AniFriday Issue #9 (January 17th, 2014)
Hey guys! AniFriday is in full effect this week! I was actually able to hammer out a lot of diverse anime selections, though it may be a month or so before I’m able to narrow down what I’m keeping and dumping from this huge list. All I can really say about that is that I picked up new shows, even though I said I wasn’t gonna do that.
Here are the anime and manga I’ll be covering in order:
- Tokyo Ravens ep13
- Sakura Trick ep1
- Super Sonico ep1
- Nourin ep1
- Pupa ep1
- Chu2koi ep6
- Yamato 2199 ep3
- Wizard Barristers ep1
- Naruto ch661
- Bleach ch564
- One Piece ch734
- Team Medical Dragon chapters 92 – 94
- Teppu ch2
That’s enough of a break for this series. It’s clear in the beginning that things are ramping back up again. But there’s still the matter of Harutora and Natsume’s relationship, too. I swear, this had better end up being important to the plot. The signs are painfully clear. And I have no intension of sitting through a messy, wishy~washy relationship like the one in InuYasha. At this point it’s just a badpiece of romantic drama that only takes up screen time and forces Touji to sigh constantly. Please don’t linger on this.
Going back to the larger plot, it seems that the whole world is just as obsessed about the Raven Coat as Harutora and Natsume are about each other. With Doman making his move (for what seems like pure “sh*ts and giggles”), the Magical Investigation Bureau and most of the Twelve Generals have been put on high alert thanks to his blatant announcement of a gambit. This is something I can’t complain about. It’s nice to see all the big wigs and heavy hitters gather. It’s a nice acceptable tease for the display of power that is sure to come. It’s also nice to see that poor little Tenma is going to get addition attention (and problems) in the future, too. We learn in this episode that he has a rather sad past, that in a way haunts him even now.
It seems his family is a very old family of shaman, and that his parents were geniuses that made it possible for all people to use very basic familiars. It’s do to these advances that the world of Tokyo Ravens is the way it is today. I find that a fascinating development. It’s almost like having parents who invented the internet, cars or light bulbs in our universe. And it’s because of all this prestige and history that Tenma feels like he has the world weighing down on him, while he’s simultaneously a disappointment to it. I’m sure the little guy will get it together, and I’m looking forward to seeing that. I’d say the scenes revolving around him were my favorite in this episode.
The episode ends on a exciting note, as Doman has finally made his move with an army of armored demon spiders on the attack. Surely though it’s all a diversion. The old man’s too clever to rely on brute force to get what he wants.
Note: I still can’t quite figure out what that mysterious girl Suzu’s point in all of this is. I do remember Doman talking to that guy with the missing arm about him having a wayward familiar. And I do remember there being talk of how you’d have to be a very powerful and skillful shaman to make it indistiguishable from a person. Could Suzu be Doman’s familiar? Or am I thinking too hard about this?
Where to start with this unique little series?
Haruka and Yuu are friends going back to their middle school days. They’re now entering a new high school together and… and… well, I really wasn’t paying too much attention to the stuff about their past or their current situation too much. Let’s just say that they’re in a new school now, of course an all-girl school, and there will be hijinks, shenanigans and lots of physical displays of affection. And you can bet that along the way, their new friends will join in on the action – the comedic action.
I’m not exactly sure what to make of this little yuri show. On one hand, it’s bright, vibrant and cute. It gives me lots of girl on girl kissing, which is extra cool, but it also seems to be missing something. It’s not terribly funny, either.
It’s strange for me to say this, but I need more from my yuri anime than really good kiss scenes and cute faces. I can’t even believe I’m typing this stuff myself! I should be ecstatic that the girls all have somewhat distinct personalities and are pretty much already paired up. I should love that their character designs are cute and sexy at the same time. I should love that I got like FIVE good yuri kisses in an anime, when at best I get one in an entire year! It just shows that I’m holding this show to some imaginary standard that I won’t admit to yet. It certainly does make me miss Love Lab though. While I started watching that show with the mistaken belief that it would be a yuri comedy, the actual comedy and characters made me not care in the long run. Right here, I find myself immediately wishing for that same sort of chemistry and atmosphere here.
Maybe I should just let go of these pretenses of quality and just look at this show like I look at summer action flicks. Maybe I just need to drop my standards and enjoy the spectacle. It would be nice if I could do that, or the show could show me that it’s a little bit deeper, but I’m not holding my breath on that.
That was just plain boring.
I don’t really know anything about Super Sonico, or how she became a phenomenon, but I don’t need that knowledge to enjoy an anime. This was basically just a day in her life really. She seems to have my habit of leaving at the last possible second to get anywhere, and being perpetually late. Though it seems we have nothing in common when it comes to cats. I hate them, and she has six. All of which are equally embarrassed to have a master that can’t seem to get out of bed on time.
I will say, that her morning routine makes more sense as the day goes forward. It’s fully stacked! She has school (university it looks like), then she does modeling, then she helps out at the family restaurant, and then she plays in a band. I say that I’d probably be wiped out too after a day like that. It seems safe to say that she doesn’t have free time. She gets her enjoyment from the things she does during the day. And that’s respectable.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t very interesting to watch at all. It’s one of the blandest first episodes I can remember watching, with the only real highlights being the photo shoot. I’m very unlikely to keep watching something like this in the future. It’s quite likely that this is something best left to hardcore fans.
What have I gotten myself into?
So here’s the set up. Main character is obsessed with young pop idol, goes to school for agriculture and all his goals revolve around said pop idol. Pop idol retires. Main character’s life is ruined, until pop idol shows up in disguise as a transfer student – inspired by the vegetables he’s been sending her in the mail.
I started out being bored and hating this show, but I started coming around near the end. I don’t quite know what it is. Maybe it’s just so stupid that it actually catches my attention, or perhaps I think the comedy is just dark enough to keep me around? I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think one X-factor may be the homeroom teacher. I usually hate how middle-aged women are portrayed as washed up and desperate losers in a lot of anime. And the homeroom teacher is one of those. But she’s such a dark and twisted failure that I can’t help but gawk in utter horror and embarrassment at her. It is exactly comparable to watching an actual train wreck. it’s horrific enough that I can’t look away, but tragic enough to bring me to tears and maybe scar me.
The show revolves around a group of three friends. The main character who is obsessed with the pop idol, his best friend, who seems like the only smart and practical one around, and his childhood female friend who obviously wants his sperm. The main character is an absolute idiot, and is very near getting to the point of obsession that leads people to criminal activities. There isn’t really anything likable about him right now. I can’t stand his idol worship, idiocy or general attitude. The girl is a moron for even liking him, but I did enjoy seeing her kick him in the balls and scold him for all the selfish sulking he did after he heard about the pop idols retirement. And the best friend is smart, but not above the hijinks of others. Nor is he immune to their idiocy.
There’s not much else to say about this show. It doesn’t look great or bad, the music I didn’t even notice, and the concept doesn’t grab me. I really am clinging to reasons to keep watching this show, and I don’t need them. I have Silver Spoon, which friends have already lauded for being an excellent show, waiting for me to watch. At this point, I’d be lucky to get off watching this show without it turning into a complete piece of crap before I get five episodes into it.
Wow, that was dumb.
This fails so hard for me. It fails in that this show’s format just seems to throw random bullsh*t at you and expect you to have a reaction. And yet, it doesn’t stick around long enough to garner that reaction. We see a brother and sister leave school, then we see some creepy anime bullsh*t, then there’s death, then there’s a monster and a creepy teddy bear. I don’t have to tell you any of that sh*t in order because it wouldn’t make sense anyway, and it wouldn’t matter.
There’s also the matter and the ridiculous censorship that I was subjected to. Half the time, the screen was pitch black while I heard some generic gross noises in the background. As far as I’m concerned, anyone that died in this short little episode exploded into a geyser of ink that ruined the cells of animation for that scene.
This isn’t story telling, this isn’t horror, this is just sh*t. Why on Earth did anyone thinking chopping this material into little scraps would be a good idea? F*ck this show. I’d much rather go back to watch Blood, or Blood+.
Click the pic below for the review of this episode. I’m anticipating finishing this show and moving on to the second season eventually. Right now, I’m having too much fun with each episode to skim over them for AniFriday. Maybe I’ll be able to keep things more concise next time.
Whoops! Not ready yet! Check back Monday for my post on the Tenri-hen OVA, and next Friday for the start of season 3.
Space Battleship Yamato 2199
Please check out my review of the episode by clicking on the collage below. My original plan for this series was to keep the talk on it short and sweet. But I’m having trouble controlling myself around such a quality show sitting in my lap. It’s just so good! I already want to buy the entire series, and I’ve only seen three episodes! Please don’t let me down Yamato! Please don’t do it!
Click on the pic to check out my review of the first episode of this extremely high quality series. I don’t normally care for shows that focus on lawyers or cops, but the premise of this show is so damn awkward, and the actual episode was so damn cool that I think I may have to give this series a shot. It’s becoming annoyingly harder and harder to ignore this Winter season completely.
The title of this chapter could be “It sucks to be awesome”, because any character that I liked or was powerful got bodied this week. Naruto and Killer Bee lost their tailed beasts, and if I remember the rules right, they don’t have long to live. Tobirama has been neutralized. And Sasuke’s been stabbed through the chest (though he’s suffered far worse at the hands of Bee).
It’s getting harder and harder to imagine how the Shinobi Alliance can compete with Madara now. They’ve lost the tailed beasts, Naruto and Killer Bee, Hashirama, Tobirama and Kakashi still isn’t a factor either. I’m unfortunately starting to believe that Sasuke is the one to turn this all around. All the signs point to him. He’s been given a mysterious jutus designed to bind someone like Madara from the god of shinobi himself, Hashirama. Hashirama’s also pointed out his resemblence to Madara’s brother, Izuna Uchiha. Though I may prove myself a bigot by saying this, but most Uchihas look alike to me. And most importantly, Sasuke still hasn’t redeemed himself, and this is the perfect situation to do that. He has to look Madara and what he’s become in the eye and deny that. He has to turn away from the twisted hate that has been the Uchiha calling card for oh so many generations. If he can’t do this, I don’t see how the hints at him becoming Hokage can come true, mostly because the world will be destroyed if he fails.
I’m glad to see that we’re done with this little sideshow. Renji has finally proven himself to be worthy of being appointed a captain. And that annoying freak show, Super Star, is finally dead.
It’s amazing how much of a pain in the ass the zanpakutou can be to their masters. I’m gonnna have to write a post one day about the interesting relationship between a zanpakutou and its shinigami master, in essence the relationship between a god and its subjects. The relationship can be surprisingly contentious, annoying and petty. After all the training and trouble Renji’s been through, his zanpakutou has been stubborn enough to only half reveal its name to Renji. Though if you look at the embarrassing ways Renji’s been made a fool of this series, it makes a little sense why his zanpakutou would be such prick.
What is almost as amazing is how Ichibei, head of the Royal Guard, is so adept at discovering the true identity and nature of things. It’s no small brag to say that he’s named just about every substance in Soul Society. It feels a little bit like cheating to have someone like that around, but then again I can’t complain about something that simplifies and shortens the plot. There’s still a lot of fighting to do.
With Renji being as powerful as he is now, I’m quite anxious to see if Rukia is able to finally attain her potential. I’ve wanted her to be an unleashed badass for so long that it hurts. Her kido manipulating ability was at captain-level even before her training with the Royal Guard. Her blossoming into a true captain may make me cry.
I have to apologize for thinking that Cavendish was just some pretty boy swordsman. It looks like for a few moments, he has an unmatched berserker mode that comes in the form of deadly sleepwalking. I really should stop underestimating Oda, or even stating that I’m surprised that something happens. Surprise is just another key element in One Piece’s storytelling.
At the moment, it seems that the Strawhats are making good in roads toward their destination. Though it looks like Franky is starting to take a beating, he’s built like a tank and I don’t doubt that he’s got one hell of a counterattack waiting for them. My guess is that the most key part of this plan is gonna come down to Usopp. Donquixote is severely underestimating how much power and skill is going into this attack. And it’s often the element that’s most overlooked that causes the most damage. Then again, by that logic the fairies should be the ones to truly save the day.
Note: has anyone noticed how many ridiculously strong swordsmen are in the story now? It reminds me that we never did find out what happened between Zoro and Mihawk on that island during the hiatus.
Team Medical Dragon
Note: I decided to start here because it’s probably the best place I can find to jog my memory as to what is happening in the story. And if I come across more material that I’ve already read, I won’t be retreading too much ground.
Here we see the new doctor from America, Shouichiro Kunitachi, as he takes his turn at saving someone, managing to save a woman’s leg just by following instructions he’s seen over the internet (from a reputable source of course). Something that stands out and has stood out since his arrival has been his son, and his utter lack of passion or care for anything. It appears that Dr. Kunitachi is trying to school him in the ways of medicine and healing as he tags along, but the kid just seems utterly bored.
Dr. Kunitachi has a lot to learn though, not about medicine but the strange class of medical professional that is surrounding him. He’s instructed to tag along and check out Asada’s team as they work on patients. It doesn’t take him long to have something to say though. And that’s mainly pointed at Asada’s anesthesiologist, Monji Arase. He can’t seem to fathom a crack surgical team like Asada’s having such a slovenly member. He’ll soon learn though why a bum like him is kept around though.
Oh man! These are the moments that made me love this manga! I remember this chapter well now!
With the patient bleeding profusely from the stomach, and the cause of bleeding being completely unknown, Kunitachi is quick to tell Asada that he’ll have to perform a surgery to COMPLETELY remove the patient’s stomach. After all, the patient is going through blood so quickly that they threaten to exhaust the hospital’s supply. But Asada makes an astute observation, shoves his hand right into the patient’s abdomen and stops the bleeding. It seems that the acid didn’t eat through any of the stomach’s precious blood vessels, but instead at through the stomach wall and ruptured a key aorta outside the stomach, causing the the blood the flow into it! Once Asada plugged that hole, he solved the mystery. And the cheeky bastard didn’t hesitate a moment to remind his fellow surgeon just how good he is, and just how impatient Kunitachi’s decision was. Wow!
They can’t waste time standing around in awe at this revelation though, they’ve still got a patient to save!
The electoral race in the hospital for Dr. Noguchi’s professorship position has really heated up with the arrival of Kunitachi and Asada’s old rival, Gunji Kirishima. I found the scene between Noguchi and Kirishima to be fascinating, as we see one snake start to wrap around another. Up to this point, Noguchi has used Kirishima as his trump card to keep Kato from getting anywhere near his position. Kirishima is his hand picked choice to succeed him. But as Noguchi said himself, he may have chosen too well. Kirishima sees the writing on the wall. While they may have a strong position now due to Noguchi’s position and intimidation, he recognizes that Kunitachi’s position will only get stronger with time due to his connection to a famous American university. And then there’s Kato who is being carried by her work on the Batista research and Asada’s incredible skills, a strong spitting of the vote could give even her a chance. And while Noguchi isn’t exactly a fan of having Kunitachi take over, he’d sooner die than allow Kato a chance at power.
Kirishima briliantly finds a plan to avoid all of this trouble. He simply tells Noguchi to resign, IMMEDIATELY. If Noguchi quits, Kirishima will have the opportunity to use their immediate advantage by forcing an immediate vote. He allows Noguchi to think it over while he goes to give an introductory speech to a large room of doctors. One woman is allowed into the room to represent the nurses, it’s Asada’s girlfriend Miki. She also used to be Kirishima’s woman, but that’s long since past. You can almost taste the bitterness in the room when they lock eyes.
Quick note: Miki is blazing hot! Wow! She’s too sexy to be anything but sexy! She could be a model, and I would say she’s too sexy and hot to be a model!
Something of particular note is how Miki closely watches and analyzes Kirishima’s words and body language. She’s been sent by Kato’s team to keep an eye on him, since she knows him better than anyone else. It’s extremely important to note that she refers to him as a “mediocre person”, and states that that’s why he’s so good at manipulating people with his language. And she’s very right as he makes promise after empty promis, and the crowd of doctors start happily eating up his rhetoric. It’s abundantly clear that Kirishima won’t be so simply outshone by Kunitachi and Asada’s talent. Like the person who brought him in, Kirishima is adept at playing politics and manipulating people. He’s a dangerous opponent who is perfectly comfortable in these turbulent waters. Matter of fact, I think it’s making him stronger.
That’s it for Team Medical Dragon this week. I feel perfectly comfortable getting back into this series and talking about it again. This is going to be a very, very fun ride.
What an a-hole! When people warned me Natsuo wasn’t a likable character, they weren’t kidding. But that’s OK. If I want to root for some underdog in a sports manga, I have every other sports manga out there. It’s nice to see the “villain” start making moves.
I’m quickly learning that this is to be the manga of little girl monsters. And I’m not talking the creepy ones that pop out of wells or mirrors or have super powers. Somehow these girls are strong and made of rock hard stuff.
Natsuo learned last week that Yazuko was strong enough to challenge her, and then when she gets home and turns on the TV, she sees another girl who his immigrated from Brazil to compete here. It’s made quite clear that she’s a strong prodigy, but we’re shown on what scale. Basically, she can beat the sh*t out of 99% of the men on this Earth! That girl takes a trained martial artist and beats him into a hospital stay in two strikes. You don’t see a take down attempt defeated so completely and violently very often. And her father is basically a Brazilian Ricardo Martinez (Hajime no Ippo). She’s born and bred to fight and win.
With this girl heading to an all-girls MMA tournament in the country, and Natsuo already getting a taste of the challenge of the sport, it’s no surprise what comes next. She starts training and beating ass in preparation to kick that pretty little Brazilian girl’s face into the pavement.
Natsuo, Yazuko and now this Brazilian princess of pain, Ringi; this is looking to become a very interesting, competitive and violent series. I can’t wait to see what other characters pop up as this tourney approaches.
And with that, I’m all done for the week. I was hoping to get to talk about the episodes of Binbougami-ga! that I watched, but at least I got to see some interesting and creative new anime. And the same goes for Silver Spoon. I’m sticking to the theme of using a likely poor Winter season to crush my backlog of interesting anime. It’s just so hard to ignore new things!