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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekly Anime Round-Up

Every Saturday, Nagareboshi Reviews will post micro reviews of the anime it's been watching over the past seven days, usually shows that are ongoing or don't warrant a separate post for 'initial thoughts'. Feel free to comment with the shows you've been watching this week as well!

Warning: Contains spoilers for the following series: Beelzebub; Blood-C; Blue Exorcist; Gosick; Tegami Bachi; Level E

Beelzebub: episode 10

A stray cat starts giving Oga some clingy unwanted attention, much to the irritation of Baby Beel, who starts showing his extreme jealousy through random shock attacks. However, Baby Beel and the stray soon become friends and end up going to playschool together, where they meet Kota, whose caretaker is none other than Aoi, the Queen of the Red Tails. Overall, a pretty fun episode full of Beelzebub’s trademark off-beat humor and in my opinion, more Aoi is always good, non? I’d love to see more of Baby Beel’s new feline friend in the future, as well as more Beel & Kota scenes. He’s getting pretty cozy with a human for someone who is destined to destroy humanity, a-yup.

Read the rest of my episode reviews after the jump!




Blood-C: episode 1

Saya: clumsy cute schoolgirl by day, demon slaying swordswoman at night! And at this point, that is all Blood-C really is. For a series allegedly part of the Blood+ canon, there are barely any trademarks of the franchise beyond the buckets of blood being lost during Saya’s battle at the water and her long sword which is highly reminiscent of a certain other Saya’s blade. The animation itself is very pretty, and the character designs are oh so CLAMP (which should surprise no one because yeah), down to the characters that look painfully like Touya and Yukito and the moe twins who are like pink-haired doppelgangers of the twins from XXXHOLiC. 

It’s not a bad series by any stretch but if it doesn’t go beyond what it is now story-wise, I don’t think I’ll be seeing the end of Saya’s journey.

Blue Exorcist: episodes 10-12

What a batch of episodes this was. In “Black Cat”, we meet Father Shiro’s feline familiar, Kuro, who has gone on a rampage after hearing of the man’s death – and only Rin can calm him down. Not gonna lie: it had me crying by the end. To balance out the angst follows “Demon of the Deep Seas”, in which Blue Exorcist does its own take on the classic beach episode and Kamiki learns the hard way that young boys are dense on the uptake. Also, kraken! And lots of delicious grilled squid – this episode got me so hungry for squid! It’s in “A Game of Tag” that we are finally introduced to Amaimon, another one of Satan’s sons, who takes advantage of a ghost hunt in an amusement park to play with Rin’s demonic powers.

Overall, it’s a slick set of episodes that manage to be rather even in mood despite the different events in each one. We’re seeing a lot of character and world development, and a very explosive change in the team line-up thanks to the conclusion of “Tag”. Hint: that kid in the hooded sweatshirt with the handheld isn’t as innocent as you think they are! Blue Exorcist is still a metric ton of fun to watch, and I’m enjoying watching it find itself plot-wise beyond “exorcist school hijinks” and explore the deeper meaning of being Satan’s son amid exorcists in training whose lives have always been turned around by demons.

Gosick: episode 10

The episode “Girl with a Cold Dreams of Her Stubborn Friend” brings the Saubreme department store arc to a grand close. Right off the bat, we are hit with the revelation of the girl in the crate’s true identity – and it’s a historical dozy. Eventually, with Victorique still in bed, Kujo must call upon the big haired detective, Grevil, to aid him in investigating the suspicious Saubreme shop and while using some crafty tricks, manage to reveal the dark secret of the string of kidnapped girls. It ends on a pretty solid note as well as lends us some additional insight into Victorique’s background. The look on her face when she sees the burns on her hands have gone absolutely breaks my heart.

Tegami Bachi: episodes 8-9

In these episodes – “Meeting with Sylvette Suede” and “The Crybaby Boy’s Vow” – we find out that Gauche, the Letter Bee who Lag looks up to and is his ultimate idol, has abandoned his duties and gone AWOL, leaving his sister behind in Yuusari to deal with the debt collectors. Lag’s meeting with Sylvette at her home ends in tears and bitter memories of a man pushed to the edge so he can keep the remnants of his family afloat. 

After a lot of literal soul searching, Sylvette hands over Gauche’s Shindanjuu to Lag as the young boy promises to bring Gauche home. Lag is later sworn in as an official Letter Bee and he declares his intention to become Head Bee – the Bee who can deliver any letter, no matter the circumstances. A very emotional duo of episodes that give some much needed insight into both Gauche and Lag’s motivations to become a Letter Bee. I do, however, dread the day that HIMEKA’S lyrical voice no longer is the ending theme.

Level E: episode 8-10

Level E, what a show it is. Hard to believe it sprang from the same mind behind Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter until you see the character designs. In “You’re My Darling!” and “Love Me Tender”, the princess of the Macbac race has come to Earth to find herself a mate, which is all well and good except that whatever race a Macbac mates with is destined to be annihilated in several generations. The Dogurian agents meant to defend the Earth from danger go on red alert to keep the princess from mating with a human, which turns almost impossible when she falls in love with a human male at first sight – or are appearances deceiving? And to make matters worse, when the Baka Prince himself catches wind of the situation, his own meddling makes the tricky affair into an outright catastrophe.

As for “You’re My Darling!”/”Love Me Tender”, the initial storyline of an alien princess looking to mate with another species isn’t terribly interesting – but the identity of her love interest is: Mikihisa Kyoko, the teen who gets dumped on Christmas Eve and turns out to be a girl. Or are they? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I think Mikihisa is someone we haven’t seen in anime very much – a trans guy. Mikihisa is a guy who likes girls but feels trapped in a female ‘wrong’ body? And no one is talking about this? Damn, folks! I know Level E isn’t exactly Wandering Son level discourse but it seems to be trying harder than most – and on several levels, succeeding. Sorry, Mikihisa’s story gives me all the feelings. Also, apparently the Dogurians gave him an operation for free and considering how expensive that could be for a trans guy, it’s not a bad deal. Also, seeing Baka Prince troll the hell out of his fellow aliens is hilarious as always

In “Boy Meets Girl”, it’s the swan song of the Color Rangers when Shimizu has to move away to America because of his dad’s job. But before that happens, the Rangers have one more job to do when Shimizu finds a wounded alien mermaid woman in the forest who promptly goes missing. Their attempts to save the mermaid woman lead them into a horrible gang of alien slavers who are intent on killing the woman. Naturally, it’s all up to the Color Rangers to save the day. It ends up being a rather poignant end to the Rangers and I’m glad Prince Baka didn’t figure into this episode; his presence would have killed the whole thing and it’s pretty awesome that such a show can get away with excluding its main character and still maintain watchability. Although I have to admit, I’ll miss those kids and their goofy poses.

So: what did you watch this week?

2 comments:

Katie said...

I tried watching Idolm@ster, and didn't make it through the first episode, too many characters and not enough plot. Also tried watching Mayo Chiki, but it was full of cliches and I don't really like animes where the main character gets beat up by sadistic women for no real reason. D:

I watched Morita-san wa Mukuchi and that was cute, and I really liked Ikoku Meiro. I'll probably watch R-15 on NicoNico later tonight. :)

The Seventh L said...

@Katie

I would feel weird watching Idolm@ster having not seen any of the rest of the franchise, but that i just me. And Mayo Chiki doesn't appeal to me :(

Yay! I might watch R-15 later but my Currently Watching plate is pretty full as it is.

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