What is that?
It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?

Thursday, May 26


Mid-Season Review

I only get to watch anime at two times: When everything is going smoothly at work and all is well with the world and I have peace and quiet in the evening, and when everything is a multilayered blancmange of disasters and I'm up all night rebuilding servers and need something to keep me company.

That said, where are we at with the Spring season?  I rated it a big fat meh when the previews came out, but I've changed my tune since then.

Must See

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

Whenever I want to talk about the show I have to go find a previous post and cut and paste the name.  Other than that, it's awesome.  I haven't talked about it much because I want people to experience that for themselves.


A Channel

It's a straight-up moe show, cute girls being cute, with no particular gimmick.  And it pulls it off very nicely; the girls are individually and as a group, utterly charming.


Worth Watching

Hanasaku Iroha

It's a 2-cour (24-26 episode) series, so it's taking longer to get going and hasn't grabbed my attention fully as yet, but it shows great promise.


The World God Only Knows II

Okay, it's a continuation of the previous season - though not a sequel, because the first season only covered the early chapters of the manga.  And, like the first season, it's fun and has some great comedic moments.


Fascinating Train Wrecks

C - The Miscibility and Solubility of Colloidal Precipitates

While this show is generally well done, it's the sort of thing where the quality of the show as a whole depends utterly on the denouement.  This show will only be as good as its ending, and I predict that the ending will be absolutely terrible.  (Based on the fact that the story so far makes not the slightest shred of sense.)


Ao no Exorcist

This suffers similar flaws to C, except where C has excellent storytelling but a nonsensical story, Ao no Exorcist has a serviceable story but nonsensical storytelling; it cannot decide what sort of story it wants to be.


Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi

It's cliche-blend-o-matic time, and nothing is new under the Sun.  But it's at least nice to look at.


Astarotte no Omocha

Much much better than its original premise would suggest, but it would pretty much have to be.  It's actually the story of two young girls growing up away from their mothers -

Uh-oh.  I thought I heard something moving around the other day.  There it goes, into the pantry.  Let's see, if I board up the entry to the kitchen, and chase it out of the pantry into this cleverly-placed box, it will - yes, it will escape into the laundry.  Guess someone's going to be buying some mousetraps tomorrow.

Anyway, Astarotte no Omocha:

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Wednesday, May 25


Astarotte No Omocha

Surprisingly, it doesn't suck.

Oh, I'm going to hell now...

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Sunday, May 22


The World God Only Knows II

Yes, it's more of the same, but just like the first helping, it has its moments.

This scene cracked me up:


Or this:


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Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi

Utterly vapid.  Nice scenery, though.

Some of the background art ain't bad either.  (Boom-tish.)

Four points for the landscapes, minus three for being boring and stupid, plus one point for the railcar at the beginning, minus half a point for that disaster of a closing theme.

For a rainy Sunday only.  And (checks outside) light cloud only at the moment, so what the heck am I doing?

Update: Based on episode two, plus another half a point for ongoing gorgeous scenery.


This show may be dumb as a rock, but it's sure nice to look at.



I couldn't do a full-length figure because she's moving during the camera pan, but this part works well enough.

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Railcars In Anime News Flash

Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi


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C - The Monsoon Of Controversial Possums

There's a line between well-constructed mystery and stupid crap, and I'm not at all convinced that C is on the right side of it.

Also, whoever directed the currency animation sequence in the opening credits: Read a history book, asshole.

One and a half delicious banknotes out of four, subject to later revision upwards...  Or downwards.

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Wednesday, May 18


Hidan No Aria



Though it does have a monorail (That Imouto Show, Midori no Hibi) so it's not all bad.

With Ao no Exorcist, I get the feeling that the director is talented, but not as a director.  As an episode director or animation director, with someone else overseeing the project, he's probably quite good.

With Hidan no Aria, I get the impression that the director's talents lie with directing.... But he's either no good at it or has stopped caring.  Since it's (google google...) Takashi Watanabe, who previously directed all of Slayers and Shakugan no Shana and a bunch of other stuff (Lost Universe, Ikki Tousen, Stellar Buster Mito), he's clearly capable of much better work.

Very disappointing.

One twintailed tsundere out of four.

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Ao No Exorcist

Wow, this is a train wreck.  It has plenty of good elements - well-defined characters, strong action and dramatic scenes - but as a whole it teeters on the brink of complete incoherence.

Directed by Tensai Okamura (Darker than Black, which did not impress either) from a manga (apparently a debut work) by Kazue Kato.  I'd like to check out the manga to see where things went wrong.

Two coal tar sprite thingies out of four.

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Thursday, May 12


Ranting Aside

When and how did the weakest anime season in recent years turn into one of the best?

Whatever; please keeping doing this!

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Wednesday, May 11


Railcars In Anime Update

The girls in A Channel are riding the Enoshima Electric Railway:


This may be the spot where Run starts chanting Umi!  Umi!


And this (Koshigoe Station in Kamakura) could be where they find themselves in the middle of the road:


The first one is an obvious perfect match that I just stumbled upon based on this post on AnimeSuki; the latter two are guesswork from what I can find on the net.  All three pictures care of Wikimedia Commons.

Update: Um, a few posts further down someone did my detective work for me.  Oh well. smile

Update 2: Ah, now I realise they're starting from the Kamakura end of the line, so I don't know if that sequence of photos makes sense.  But it's definitely the same train at the same station.

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