Thursday, June 21, 2007

I am soooooo late.

I'm usually early for my season previews... sorry about that. Well, it's June 21, better late than never? And besides, some of my readers only keep up with my blog and don't know what's coming out. (Which should be enough incentive for me to stop being lazy.

Begin... now!

School Days

Otherwise known as that one H-game with the yandere and the saw. Main character guy's female friend tries to set him up with a girl that doesn't know he exists. Of course, she likes him too. This game has about a million endings, some of which are very messed up... wonder if they're going to pull a Higurashi and do them all?

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Ever wanted to get inside the head of Osaka from Azumanga Daioh? This is the next best thing. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei revolves around spins on a word or phrase that end up being very slightly related. Based on the manga dubbed "The Least Translatable Manga Ever", which means this probably won't get subbed.

Nanatsuiro Drops

It's so in Japanese. In the town closest to the stars, a quiet, nervous boy must find a magical girl who can collect the "Drops of the Stars" to undo a curse upon him. Magical girls and renai game romance? I'm in! As long as it doesn't suck like Happiness! did.

Sky Girls

Wasn't that OVA supposed to be terrible? Now they're making a show about it?


The pictures look cool. Twenty years in the future, a girl with the uncontrollable power to stop electronics from working is so afraid of herself that she takes notes on her power. She meets up with a scientist, a miko and a mysterious girl that work together to study her. But someone else is after her, too... This sounds interesting. Might watch.

Zero no Tsukaima: Futatsuki no Kishi

Why did everyone like Zero no Tsukaima, anyway? Is there some hidden depth I'm missing?

Doujin Work

Based on a 4koma. A girl is sucked into the world of doujinshi and meets a bunch of fun people. A lot of people have been comparing this to Comic Party based on premise, but I don't know. It looks a lot more fun. I didn't really like Comic Party...

Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan 2

Murder mayhem and resurrection rebounds. And alliteration... um... allegory? No, that doesn't work.

Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho

Ugly art and fanservice galore. Transfer student guy tries to join the swim club to make friends, but they're all weird. Then in comes transfer student girl, who's even weirder. Guy likes her because she reminds him of a mermaid he saw once. Other guys like her because she likes to swim in the nude.


Based on a light novel series. Told you there were going to be more. Anyway, in this one, there's a guy with a gun. And giant killer bugs. Yay? Or not yay? Not yay. Basic shounen stuff, if you're into that.


Guy dies. Guy decides that he does not want to be dead and that this is Not Good. He makes a deal to be alive again, but it's not so much alive as undead, hence the name "Zombie-Loan". He holds up his end of the deal by killing bad zombies that go around doing zombie things. Personally, I liked Hung's summary better.

Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho Tou Dai Ni Maku

Didn't watch the first season.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai

I read spoilers so I wouldn't have to watch it; season one gave me nightmares. For those interested, we learn what the government's got to do with it, what Oyashiro-sama is, and what on earth is going on with Rika.


1930s America is an automatic ping no matter what the show's about. Nuns with guns and alchemic battles don't interest me, though.


Competing with Higurashi and Dokuro-chan for the blood-spiller title, but unlike the mysterious Higurashi and the comedic Dokuro-chan, Shigurui is an epic about samurai. A fighting tournament is held, and for the first time, the contestants are allowed to use real weapons. A blind guy and a one-armed guy that trained under the same master both want to become the champion.

Buzzer Beater

Apparently this is a remake, but I had no idea what it was. Based on a webmanga that was later published professionally, Buzzer Beater is about a basketball team, as the name would imply. Sports anime's not my thing.


This has generated a lot of publicity. It's comedic educational TV that teaches otaku how to speak English. The phrases taught? Common moe catch phrases and random things that no one will ever need to use. Personally, I think it sounds amusing. I wonder if anyone will sub this and bring it full circle.


I cannot find anything about this without bringing up a million search results for the movie Mononoke-hime.

Tetsuko no Tabi

Based on a very old manga, and therefore with very unique art (that is, half of you will find it ugly). It's about a man that is obsessed with trains, a publisher that accompanies him on a train road trip and the flustered mangaka they drag along, as well as the many things they find on their journey. Looks interesting and calming. Might watch, might not.


Based on a 4koma, and apparently fantastic comedy. The art is nothing short of amusing.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

AIR TV site up!

ADV Films has posted the English site for AIR TV. For your reference, here it is. There's the usual fare, such as character profiles, a trailer (non-voiced) and a cast list. And since it's my job, I'll check it out.

Front Page

It takes a while to load the trailer, so while I was waiting, I checked out the layout. Very pretty, although the cut under Misuzu does look a little odd. The sky and 3 girls look great. The big ADV logo would ruin it, if not for the fact that you can only see it when you scroll down. On top is the AIR logo, which appears as it does in the OP, fading in and out. The only thing is, if you're on there too long, it loads faster and faster until eventually, it's going way too fast and becomes a distraction.

The trailer is pretty. It's set to the karaoke version of Tori no Uta and, like all ADV's trailers, features clips from the OP and episodes. If alarm bells are going off in your head, don't worry. ADV has far improved from their hideous, thrown-together trailers of a couple years ago. (Did anyone see the one for Angelic Layer? Terrible.) It's interspersed with various pieces of AIR-related philosophy like "We don't know which path to take" and "Breathe Deep." Pretty good.

The one thing they didn't need: "From the creators of The Melancholy of Hurai (sic) Suzumiya!". First of all, Kyoani created neither Haruhi nor AIR. Both are adaptations. Second of all, what's with "Hurai Suzumiya"? Did they not want to get sued? I'm getting flashbacks to last year's hentai game about Asamiya Haruka and her UFO-dan.


"The Girl in the Sky" is capitalized. I guess that's because it's important, but I feel off about it. Maybe because the fansubs didn't capitalize it. And why is Kano important, but not Minagi? Not that I'm complaining. Kano's my favourite AIR girl. I roleplay her over at LJ. Either way, besides leaving Minagi out, the promo fits the tone of the series very well. Pass.


Nothing to see here. It's just the one from the first page. I assume there'll be a voiced one later.


This loads oddly. Look at the buttons. We've got screenshots (which includes the shot of the Kanon girls. A hint for the next license?), character profiles, icons, wallpapers, and the like. I wonder at "BitTorrent (coming soon)". What would they put there?

There's an English cast list and interview. Personally, I think Haruko is the only one that's almost certainly well cast. Monica Rial as Misuzu and Vic Mignogna as Yukito are a bit iffy, but I'll give them a chance. There's an interview with Vic, and he seems to be very excited about the role, in any case.


Two short snippets from Newtype and Newtype USA, respectively. The ADV-owned Newtype USA. Honestly, since AIR is so well-loved, can't they collect more reviews?


This just takes the top menu off. Understandable, since the DVDs aren't out yet.

Well, that's it. Overall, a nice site, and they seem to really be excited, but there are some things off. But come on, it's AIR! I'm excited too.

The Key 3, sponsored in part by Suzumiya Haruhi Hurai.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Worst Sequels Ever...

Now, I know we're all looking forward to Higurashi Kai. It promises better animation, better explanations, and of course, more keeping you up for five days straight sleeping with a bat. But as with everything, there's also a chance to be let down. What to do? Well, I've got just the thing for you! Here I'll remind everyone of the nine worst anime sequel series I can think of. That way, when July comes around and your eager awaiting of lolis killing each other pays off, you'll be happy -- because at least it won't be any of these.

9)Triangle Heart 3 ~Sweet Songs Forever~ OVA

Blasphemy, you say? Maybe. And I admit, I actually liked this one, which is why it's lowest on the list. There is a bad thing, though. This OVA was made for fans of the games and only fans of the games. That would, too, be fine, but it was released concurrently with Toraha spinoff Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, a title with which you are no doubt familiar. Seven Arcs didn't count for Nanoha's explosive popularity, especially with those out of Japan or who can otherwise not get their hands on the games, and the lack of information on them outside of Japan leaves many people confused and believing more irregularities than the average Raging Lunatic.

For causing Nanoha fans to believe that Kuon is a prototype of Fate that turns into Yuuno, not to mention no focus on winning girl Shinobu, Triangle Heart 3 ~Sweet Songs Forever~ OVA gets number nine on the list.

8) Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS

I might be unfair in assessing this. After all, it came right after S, which was nothing short of amazing at the time. But this is another instance of Toei's poor judgment (remember the forged ratings chart?). We've just had a great season with more mature themes and lots of publicity, so what do we do? Take out all the new characters and focus on the younger side of the audience, throwing in more little girls and giving the starring role to the pink fluffy kid. I like Chibiusa as much as the next person, but after usurping the series, it was no wonder they shuffled her out of the way next season. It's like what's happening to Sesame Street, according to some kids'-show fan friends. In a grab for the youngest demographic, who liked them well enough before, they focus exclusively on the character meant to represent said little kids and alienate everybody else. Redeeming qualities? The Amazones Quartet were cute.

For following up a powerhouse with a ratings grab for five-year-olds and shutting out everyone else, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS is struck with number eight.

7)Digimon Adventure 02

I'm going to get shot here. I admit that this season took a great villain and turned him into a greater hero, and faced everybody up with their inner fears in a good pre-finale. But everything else suffered in turn. The new characters weren't as interesting, and the old cast, with about two exceptions, was turned into a pile of cardboard cutouts. Ignoring the previous seasons' lessons of independence, Sora and Jou suddenly and inexplicably turned into their parents, which they had spent their elementary school lives resisting, and us cheering for them. The ending was a complete mess that came out of nowhere. And as for Archnemon and Mummymon, the control towers, Black WarGreymon, the Four Gods, the video game tie-ins, the scrapped plotline with Hikari being stalked by a giant sea monster, and the creepy small children with plants growing out of their heads... what was that?

For discarding plotlines halfway through, not explaining much and warping the characters we came to know and love in Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 attains seventh place.

6) Yes! Precure 5

I actually kind of like this one, too. (I'm fandubbing it!) But honestly, taking into consideration the other Precure series, it's a disgrace. There's not much but pile upon pile of cliches, whether it's character types, powerups, or storylines. Sometimes the combination works, but sometimes it doesn't. And, of course, Akimoto Komachi is completely ripped off Midorikawa Retasu. The series also loses points for being part of Toei's now-infamous ratings chart forgery.

For taking the Precure name and reducing it to average, as well as lying to gain popularity, Yes! Precure 5 becomes 6.

5) Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure

And let me clarify that this only applies to the anime. The Pichi Pichi Pitch manga handled this arc beautifully, if quickly, and maturely. The anime, however, somehow forgot to tell a story in between seasons. Much of the series was filler, mountainous, pointless, and bad. They dragged out Kaito's amnesia too long and rushed the ending, cutting out part and making it confusing. They rarely foreshadowed or did anything interesting, and the crime committed to the secondary characters was tragic (they could have at least used all that filler to develop their characters!). The animation cut too many corners, with formerly adorable loli Seira looking like one of those starving children from foreign countries with tiny limbs and humongous heads. And did I mention the filler? Bowling for chibis, running over to Antarctica for errands and turning into old women. Even the beautiful music and good voice acting on the part of Lanhua and the returning cast couldn't save this.

For bad animation, bad storytelling and bad pacing, Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure reaches number five.

4) .hack//tasogare no udewa densetsu

Another anime-only entry. The manga was an interesting and emotional conclusion to the story of the first The World. The anime, however, went one further than that of Pichi Pichi Pitch: after a first episode that made a few suspicious changes, it threw out the story completely. Becoming a goofy ripoff of //SIGN without the emotion, it exaggerated all the characters, went in circles, and just didn't do anything interesting. Oh, and the character changes. (Hotaru a crossdresser? Shugo and Rena living apart? Okay...) This piece of garbage is still one of the very few members of the franchise to be kicked out of the canon.

For taking altogether too many liberties with its manga counterpart and betraying its powerful predecessor with unoriginality, dumb gags and rampant siscon, .hack//tasogare no udewa densetsu is attached to number four.

3) Galaxy Angel Rune

Did nobody get the memo? The Galaxy Angel anime is supposed to be a parody of adaptation decay, with a purposeful lack of continuity, dearth of gags, ignorance of the games and character exaggeration. Instead, Galaxy Angel Rune became a straight usage of all that its predecessor mocked. Casting a bad light on the Galaxy Angel II games, it reused other series' jokes to little effect, threw in too much fanservice and dragged on when it was supposed to be funny. The highlight of the series was the return of the Moon Angels, which makes sense, but it's sad -- those of us that know the series know that the Rune Angels can be funny and endearing. Here, they just weren't.

As Hinano said, Galaxy Angel Rune is an insult to the original Galaxy Angel. This gets number three.

2) Kanon Itsumo

Yes, I'm putting it on here. For those not in the know, "Kanon Itsumo" was a hoax perpetuated by an attention-seeking fandubber. By the time it was proved to be false to her unsuspecting public, it had revived Makoto, spawned three games and an anime, and added about five Mary Sues. Its saving grace from the number one spot is only that it wasn't real.

A fake sequel made by a girl that also claimed to have three pools, a professional acting career, enough Air Miles to travel the world and have met Johnny Depp, the Kanon Itsumo hoax gets her attention all right -- as number two of the worst anime sequels of all time.

Here it comes.

The number one spot.

Tokyo Mew Mew a la mode

Yep, it's only a manga. But it's terrible enough to earn spot number one on my list. After Yoshida Reiko left the Tokyo Mew Mew project, illustrator Ikumi Mia decided to do a sequel without knowing the first thing about writing. The result shoved the original cast into the background and brought in the very definition of a Mary Sue. The resulting story of the irritatingly perfect Shirayuki Berii read like a bad fanfic: doubly powerful and everyone's instant best friend, she and she alone was targeted by the new bad guys (who were a clumsy but commendable allegory on racism, but couldn't beat the original KPT) and saved the day all by herself. What about Ichigo, you ask? Well, she was depowered for no reason and only served as Berii's living weapon powerup. I am not exaggerating.

For letting down waiting fans with a story out of, a new main character that defines annoying to anyone, and an overall lack of research and a climax that came out of nowhere, Tokyo Mew Mew a la mode is the ultimate bad sequel.

Disagree? Tell me! Who would you put here, and why?

The ultimate Mary Sue.