Funimation licenses God, Planet

OK, Funimation didn’t quite license that much, but they went on yet another licensing spree today, picking up both Tower of Druaga shows, Dragonaut – The Resonance, and Blassreiter from GONZO and Bamboo Blade from D. Rights.

Now, personally, I’m not sure if any of these are actually good licenses except for Bamboo Blade.  Part of the reason is just because none of the three GONZO shows exactly lit fires under anyone as far as I could tell, but also because, at least in the case of Blassreiter and Druaga, they were previously released legally with english subs (or in the case of the second Druaga series, still being released).  I guess Funimation figures that people already download shows, so it’s no different than that, but we’ll see.

Of course, I’m still waiting on Shakugan no Shana II sooo….

Top 10 Anime Openings of 2008

Yesterday I presented my list of the top 10 EDs of 2008. Now it’s time for what I thought were the top 10 OPs of 2008. Once again, I’m judging these more on the music than the animation of the OP. Also, once again, they have to be songs that premiered in 2008.

#10 – Kaiba
“Never” by Seira Kagami

This is a pretty light song, but it’s still emotionally impactful by just listening to it. There were a lot of good OPs this year that could have slid into the #10 spot, but I felt that this was the best one to put there.

#9 – A Certain Magical Index
“PSI-missing” by Mami Kawada

This song is actually more mysterious and intense sounding than the actual series was (at least the first half of it) so I’m not sure how well this song actually went with the series, but I still like the song.

#8 – Soul Eater #2
“PAPERMOON” by Tommy heavenly6

This song is a nice pop/rock song with a nice, but dark, rhythm to it which just draws me to it.

#7 – Gundam 00 #2
“Ash Like Snow” by the brilliant green

I’ve never really been all that interested in the Gundam shows in general, but this song certainly has a nice beat and sound to it.

#6 – Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk
“Swinging” by Muramasa☆

This is an upbeat and rather goofy sounding opening, but it’s really catchy. Past the first episode, it was sadly probably the best part of the show.

#5 – Nabari no Ou
“Crawl” by VELTPUNCH

This opening seems kind of unusual to me. It’s kind of upbeat, but in a kookie sort of way. In any case, I like it.

#4 – True Tears
“Reflectia” by eufonius

If I were going by animation, this would probably be #1. Even so, it still has a very good and compelling song to go along with that animation.

#3 – Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Skies
“fly away” by THYME

The choice between #2 and #3 was pretty tough. This song is an excellent soft rock song and it’s easy to get into the rhythm of the song.

#2 – To Love-Ru
“forever we can make it!” by THYME

Yes, THYME gets both the #2 and #3 spots in the list. As much as I avoided this series like the plague, it does have a very catchy (even if NSFW) opening.

#1 – Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino
“Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi” by KOKIA

I think this was, for me, hands down the #1 opening song of 2008. It told you right there that the show was a drama and should be taken seriously (despite the animation flaws in the actual show). I can just sit and listen to this song for hours if I let myself.

Winter 2009 Blog/Watch List

It’s time that I actually decide what series I’m going to watch and blog for the upcoming season.

As I decided and noted earlier, the only series I’m going to blog is the second half of CLANNAD: After Story, to give me as light a workload as possible as I go into the final semester of getting my masters (yay!).

As for series that I’ll watch.  I’ll definitely continue to watch the two other series that are carrying over from the Fall 2008 season: Toradora and A Certain Magical Index, and with Soul Eater getting licensed, that gets dropped as a show I’m watching.

As a result, my target was to add 3 or 4 shows to my watch list this season.  In my season preview, I already said that I would watch Birdy the Mighty DECODE:02, Maria Holic, and Minami-ke Okaeri, so that gets three shows out of the way right off the bat.

Black God (aka Kurokami) probably would be added to this list, but Bandai licensed it and appears as like they won’t distribute it online, so I won’t even get an opportunity to watch it.  However, if they pull through on having it online, I probably will watch it.

That leaves me torn between the Munto TV, the second Druaga series, and White Album as series to watch.  However, in the end I think my decision will be this:

I’ll watch Munto, I’ll hold off on Druaga to see if I hear good things about it, and I’ll pass on White Album for now.

That makes my slate this season thus:

CLANNAD: After Story

A Certain Magical Index
Birdy the Mighty DECODE:02
Maria Holic
Minami-ke Okaeri

Kurokami (pending it being distributed online by Bandai)
Tower of DRUAGA -the Sword of URUK- (pending good word)

12 Moments of Anime Day 8 – Use the Druaga Beam!

Probably the best gimmick episode of 2008 – and perhaps one of the best ever – was the first episode of The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk.  Obviously this show was trying to grab attention right off the bat – as well as perhaps draw attention to Gonzo’s new found attempt to make their episodes available subbed online at air time.

Too bad the rest of the series wasn't this good

This episode was full of hilarity, making me “nearly [laugh] out loud from start to finish” as I wrote at the time.  This episode would definitely contend for a spot in one of the top 10 episodes of the year, I think.  Too bad the rest of the series couldn’t follow suit.  I guess that’s one problem with starting your series with such a great episode: it’s very hard for the rest of the series to live up to it.

In any case, making fun of fantasy anime and use of Druaga Beams earn Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk episode 1 a spot in the 12 Moments of Anime.

The 12 Moments of Anime project is the brainchild of CCY.

April 2008 Impressions

I used to (try) to do this quarterly (as in every 6 to 7 episodes), but it tended to not go too well since I was at various stages of watching different series, and so shows often were not on a quarter mark at the same time, resulting in my putting off, and in the end never actually doing, this. Thus, I shall do what everyone else does and do it monthly, so hopefully I’ll actually do it this time.

In any case, here are my thoughts on the whopping 7 anime series I’m watching this season. Subbed episodes watched in ():

First Tier

1. Nijuu Mensou no Musume (3)

A.k.a. The Daughter of Twenty Faces, a.k.a. Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief.

I like this show. I really like this show. I’m not exactly sure why, as the genre isn’t one I typically watch a lot, but there is just something about shows set in the mid-1900s (but with some fancy technology! who can say no to futuristic dirigibles?) about a mysterious thief and a girl who tags along with him just makes this an interesting show, and it’s being executed beautifully so far I think.

I still think it’s still largely in the pre-story, if you will, three episodes in, but I’ll be really interested to see how this series goes once Chiko actually starts getting into some action.

This probably wins out over Kurenai as the best show so far based on animation, as I think the animation in this show is a little cleaner.

2. Kurenai (4)

And speaking of Kurenai, it comes in 2nd so far this season, albeit a close one. Much like Nijuu Mensou, this is in a genre which I don’t typically watch. So far this has been interesting, and the interaction between Shinkuro and Murasaki is a highlight of the show, though there is still quite a lot which has been hinted at, but not revealed yet.

I think the main weakness of this show is it’s animation. This is kind of an odd topic as the animation is pretty good, but at times it just looks…weird to me.  I’ll probably get used to it eventually, though. Also, I think this series is on a little shakier ground in that I think it has a better chance of falling into something I don’t like, though it hasn’t shown much indication that it will yet.

Second Tier

3. Soul Eater (3)

This is a late pick up on my part based on how well received it appeared to be by other bloggers.  The best way I can describe this show is “kookie,”  but I mean that in a good way after 3 episodes.  The premise seems interesting enough, though the show itself has said that it’s just finished with the prologue, so we’ll see how good it is now that we’re into the real part of the show.  At least this show has been reasonably entertaining.

4. Maid Guy (3)

Maid Guy is in the 2nd tier, but just barely. I think I gave it the benefit of the doubt in that it wasn’t supposed to be much more than a comedy where Maid Guy torments the female lead, and it has definitely been that. The fact that I’ve found it more entertaining than the other series blow this also helps it out (though that doesn’t say much about those other shows).

Having said that, this series is still teetering on disaster and can still become a bore if it’s creators let it. Right now it’s doing fine, but it can definitely go either way at this point.

Third Tier

5. The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk (4)

After a hilarious first episode, this series settled down into what it intended to be: a fantasy, adventure series. That led to a hard landing after the 2nd episode, but I think it has since at least brought itself back to the point where it has a potential to be a good series. It’s not there yet, but it can be. Now that they’re actually in the tower and going around, I’ll have to see whether this series heads up or down itself.  It definitely looks like they’re trying to infuse some comedy into it here and there, but they just haven’t quite hit the mark yet.

6. Real Drive (2)

You know it’s a bad sign when you’ve watched two episodes and you don’t have much of an idea of what is going on.  It has great animation, though that can be a negative when you have a 70 year old man-service scene in the first episode.  Also, if you need to start creating definition cards at the end of the episode which are paragraphs long, perhaps you need to rethink how well you are explaining things in the show itself.  This series definitely has one of the more interesting premises this seasons, but it’s also off to one of the worst starts as well.

7. Special A (3)

I’m invoking the “Shakugan no Shana II rule” and putting my most disappointing series so far in the rear. After a promising first episode, this series has seriously gone downhill fast. I can see the jokes. I know they’re intended to funny. But they just aren’t. Also, who has heard of a school-based romance comedy with no school related activities, no significant romance, and very little actual comedy (at least that makes me laugh much)? That’s what I thought.

Second (Un)Impressions: The Tower of Druaga

Tower of Druaga -the Aegis of URUK-So the second episode of The Tower of Druaga is out and it’s basically what many people feared: the series dropped the humor from the first episode and it basically became a standard, pretty boring based-on-a-game anime show. Yeah, there were some attempts at humor, but none of it really made me laugh. There was a reason why I said if the rest of the series is like the first episode in my first impressions post, because if the second episode is any indication, the answer to that is no.

I still get the feeling that this is just people playing a WoW type game (and the OP aids with this feeling), with people forming into teams and all that, but if this is the case, we have yet to see the “real world” in the actual show. And if there is no “real world,” then I’m not sure why the OP is done the way it is *shrugs.*

In any case, I’ll probably check this out for at least one more episode to see if it gets better, but if not, well, I’m not sure. It’s pretty rare for me to drop a series, so I’ll probably end up finishing it anyway, but I might try boring a hole in my brain if I do if the rest of the series is like this episode. (hell, I bought 500 points on BOST so I could pay 100 points to watch it since BOST’s stream is so much better, so I just as well use them).

First Impressions: The Tower of DRUAGA -the Aegis of URUK-

Tower of Druaga -the Aegis of URUK-The first episode was about the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I was going in expecting some lame, boring fantasy/action series and what I got was an episode that had me nearly laughing out loud from start to finish.

I think it’ll still be hard to tell what this series is like from this episode alone, but from what I can tell, these are characters playing a MMORPG ala .hack, but this series is deciding to lampoon action/adventure/sci-fi shows in general. Not even Star Wars or Star Trek are saved! (I so knew the “I am your father” line was coming there, though…)

I’m definitely going to keep on watching this, at least for the time being.

My other fear going into this was that GONZO would somehow mess up the subs. While I don’t know Japanese, and thus can’t say whether things were actually translated correctly, the dubs were all done in good English and all that, so I can’t take any points off there.

If this series ends up being what this episode indicates, we may have already found our hidden gem for the spring season.

Edit: How is it possible to misspell the word “dubs” not only once, but twice AND in two different ways to boot?

Edit 2: Here is where you can watch it subbed:

Crunchyroll (bigger, better quality, but can be choppy)

You Tube (smaller, but less choppy)

BOST (apparently don’t have an account, so I haven’t been able to check this one out). Cost 100 points (approx. $2), unless you registered before April 2 and enter a code to get it for free. If you do buy it or have the code, I’d say this is easily the best quality of the three. You can get a season pass for 1000 points ($19.90)

Yet another Edit: Don’t believe BOST’s “Coming Soon” screen if you visit their site. Once you enter the promo code if you have it, or if you buy it using your BOST points, you can both view it and download it in “ipod” and “PSP” formats – whatever those constitute.

Spring 2008 Blogging Slate

So, it’s about time that I actually decide what Spring 2008 series I want to blog. My goal for the Spring 2007 season is to have 3 series – preferably 1 full season (24 – 26 episodes), 1 half-season (12 – 13 episodes), and one that can be either. Now, this is complicated by the fact that the length of many series isn’t even known, and even if we think we know it, it may be wrong (e.g. Shion from Fall 2007).

Factoring this in, the following is what I have selected as my Spring 2008 blogging slate:

Kamen no Maid Guy, Special-A, Nijuu Mensou no Musume, and Candy Boy

Kamen no Maid Guy

Starts Airing: April 5, 25:35
Station: AT-X
Episodes: Unknown
Director: Masayuki Sakoi (Princess Resurrection, Strawberry Panic!)

From My Anime List:

Fujiwara Naeka is a typical 17 year-old high school student. Or so we thought. She’s really one of two surviving heirs of a tycoon who has the right to inherit his mass fortune when she turns 18 in half a year. Fubuki, a young and beautiful maid, and Kogarashi, a big burly maid guy with a mask, have been assigned to keep Naeka and her brother Kousuke safe from those who would plot their demise, and to steal the fortune she would inherit.

Kamen no Maid Guy preview

Special A

Starts Airing: April 6, 25:30
Station: Chiba TV
Episodes: 24
Director: Yoshikazu Miyao (Gad Guard)

From ANN:

Hikari Hanazono, the main character, has always been second to Kei Takishima. While Hikari considers Kei a rival and somewhat of a friend, Kei loves Hikari. Everyone knows this, but she is too dense to notice. Their wrestling loving fathers first introduced them to one another when they were 6 years old. Assuming that she was the best in wrestling, young Hikari challenged Kei to a wrestling match only to be thoroughly defeated by him. Ever since that fateful incident, Hikari swore to beat Kei in school grades, a sporting event – anything. To do this she has enrolled in the same school as Kei since elementary. Now she attends Hakusenkan, an ultra elite school, that costs her carpenter father a lot of money. Hikari and Kei are the top two students in the school, with Kei holding firmly to that number one position

Special A preview

Nijuu Mensou no Musume

Starts Airing: April 12, 26:05
Station: Fuji TV
Episodes: 22
Director: Nobuo Tomizawa (Futakoi, Ramen Fighter Miki)

From My Anime List:

The story revolves a female thief named Chico, who is the spiritual successor to the Kaijin Nijū-Mensō (The Fiend with 20 Faces) thief character created by famed suspense and detective novelist Ranpo Edogawa.

Nijuu Mensou no Musume preview

Candy Boy

Starts Airing: May 2, N/A
Station: Online (Niconico Anime Channel)
Episodes: 7
Director: Takafumi Hoshikawa (Happy Lesson)

From My Anime List:

Twin sisters, Yukino and Kanade Sakurai, room together in the dorms at their high school, enjoying school life with their friends and one another. One day, Sakuya Kamiyama, an underclassman, seeks out Yukino, while Kanade learns from a friend that Sakuya has admired Yukino for a very long time. This innocent revelation sets into motion a chain of events that eventually lead to Yukino expressing her feelings for her sister.

Candy Boy preview

Three notes here:

First, no, I don’t have any series which is a confirmed half-series, partly because I’m not confident that any of the shows that I might want to blog would be half-seasons, so I just picked the one I most wanted to blog.

Second, yes, I have four series, not three. The reason for that is that Candy Boy is only 7 episodes long, and starts after my summer break for my masters classes starts, meaning that I’m in the clear as far as school is concerned by then.

Third, these are dependent on being available on torrent subtitled (which can be an adventure sometimes. See: Gunslinger Girl 2) and not licensed.

As for other shows that I’ll probably end up watching (but not blogging) in this season, I’ll probably watch Real Drive, The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of URUK if for no other reason than to try out GONZO’s new anime distribution experiment, Kure-nai, and maybe Allison and Lillia, plus any other series that sound like they have potential based on what other people write about.

Spring 2008 Anime Preview

It’s that time again: It’s time to look at what anime is airing in the Spring 2008 season. Shows are listed in alphabetical order.

There are 7 possible levels of ratings that I’ll give a show:

  • Will definitely blog it
  • May blog it
  • Will definitely watch it
  • May watch it
  • May watch it if I hear good things about it
  • Probably Won’t Watch it
  • Won’t watch it

As usual, I’m leaving out sequels to series that I haven’t seen yet (which I think is all of them this season), as well as anything that seems to obviously be a children’s show. As usual, thanks to the Fansub Wiki for keeping a great list of upcoming shows.

When you’re finished reading this, feel free to go over and take my poll asking which series you’d like to see blogged.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…here we go!

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