
  1. Angel Beats! is also one of my favourite anime of all time. It’s not often that an anime (or movie, or book, etc.) makes me physically cry, let alone cry and roll around laughing in the same title. Angel Beats! managed that and them some. I’ve heard a lot of people complain that the series wasn’t long enough, and to some extent I agree – it would have been great to have been able to see the backstories of more of the characters, and that aside I just didn’t want the anime to end. Still, I think that’s one of the hallmarks of a truly great anime. Even if the ending is totally satisfying, it should always leave you wanting more.

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