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February Roundup

Those 1337 sued One Piece downloading pirates from last month? 1336 of them have had the charges dropped against them. In short, it was all a massive show of strength from Funimation. All a bit of a joke really, although I do rather like the idea that there’s still one guy out there getting sued. Poor guy, he’s taking the slack for the millions of other downloaders.

Man, the news in these monthly updates are always depressing. I suppose that’s because the actual good news from this month is stuff like top quality directors announcing they’re working on new anime, and that news will show up in the relevant season preview anyway. Ah well, onto the proper part of the post.

A Grade

A- Madoka Magica

Epis­odes 5-8

The one thing holding back Madoka Magica until now was I didn’t care for the characters. They were more a collection of plot points than people. This led to my reaction to a lot of the scenes being “I see what you did there” rather than getting emotionally attached. That problem hasn’t really been solved, but instead I’ve found myself getting really into each characters story. I don’t care about them as people, but lordy me am I ever emotionally invested in watching Madoka’s constant battle with her wimpyness. Plus this show has Kyubey, who has reached Johan Liebert levels of awesome villains. A lot still hinges on the ending, but I’m finally convinced that Madoka Magica has the makings of a classic.

B Grade

B Break Blade

Episode 3

Pretty much ‘as you were’ in terms of quality for Break Blade. Plot’s kicking along nicely. Sure, some of the scenes are clunkier than the very mecha they pilot, but the show mainly thrives on the battlefield. It’s there where the significant plot twists occur. It’s there where everyone goes through significant character development. But most importantly, it’s there where those fantastic mecha duke it out in those brilliantly choreographed fight sequences. Looking forward to see how they handle the second half of this series. Just so long as they don’t finish without completing the plot. You don’t make six movies solely to advertise a manga.

B– Level E

Epis­odes 4-7

Episode 4 was crap and I don’t understand why people said otherwise. The story was dull and went nowhere and if putting a grainy filter over everything counts as good animation, then I’m going to sit in a corner and cry. On the other hand, I loved the whole colour ranger arc. One of the aspects that made it work was how each of the kids had their own clear personalities. Considering they only had 3 episodes to convey their personalities in, that was quite an achievement in it’s own right. I’m still not as big on this series as many other people are, but it’s a solid comedy and one of the few genuinely good shows this season.

C Grade

C+ Fractale

Epis­odes 4-6

I honestly think people are too harsh on Fractale. Ignore what’s going on outside of the show itself, what we have here is a decent whimsical adventure with some funny morals and an annoying tendency to make ecchi ‘jokes’. It’s not going to win any awards and neither is it particularly memorable, but it produces some quality moments and is a fairly enjoyable way to spend 25 minutes a week. That said, when you air in Noitamina and your director claims this show will be loved by anyone, I really shouldn’t find myself giving this show the same type of scores I was giving Highschool of the Dead.

C Welcome to the Space Show

In the words of Sven Goran Eriksson, “First half good, second half not so good”. Welcome to the Space Show is a magical space journey about a bunch of kids being brought to a moon colony by a talking dog. Apart from the gorgeous animation that one would expect from a studio trying to pull a Ghibli, one of the things that really stood out was the little winks at larger society messages through little things the kids said or did. Which makes it all the more disappointing when they threw aside all those messages in the second half and made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The plot went mad, introducing concepts and characters out of nowhere. Nothing came together, nothing made sense and the whole thing was a gigantic mess. I’m genuinely pissed off at this movie that it threw away it’s awesome first half to descend into such crap. Ah well, at least it still looked pretty.

C Bak­u­man

Epis­odes 18-21

Bakuman has fallen into this strange state of being laughed at rather than with. There’s a silly, self-mocking side to it now, not all of which I’m even sure is intentional. Maybe that’s just my brain searching for ways to entertain myself while watching this anime. It’s a self-defence mechanism my mind has created to enjoy anime I don’t really like. Usually I attempt this by looking for fanservice. Now it’s looking for when the show makes fun of it’s own dreadful romance and laughable rivalries. But hey, I’m enjoying Bakuman more because of this approach, so I’m perfectly OK with this new arrangement.

C- Wan­der­ing Son

Epis­odes 4-6

When I said before this show aired that I thought it might be too fluffy for my tastes, people commented saying that the manga wasn’t fluffy at all and was actually quite harsh. I wish you people were right. When this show focuses on that wry sense of humour it has, it’s great. It’s brilliant at these little subtle jabs that you know has mucked up a kids head but never directly tells you that it has. But then it’s all “oh dear, we might have been too harsh there. Quick! Play more tinkly piano music!”. It’s as frustrating as hell when you can see a good show in the making but it keeps shooting itself in the foot. I guess I’ll have to mark this down as an off-season for Noitamina.

D Grade

D- Suite Precure

Episodes 1-4

Heartcatch Precure got a lot of praise from the anime community, more so than any of the Precure franchise I’d certainly ever seen. Heck, I’d barely ever seen Precure talked about until Heartcatch burst on the scene. My automatic bias towards magical girl series, what with all the pink and them having silly names like Magical Musical ~Chu~ ~Chu~ Lyrical Heart and Soul Puni Puni Girl SOS, kept me away from Heartcatch, but that bias has been dropping steadily ever since.  So when the first episode of Suite showed up, I decided now is as good a time as any to jump on the Precure bandwagon. That said, Suite Precure is pretty bloody awful. I’m mainly just waiting to see how long the combo of bitchin’ transformation sequences and CGI dancing endings can keep me going. Probably not for that much longer.

D- Ore no Imouto True Route OVA

Episode 12

Blogging Ore no Imouto was incredibly fun, inspite of (or possibly because) of all the raging I did. Because of that, I was planning to blog the True Route OVA’s as well. However the changes between the original episode 12 and this were so minimal it wasn’t worth my time writing anything. The changes consisted of:

  1. A man playing porn games in the street
  2. Kyousuke riding a bicycle
  3. Kirino not headbutting Kyousuke
  4. Kuroneko saying Senpai.

I think I’ll wait for more episodes to come out before I say anything. Or maybe I’ll just not write anything at all. It would be hard to top my tsundereview from episode 12 anyway.

D- Hiyokoi

Considering this is the shojoiest shojo OVA possible, it wasn’t nearly as painful to sit through as it could have been. It was rather lacking in sparklespace, even if the female lead was one of those ones you’re meant to d’awww at because she’s so small and cute and bleargh. I did get a massive guffaw when the male love interest was so bishie he could make it snow at will! One day I hope to be as beautiful enough that I can control the weather.

E Grade

E+ Rio Rainbow Gate

Episodes 1-8

Forgot to include this last month. My brain apparently tried to wipe this series from my mind. Which is probably why I come back every week, right? Nope, I come back every week because this show is horrendous. It’s awful on so many levels in so many ways that you simply can’t look away. I’d like to call it ‘so bad it’s good‘, but Rainbow Gate doesn’t achieve that level often enough to warrant watching it. The drama in episodes 7 and 8 have been particularly amusing/horrible. The ‘best’ scene by far was Rio riding a holographic shark while dodging meteorites. That will be something for a twelve days post at the end of the year.

E Afterschool Pleiadas

It wasn’t that I had placed unrealistic expectations on this or anything. It’s nothing more than an advertisement for a car company featuring magical girls. I went in expecting nothing and came out getting less than I hoped. Basically, I was bored out of my mind watching this 20 minute thingamabob. You’d think a studio like Gainax making an advertisement would use that as an excuse to go a bit mad with their animation, but there was nothing in here. Boring as fuck, I hope Subaru make no money out of this whatsoever.

F Grade

You can tell how ‘into’ anime I am at any given time by counting how much crap I persist with. As you can probably tell, my obsession with these cartoons has been reaching dangerous levels recently. Still no F’s though.

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73 Comments

  1. OHEMGEE
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    oh fuck
    that pic of kyubey must be in the episode i didn’t watch yet D:>

    • Posted March 1, 2011 at 1:00 am | Permalink

      We’re all in deep deep mourning for the Kyubei.

      He will be missed.

      • alexvoda
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        They don’t make Kyubeis like they used to.
        In the old days they were all about providing warmth and shelter.
        Now they are mobile and self powered but a lot less durable. And they make them look like plush toys.
        Huh, animated Kyubeis, what will they think of next. Flying kyubeis?

      • OHEMGEE
        Posted March 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        arghhh
        YOU LIED TO ME ;-;

  2. Posted March 1, 2011 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Man, it’s been a rough month for you. What I’ve heard is Heartcatch was better, but honestly? I have no clue whether you’d like it or not.

    Agreed about Kyubei being a fab villain though. I just love him more and more each episode.

    And now I want to catch up on Rio. Damn you.

    • mcm38
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Rio? I realy still don’t get why. Just a few minutes ago, this weeks third attempt on picking it up ended in another failure. The echhi and fanservice is just to dazzling.

  3. Posted March 1, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Hey Scamp, have you watched this yet?

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      FUKKEN DANCING!!!

  4. Posted March 1, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Oh shit. Just after spending hours on getting Fractale…

    Oh well, at least it can’t be as bad as Rio:Rainbow Gate. Good god, that shat redfines horrible.

    As for Madoka, you could’ve made a mention on how genre-busting it is.

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Harry Potter made that Holy joke before you did.

    And Rainbow Gate needs to stop being so HNNGGGG

    • mcm38
      Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      You guys are still watching that Rainbow Gate. Amazing, realy I admire you for that.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        I’m not sure sticking with Rainbow Gate is something to be admired…

      • mcm38
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        The endurance should be enough to receive admiration.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Pfft, endurance? I think it’s fucking hilarious, I don’t need endurance.

  6. Posted March 1, 2011 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Color Rangers was crap, and you know it. :P

    Also, Precure is better than Fractale because it knows how to keep a consistent tone going. Yamakan’s “masterpiece” is plagued with slapstick antics that aren’t quite wacky enough to be funny (even with the overdone “comedy” music), but still stupid enough to ruin any chance the show has of ever being taken seriously. Between the discordant atmosphere and dead-end story, I’m surprised anyone is still torturing themselves with this turd. Even Clain, the only character to receive any development, is pointing out the show’s flaws at this point.

    I only pray that Yamakan will finally retire as promised after this debacle, and rid the otakudom of his overblown hackjobs once and for all.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Precure is consistently crap you mean =P

      Obviously an inconsistent tone is bad, but Fractale is still a hell of a lot better than most of teh stuff this season. And no, I don’t want Yamakan to retire because I want that second season of Kannagi one day

  7. Posted March 1, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I watched the shark riding episode this morning. It was magical.

  8. mcm38
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    If nothing is written about an anime of this season, it means you don’t have anything to say about it or the anime couldn’t even get F grade. Confirm plz. I realy would like to know why Yumekui Merry or Korewa Zombie didn’t get in.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      It means I’m not watching it

      • mcm38
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        How do you choose which anime to watch?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        I would say he drops shitty shows but Rainbow Gate up there mocks me…

      • Scamp
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        You got me there…

      • Posted March 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        I would theorize it’s the same formula most of us have…at some point in the show there comes the moment where the viewer goes, “Screw this, this is a waste of time and I don’t give a crap about this show.”

        This moment has not happened with Rio…

      • mcm38
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Am I the only one who did so with Rio?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink

        Probably, yeah. Poor guy D:

      • OHEMGEE
        Posted March 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        nahh
        I dropped Rio too C:

  9. Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Wow, you gave Madoka an A grade! I still wish you were blogging it~

    Oh, and to say something about magical girls…. why don’t you drop the show and watch the tranformations on youtube? With Shugo Chara, you wouldn’t have to watch over 50 crappy Filler episodes and girls/traps being nice to eathother. Of course, the manga is one of my favourites. And if you really like transformations…. WATCH. HEARTCATCH.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      I’ve realised recently that I’m doing my readers a disservice by not writing about certain anime. I never wrote about Panty and Stocking. I never wrote about Kuragehime. I never wrote about Highschool of the Dead. The monthly roundups do something to address that, but I feel I should write something proper on Madoka Magica at the very least.

      I’ve thought about watching transformation sequences on youtube, but ruins the wait you get in the episode itself.

      Also trust me: This is far from the last you’ll see of Precure on this blog

      • Posted March 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Then may I suggest you watch the first season of Shugo Chara?
        My guess is that you would rage about it and drop it like a hot potatoe. But the transformations are long, and very cute <3 (It's basically a childrens show. Aside from Ikuto.)

      • Posted March 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Oh Leah. You should have been here for “No Anime is Dropped Forever” That’s when we picked the show, and picked shows for Scamp just to make him rage. :D

      • Scamp
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        I knew you guys did that on purpose >=(

      • Posted March 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Yet you put your foot down for Miracle Train…;_;

      • Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        I know <3
        I was there since he reviewed Durarara. And I lurked a bit earlier around, too.

      • Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        I also picked most of the shoujo shows of the lot :>
        I love watching him rage~
        Wah, I’m such a sadistic girl <3

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Fuck this shit, you should do a “readers choice” sort of thing. Everyone comments, you tally up the highest serious votes, and watch the one with the most backing. I think it’d be pretty interesting, like the Secret Santa.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Do a poll. Pick one show YOU want to blog, and the other poll will be what we want you to blog. You’re free to drop ours if it turns into absolute shit, but otherwise you blog both shows naturally, and if the show we pick turns out to be shit, you can tease us for our bad tastes

      • mcm38
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        XD It’l be pretty epic if that happens. Let’s do that for the next season. We still got one month.

      • mcm38
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Altough we should still ask for the shows Star Scamp if he’s willing to do so.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        psgels from Star Crossed does that and I’ve already copied him with the monthly roundup things in the first place.

        That said, polling readers opinion prior to the season begins would actually work better for me than psgels because I’d only be blogging two shows anyway. With psgels the show people pick tends to be one he’d blog anyway while that’s less likely for me.

        Although knowing you lot, you’d make me blog Lotte’s Toy. Wait no, you’d make me blog that yaoi one. Maybe this idea isn’t so good after all =|

      • alexvoda
        Posted March 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Ok, Who is voting for Scamp to blog the yaoi one.Let’s vote for it just to make him angry. =))

        But seriously now, the spring season is quite abundant.
        There is nothing that just stands apart like Drrrrrrr was the only worthy show in its chart, or how Level E seamed like the only quality show on the chart (Madoka was a closely guarded secret, and turned out superior).
        I think this is another difference between equinox and solstice seasons. The solstice seasons tend to be less homogeneous in terms quality.

        Anyway, glad to hear you will write about Madoka.

        P.S. Can’t wait for the season preview.

      • Posted March 1, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        Now now, I think Scamp should tackle Health and Physical Education for 30 Years Olds!

        Though should that not get subbed, World’s First Love isn’t half bad….

        What kills me is I have to watch the first episodes of all this. T_T

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:13 am | Permalink

        Hmph. I would not pick Lotte’s Toy. Based on the chart, I’d probably pick… World God Only Knows 2 awesomeface.jpg

        lolno, I’d most likely pick Electromagnetic Wave Woman & Adolescent Man

      • Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Scamp doing the Yaoi one would be hilarious <3
        But I guess he can do two shows, since there will be no Bakuman (THANK GOD) next season?
        I want him to blog C, and that SHAFT thing. Because I WANT ROMANCE. ROMANCE!~

      • Scamp
        Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        I’ve been eyeing up C for a while now, but I really don’t want to make any judgements as to what to blog until the episodes come out.

  10. alexvoda
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I think you are too harsh about Pleiades.
    Of course there is no plot you can really speak of because of the short time(less than 16 min in total).
    But i really liked the graphics. Lots of starry skies. K-on-ish character designs.
    I absolutely loved the color palette. It’s kinda like Mahou Shojo Tai Arusu/Alice. It is actually quite close to the palette of Avatar:TLA. Very warm and a touch soft. Also for a Mahou Shojo the quantity of pink was kept in check compared to Suite Precure.
    Also the engine noise making brooms were quite nice.
    I would like to see a proper anime with the same premise,setting and graphics.

    P.S.: BTW I never read Scamps thoughts on A:TLA and the upcoming A:LOK. I wonder what you think about it.

    • Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      I swear I’m the only one who liked Pleiades and took no notice of the animation.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:11 am | Permalink

        I liked it too, don’t worry!

  11. half_an_eye
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    “tsundereview” — Best word in all of anime blogging history.

    • mcm38
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      XD I feel like a genius.

  12. Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    sad to say i don’t share your optimism for fractale. probably because i was all ready for a complicated plot akin to all the dystopian novels i’ve read, complete with a social message and everything. instead i feel like im watching the adventures of perv boy and disney terrorists, forever flying around in their ghibli ship…where are they flying again? yawn.

    i would say you should try princess tutu now that you have less of a bias against mahou shoujo, but that would probably make me a troll, wouldn’t it? *dodges rotten eggs* (and maybe the real reason you didn’t like tutu was because of the same short transformation sequence in each ep.) (i’m kidding)

    • Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      DEAR SCAMP, YOU WILL WATCH TUTU UNTIL YOU LIKE IT.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      You actually got me thinking for a millisecond that maybe I should give Tutu another shot. Curse you!

      Then I remembered how Tutu drained my soul and brought me dangerously close to the dreaded burnout…

  13. ~xxx
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Hourou Musuko is actually better…
    Hmmm, I wonder why?

  14. Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Wandering Son is like an indie film. It’s all about subtle glances and quiet introspection. The style works excellently for character studies, but it’s a somewhat high barrier of entry for some people who want conflict-oriented drama and action. You’re either open to it or not. I’m obviously a big fan of Wandering Son, but you may not be.

  15. luffyluffy
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    You know what you should blog for old times sake? Hetalia Movie.

    • Posted March 3, 2011 at 2:54 am | Permalink

      …Lmao YES.
      Except the subs don’t come from any fansub group soo…

      I haven’t watched it myself yet. Can’t look forward to something that sounds like shit.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        They got an Evangelion referance.

        Out of Italy.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      oh Hetalia~

      Just did a quick check, that show only has two episodes left, right? Is anyone still watching it?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        I still am. I can never drop a show if I only have two episodes left. Feels like if I do I’ve wasted time watching it. Probably the reason why I haven’t dropped Shit Driver by now.

      • Posted March 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        I’m also still watching it. (And enjoying it, if only for shallow reasons.)

    • Scamp
      Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      oh lordy, I just found a batch torrent from episode 17 to 36. Basically at exactly the point I dropped the series. So….tempted…

      • Posted March 3, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        DO IT!
        And you get to see Hungary’s FABULOUS breasts!

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        The movie… The movie wasn’t that bad.

        Of course most of it was Germany porn but it stretched quite well for an hour. It did nothing new, but it didn’t feel forced. DO IT FOR THE OLD TIMES SAKE MAN.

      • fable
        Posted March 5, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        I would love it if Scamp picked up the Hetalia series again. Seriously though, that film was terrible.

      • Posted March 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        THE WORLD NATIONS FIGHTING AGAINST GIANT WOBBLY CONDOMS!

  16. Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Subaru actually did made money out of Pleiades.

    You probably already know that if you read Sankaku…

  17. OHEMGEE
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Madoka Magica has been driving me crazy.
    I get so antsy waiting for the next episode
    People who watch this after it finishes airing are jerksss D:

    • Posted March 4, 2011 at 3:58 am | Permalink

      *raises hand*

      IM SORRY IM ADDICTED TO AMERICAN TELEVISION AND HAVE NO TIME FOR ANIME D:

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