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Archive for February, 2013

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So what happens when you take a cute and cuddly mascot character, and give him a corrupt, selfish and lecherous heart? And also have him voiced by Light from Death Note? Hilarity happens.

Also, Wooser.

But yeah, Wooser no Sono Higurashi is a pretty funny series of 3 minute long CG animated shorts. Most of the humour is either parodic (and therefore hit-and-miss if you aren’t familiar with the original franchise) or focused on how unpleasant a being the eponymous Wooser is. But it’s also a vehicle for Mamoru Miyano to really ham it up with his voice acting, and a fair bit of the entertainment comes out of this.

This series is also one of the best examples of wholly CG animation out there – given the styles of the character designs and everything, having everything in CG really does work out for it.

Given the fact that combined running time of the entire show is less than an hour, and how there are definitely a fair few good, solid laughs to be had out of this, it’s pretty easy to recommend Wooser no Sono Higurashi if you have nothing better to watch.

7/10

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Ah, shoujo romance manga and anime. The genre does seem to love pairing up nerdy, serious, bookworm schoolgirls with eccentric, socially inept, violent, domineering and jealous bishounen. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is certainly one of these!

It is the story about a young girl who wilfully rejects social interaction in favour of studying and succeeding, and how she falls in love with the charmingly goofy and unpredictably violent boy after he threatens to rape her.

Wait, that sounds bad.

It is the story of a girl who chooses to be alone, and the jealous, possessive and aggressive boy who falls for her oh god damn it.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is a romantic comedy that can be pretty damn entertaining and fun when it isn’t idealising a relationship that’s kind of unhealthy.

Gotta study!

Gotta study!

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Sukitte Ii na yo.

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Ah, shoujo romance manga and anime. The genre does seem to love pairing up somewhat depressed, lonely, outcast schoolgirls with popular, handsome, caring bishounen. Sukitte Ii na yo. is certainly one of these!

Mei Tachibana is an unkempt, lonely, outcast and yes, somewhat depressed school girl who lives only with her mother. She has no friends at school as having been bullied when she was much younger left her with a deep-seated distrust of others. Yamato Kurosawa is a handsome, popular and outgoing boy who is lusted after by just about every girl in school – except Mei, but that’s mostly because she doesn’t really know who he is nor particularly care, what with not paying attention to the people around her, and by being the first girl to basically ignore and outright tell him to leave her alone (a kick to the chest is pretty definitive) she becomes the first girl to genuinely capture his interest.

…god that reads like the back of the DVD case or something. Serious talk tho, Sukitte Ii na yo. (or Say “I Love You”)  is a pretty great romance with a touch of light drama and a whole heap of heart-warming moments.

as

Don’t you just want to give her a hug?

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Ah, shoujo romance manga and anime. The genre does seem to love pairing up energetic but down-on-their-luck schoolgirls with supernatural, spirit bishounen. Kamisama Hajimemashita is certainly one of these! A light-hearted comedy about a 17 year old girl made homeless after her father skips town to flee the debt collectors who are after him because of his gambling problem… ok no it is light-hearted, trust me.

Ok so anyway, after she’s in the park at night and a strange man takes her by surprise by kissing her on and the forehead oh god damn it.

Kamisama Hajimemashita is a fun romantic comedy about a girl becoming a goddess and dealing with her pretty familiar.

mfw I realise I'm blogging about romance anime on Valentine's Day

mfw I realise I’m blogging about romance anime on Valentine’s Day

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Jormungand: Perfect Order

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Calling Jormungand: Perfect Order a sequel would not be necessarily accurate. In much the same way as Black Lagoon and Gantz, it is essentially just the second half of the series, but aired after a season’s gap. If you watched the two halves back to back you wouldn’t notice any significant change between the two, aside from a new OP and ED; it instead feels like a natural progression you’d expect in any other series of the same length. As such, this review will be rather short as most everything I mentioned in my review of Jormungand still applies. That said, there are still some key differences and points worth discussing.

Here we go again!

Here we go again!

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Aaah, Hidamari Sketch. SHAFT’s rather long-running, heart-warming, relaxing series about a bunch of cute highschool girls doing cute things. I’m a big fan – it’s a perfect way of unwinding, with its relentless optimism, cheerfulness and wideface, and manages to be visually distinct through the fantastic use of various artistic techniques and motifs in the presentation. Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb represents the fourth TV series in this franchise and, let’s be honest here, by this point you fit into one of three camps.

The first: you’re a fan of Hidamari Sketch, in which case you’ll likely end up watching this at some point if you haven’t already. The second: you’re not a fan of Hidamari Sketch, in which case nothing I have to say about the fourth bloody season is going to change your mind on the franchise. The third: you have no real opinion on the series, because you haven’t watched any of it before and to which a review of the franchise as a whole is probably more worth your time (the tl;dr of that is: if you don’t massively dislike the cute-girls-doing-cute-things genre, check out the first season and know that each season is better than the last). So what’s the point of this? There may well be a contingent of people who have watched Hidamari Sketch up until Honeycomb, but aren’t big enough fans to watch another series, and will want to know if it’s actually worth their time. Beyond that incredibly small number of anime fans (of which approximately none read this blog, statistically speaking), this post will largely serve as a bit of a discussion on what I enjoyed about it, and how it fits in with Hidamari Sketch as a whole.

Pow, right in the nutbladder

Yuno what it is

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The Hayate no Gotoku! (or Hayate the Combat Butler, if you’d prefer) anime franchise has a bit of an odd history. It started out as a 52 episode series by SynergySP, got a 25 episode sequel of sorts from JC Staff that starts from episode 19 of the first series (allegedly following the manga more closely), and once that ended it got handed off onto Manglobe, who made a (quite poorly received) film titled Hayate no Gotoku! Heaven Is a Place on Earth. The move to Manglobe was not much-liked, as the art style changed dramatically and it was just a bit crap. Apparently. I’ve personally only seen up until around episode 21 of the first series, and it’s been stuck on my ‘on-hold’ list ever since.

As you might understand, the announcement for Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You didn’t do much for me initially, as it was a sequel and all that. However, when it was stated to be an original story that doesn’t tie directly to the previous instalments, I perked up. I really enjoyed what I had seen of the first series, with its diverse and entertaining cast and fast-paced, often referential humour. As this new series didn’t require much, if any, knowledge of the previous series, it couldn’t hurt to try it out and jump back into the franchise, right?

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Couldn’t be worse than the punishment he goes through on a regular basis at any rate

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