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Retroactive Posts: Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? March 2013

May 8, 2013

(Originally posted on March 24th, 2013)

(This article will be spoiler free.)

こんにちは。 March has been a month of diving into the Japanese language and attempting to learn how to not only understand it, but read, write, and maybe even speak it as well. It’s a slow process, as I’m not the sort who can pick things like language up quickly, but I can sort of see the road on the other side of the brush, even if there’s… a whole lot of brush in the way. So far I can read Hiragana (with Katakana coming along at a brisk pace), but I only know a few select Kanji… so those are going to take some serious time to learn and memorize. Then there’s simply vocabulary and particles (those pesky particles…) The learning process has been exciting though. Every day I learn yet another new facet of the language that makes it even more interesting to continue studying.
It’s also been a month full of Anime, League of Legends, and Starcraft 2! Enough jabberin’ though. Here’s what I’ve been watching:

 

482997Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi:
 Ookami Ryouko is a fierce, lonesome type typically choosing to avoid the companionship of others, save for her friend Ringo, who has the looks of an innocent Red Riding Hood, but a personality that is anything but. The two of them, as well as the scopophobic Ryoushi, are members of a special school club known as Otogi Bank. While it isn’t much of a bank… the Otogi Bank is where students go when they need favors; and the only payment is that they must repay the favor in return.
Ookami-san is a light-hearted comedy, with each episode’s plot being loosely based off of popular fairy tales (such as Cinderella or The Three Little Pigs).

What I thought: Good
It might not have been the most heartfelt narrative or the most thought-provoking one, but what Ookami-san lacks in depth, it makes up for with character and charm. The story gives the protagonists plenty opportunity to get into fun hijinks, and the narrator is right there with you, poking fun at the plot and sharing in the laughs.
This isn’t to say it’s 110% comedy 110% of the time; there are slower, more sincere moments to be found here as well, but they’re all the more effective when they’re book-ended by a few laughs, and played out by a cast of likable characters.
It probably won’t change your life, but Ookami-san is still well worth the time, especially if you like Anime that doesn’t take itself all too seriously.

 

34907Strike Witches The Movie:
 “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.” Taking place after the events of the second season of the show, Miyafuji is given the opportunity to study abroad in Europe and to study to become a doctor in medicine. She is put under the care of Hattori Shizuka, a Sergeant and big fan of Miyafuji’s exploits as a Witch. Her purpose is to see to it that Miyafuji reaches her destination, even with a dangerous new form of Neuroi looming somewhere on the horizon.

What I thought: Great
Strike Witches The Movie isn’t going to win you over if you didn’t like the show, and if you didn’t like the show, you probably shouldn’t watch the movie anyway, since it takes place after the 2nd season and all. But if you did like the show, you most definitely should try to see the movie, since it’s able to produce a much larger sense of scale than the show manages to pull off. You’re taken from one part of the globe to another, checking in with your favorite characters of the 501st as well as (what I’m assuming are) Witches only seen in the manga, and watching them do battle with Neuroi in excellently animated aerial battles. The sense of speed and scale is just fantastic.
The way the plot skips back and forth across the globe makes it a little more difficult to tell a deep story, but what it manages to do is plenty to keep you invested, and there are numerous memorable moments in there for good effect.
SW:The Movie is excellently done. If you’re a fan of the series, check it out!

 

chobits3Chobits:
 Chobits tells the story of Motosuwa Hideki, a rural-going guy who flunked out of his college acceptance exam and moves to the city to attend cram-school. He finds the city practically overrun with Persocoms; which are humanoid robots designed to perform everyday tasks. A short time after he arrives, he finds a Persocom discarded in a pile of trash, and quickly scampers to take it home.
What follows is Hideki teaching the Persocom how the world around them works, and the realization that she may be more than she appears to be.

What I thought: Great
I came away from Chobits feeling oddly nostalgic. It looks and sounds like the early 2000’s, and I found that quite alluring. The story itself takes a little while to get up and running, but once it does, there’s plenty of room for emotional investment, and there are some ideas expressed in there that make you want to sit and think.
The culmination may or may not be what you were looking for, but the journey of Chobits is one to have, especially if you were young in the early 00’s, when things like the internet seemed foreign and exciting.

 

230px-11eyes_original_visual_novel_cover11 Eyes:
When he was younger, Satsuki Kakeru’s sister took her own life, but through the companionship of his childhood friend Minase Yuka, he was able to continue onward with his life.
Then, one day, a black moon appears in the sky, and the two of them are shortly thereafter transported to another world, which is a mirror to their own, but one where the sky runs red, and the streets are vacant (well… for the most part).
In this world, dubbed as the “Red Night”, monsters roam the streets, and a small band of warriors seek out Kakeru, Yuka, and the other protagonists with their minds set on killing them.

What I thought: Terrible. Skip this one.
Where to even start… Well… The animation is fine and the art is generally fine as well, but everything else is teeth-grindingly bad. The plot unfolds at a snails pace; which would be fine in an anime with likable characters, but 11 Eyes does not have them, and the plot they’re placed in is so devoid of cohesion or inspiration, that it was an arduous task to simply sit and watch. It’s the rare sort of terrible which practically defies explanation.
I would best describe this anime as something a teen only just hitting puberty might write,especially after my somehow managing to sit through the 13th (and final) episode. The premise may have had potential, but nothing intelligent is ever done with it, and the story concludes with one of the dumbest endings I’ve ever seen, which is then followed by maybe the biggest waste of 22 minutes a guy could ask for.
Truly awful characters. Completely needless fan-service. A plot that doesn’t try to do anything all too interesting or memorable (I could’ve stopped at “A plot that doesn’t try”)… I honestly have no idea what purpose 11 Eyes was supposed to serve, or who this Anime is for, but I’m certain I never want to meet those people.
(What do you know… There ARE anime that I don’t like. Thanks, 11 Eyes, for being an astute reminder of this fact.)

 

20680Zero no Tsukaima:
 Magic student Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere (-exhales-) is infamous among her peers at having a zero success rate with her magic; which has earned her the nickname “Louise the Zero”.
When the day comes in which she’s expected to summon her life-long familiar to aid her, instead of summoning a dragon or fire-breathing lizard, she instead only manages to produce a human named Saito…
What follows is a series of light-hearted antics, with Louise going to lengths to punish her new familiar for anything he manages to do wrong, all the while a regional conflict is stirring in the background.

What I thought: Good
Much like Ookami-san, Zero no Tsukaima wasn’t the most impactful thing I’ve stumbled across, but it was still time well spent, as the plot, while pretty predictable at times, is done well, and the characters are all likable (with some having to grow into this by the end..). The art style is nice, and the animation is as well. I don’t… really know what else to say about it, to be honest. There are multiple seasons, and I’m sure I’ll be checking into those in the future.
If you have some time to kill, or just want to watch a pretty standard little fantasy comedy, Zero no Tsukaima is a good fit.

 

(But wait… where’s Elfen Lied? Didn’t you say that it was going to be after Angel Beats!?)

To put it simply: It’s far too violent. I watched the first episode, and that’s all I could manage. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t really end there. I’m not opposed to violence necessarily. In the right places, and in the right quantity or severity, it can be effective; but I don’t find any sort of joy in seeing excessive blood or gore, regardless of whether it’s found in a movie or an animation. Another (which I’ve mentioned in one of these before) was basically as violent as an Anime needs to be to be effective.
Elfen Lied’s opening theme is a stirring piece of music, but that’s the only spec of interest I had in the series coming out of that first episode. Maybe I’ll return to it later on down the road when there aren’t so many series that I have a higher chance of enjoying waiting in the wings, but until then, Elfen Lied isn’t something I want to spend my time watching.

That’s all she wrote for March though. Jan/Feb had some truly awe-inspiring stuff in them, and while March didn’t really provide any heartwrenchers, I don’t regret the journey! (Well.. except for 11 Eyes. Good lord.)
It will not have finished by the end of the month, but the 2nd season of Oreimo begins at some point next month, so I’m pretty excited to see that. The first was pretty much fantastic… Aside from that, my list of contenders are Toradora, Durarara!, hopefully the 2nd season of Seitokai no Ichizon, more Zero no Tsukaima and who knows what else. Maybe we’ll get a Bioshock Infinite or Heart of the Swarm article in here and maybe we won’t. Either way, またね!
Do those stories justice! Don’t risk reading plot synopses on Wikipedia!

From → Anime

3 Comments
  1. Good decision to skip Elfen Lied if you’re not into excessive violence (and it is indeed excessive). Episode 1 is basically just a taster of what’s to come – and in any case, I don’t actually think Elfed Lied is all that good. It has some interesting ideas but in the end fails to really go places with them. Essentially, it’s a harem anime only with blood and gore in place of comedy.

  2. Kyo permalink

    I really have to agree with you over 11 Eyes. When I first started it, I thought it would be a great anime to enjoy that’s in my genre. But it was a real let down and time waster. The plot just drags along the viewer while they try and figure out just what is really going on and, by the time you figure it out-they just totally ruin it for you with the very unnecessary fan-service. If they expanded and explained the plot more-and removed the obviously overstated fan-service-then it might have been somewhat good. But I’d never recommend it to anyone.

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