On this episode of Bakacast, we channel our inner Guillermo del Toro and talk about how much we love that Blood Blockade remembered that it had a very good softboy fishperson lying around and decided to give him an episode. Also, I start to have serious concerns about Inuyashiki and Juni Taisen.
On this episode of Bakacast, we mock Fate/Apocrypha’s portrayal of Dracula, which may be one of the lamest in the history of vampire media. Meanwhile, Altair and Reflection continue to impress while Virgin Soul continues to hurt my soul. Oh yeah, and we talk about the upcoming fall shows for far too long.
Behold, the latest edition of Weekly Anime Review! Surprisingly, we’re actually managing to keep on a somewhat consistent schedule this time around. Now all we have to do is apply a bit of elbow grease, and you should have a new WAR post pop up in your RSS feed every Thursday evening! Hooray!
Since I reviewed two episodes of Madoka last week, there’s no recap for this week’s episode. Fear not, however, as it will return in the future. Any other show that’s absent has probably been dropped. For more detailed information on which shows we dropped and which we never bothered writing about in the first place (i.e. Rio Rainbow Gate), check out the last couple of episodes of Bakacast.
Spoilers lurk beyond the break, so tread carefully. And don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section!
The second week of the winter 2010 anime season has concluded, and Weekly Anime Review has been resurrected! We’re still hashing out which shows we’ll be watching, but for the time being the strongest contenders are Level E, Madoka Magica, Fractale and Star Driver. Both Dream Eater Merry and Gosick are on thin ice… if they don’t show substantial improvement by episode three, they’ll be dropped. For our more in-depth coverage of each anime’s premiere episode, please check out the First Impressions posts under the Weekly Anime Review tag.
Legend has it that spoilers lurk beyond the break, so tread lightly. If ye be brave enough, leave us a comment with your own thoughts on these anime. We really do enjoy your feedback!
I had no idea what to expect from Level E. To be honest, the only reason I checked it out was because of how bizarre the promo art looked. A naked, androgynous man floating in space with galaxies covering his private parts? Okay, you’ve got my attention. So I was completely unaware that it was originally a manga created in the late 90s by the same guy who did YuYu Hakusho. And I also didn’t know it was about an alien prince getting stranded on Earth and moving in with a high school freshman.
Which, of course, means I also didn’t know it would be hilarious.
Not only did Level E‘s content catch me off guard, but it also surprised me by being much more enjoyable than I dared hope. Click the jump if you want to know why, exactly, you owe it to yourself to watch this show.
Yamakan, NoitaminA, original story, etc. The buzz surrounding this has been pretty significant, and with good reason. If you’ve ever wondered what a full anime series made by Hayao Miyazaki would be like (and who hasn’t?), you’ll get a reasonably good idea after watching Fractale. However, even the grandmaster who created Princess Mononoke had a few duds like Castle in the Sky, and this series unfortunately leans a bit more towards the latter in terms of quality. Even so, it’s still quite enjoyable.
Clain is growing up in a world run by the Fractale supercomputer. It provides for everyone’s livelihood, regardless of whether they actually work or not, in exchange for “praying to the day star” a few times each day. It also allows everyone to interact with others through holographic avatars known as ‘doppels’ without leaving their homes. Unlike most people, Clain is quite fond of wandering around and one day he rescues a mysterious girl who is being pursued by a rocket zepplin.
My exposure to the work of Shinbo Akiyuki has been admittedly limited. I’m familiar with his comical work like Pani Poni Dash! and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, but have mostly glossed over his more serious stuff. Of his recent shows, I’ve only seen Dance In the Vampire Bund, which I have extremely mixed feelings about. Although I like Shinbo’s unique directorial style, I felt he went overboard in Bund, to the point that his surrealist camerawork and constant dramatic eye zooms actually disrupted the narrative. Because of that, I was a bit apprehensive going into Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Fortunately, it seems like Shinbo has learned his lesson, and is playing to his strengths while eschewing his vices. Thanks to awesomely avant-garde visuals, solid directing and a compelling story that establishes its characters flawlessly, Madoka may be the best new show of the winter season.
Pink-haired schoolgirl Madoka Kaname has been having strange dreams lately, featuring a mysterious magical girl fighting in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. She doesn’t let this dampen her spirits though, and lives a comfortable life with her stay-at-home dad, successful businesswoman mom and baby brother. However, her life is turned upside-down when the girl from her dreams, Homura Akemi, transfers into her school and gives her a cryptic warning to stay out of magical affairs. Upon hearing a psychic cry for help from the familiar Kyube, Madoka is drawn into a new world of witches and mysterious powers.
After the Iron Man debacle, I can’t say I was looking forward to Wolverine. After all, it was being made by the same studio (Madhouse) and had the same art style that Iron Man used. And to top it all off, the promo wasn’t exactly flattering in terms of animation quality. On the other hand, there were some things that gave me a little hope. Most importantly, the director was different. Also, near the end of Iron Man‘s run, Jon pointed out that it behaved like a brainless action movie. While that doesn’t work so well for a story that features Tony Stark, there are plenty of fun Wolverine stories that are stupid action plots. If Madhouse decided to go as crazy with Wolverine as they did with Highschool of the Dead, maybe it could actually work.
Unfortunately, the first episode was noticeably worse than Iron Man‘s (which was at least above average), and I have my doubts that it will get better from here.
Just one of the things Infinite Stratos copies from Love Hina.
I was a little skeptical of Infinite Stratos just from the short description on Cart Driver’s season chart. Mecha are neat and all, but the no-boys-allowed rule seemed like a flimsy attempt to force a harem situation. Plus, the description of the main character’s friend made her sound like a generic tsundere. On the other hand, the director (Yasuhito Kikuchi) also worked on Macross Frontier, a show which managed to take a pretty traditional love triangle and make it interesting (even if Sheryl is clearly better than Ranka). So, hey, it could be good, right?
Unfortunately no, it isn’t. At all. Virtually everything in this show is profoundly disappointing, and the only thing I liked barely got any screen time. I’ll break it all down for you after the jump.