Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kannagi - 03

I liked this episode because it had great balance. The way they were able to push the story forward without being predictable, the way they introduced the new characters without going into too much detail and dragging on, and the quality jokes with good timing really set this series apart. More shows should be like this.

This episode centered around Jin's school and Jin's art club. I found it kind of surprising that Jin was in an art club, but it should have been obvious after he sculpted Nagi out of a tree trunk.

Still, I couldn't help but be reminded of other art animes like Canvas 2 and Honey and Clover. This makes me wonder what kind of anime this is going to be since there's an art club theme, pop idol theme (or maybe it was just the opening theme), and the impurity cleansing theme going on.

I do like the new characters though. Especially Kimura, Takako. Her attraction to Jin as the pure innocent boy is really funny. I don't think I've ever seen a girl get a nosebleed before.

The other guys seem like nice companions to Jin. There's the manga drawing, anime otaku, and the big, innocent, genius who likes cute things. I particularly like how the manga dude compared the series to a comic and said Jin was the star; irony is great.

As always, Nagi and Jin's interactions were chalked full of humor. When Nagi started running towards Jin I heard the Chariots of Fire theme in my head only to be brought to a screeching halt when Jin dodged her cold-heartedly. The side comments about Jin being a homo were also appreciated since I don't think they use the gay joke enough in animes. Especially considering how many male leads always act disinterested in girls.

They really brought up quite a few questions in this episode, like who was the guy Nagi likes. To me, that seems more interesting than the others but we are also given the question of why Nagi is losing her powers and who Nagi's sister is.

Overall, I couldn't ask for a better third episode. I'm definitely sold on the series already. The next episode seems to focus more on Nagi's sister which will surely be an interesting development and well worth the wait.

Kannagi - 02

This was another great episode that had it all. Nagi was very funny and I have to say I am loving the dynamic between her and Jin.

Her character changes from the innocent, cute girl to the bossy tsundere were so excellent that I actually believed her when she said she had split personalities. Kind of like Kozue from Mahoraba. I really dig her sense of humor.

Especially the bit about the wand perfectly being glued in the center was spot on. Also, you got to love the way she tries to cover it up as a cloth hanger. A+ for effort.

It was also nice seeing a little bit of a love triangle, threes company misunderstanding type situation. Tsugumi's reaction to Nagi was priceless. In addition to all the romance and comedy, it was nice to see them show a little bit more of Nagi's mystical powers as a goddess.

Albeit a sad situation where the two baby kittens died (shame on Jin for being so stingy and cold), it was a very touching scene that brought a nice contrast to the fun, comedic scenes.

Overall, I think the series is heading in the right place and next week's episode seems like it will continue the trend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Skip Beat - 02

First of all, I loved this episode. Seriously, I loved it. Kyoko is so hilarious and fun to watch. Her tenacity and fighting spirit reminds me of Tenma from School Rumble. She's so frank and aggressive that she is almost a guy which is a great thing considering a lack of a good opposing lead at this point in time.

Normally, I hate watching shows where the lead is a girl because they always seem too nice and cute to have any merits. However, I really like Kyoko's aggressive personality and her sense of humor. Her dominating and oblivious to reality personality reminds me of Suzumiya, Haruhi.

The way she stalks Takenori Sawara and laughs to herself in her room were so freaking hilarious. Her outrageous personality makes me want to form a cheering section for her. Go Kyoko!!!

And I just L-O-V-E her angry face.

I just...



enough of it!

The male characters are surprisingly funny to watch in their own right. Sawara's reactions are so hilarious and I'm so looking forward to their future interactions.

Also, Kyoko's imaginary Sho is so much better than the real Sho. The way he torments her is so funny.

In addition, the president of the studio seems to be a rather eccentric character and is sure to bring the funny in the future.

This show has something good and it wouldn't be a surprise if this is one of the top animes this season or one of the top comedies of all time. That being said, I am so looking forward to next week's episode as the cliffhanger really has me sitting on the edge of my seat.

Skip Beat - 01

Wow, I have to admit, at the beginning of this episode I thought this was going to be another lame series where the weak girl fawns over the cool guy like in Itazura na Kiss. They did a great job of selling that angle and making you feel for Kyoko, the female lead.

Honestly, I really wanted to kick Sho's pompous ass. He was such a jackass and really didn't deserve to be pampered like that.

I was so happy when the female lead changed gears and actually started to defend herself. I'm not much of a feminist, but I hate seeing girls falling for jerks. As much as I hate the jerks, I'd have to say I hate the girls more for being so weak.

(Before and After)

That being said, her transformation really makes me excited to see the next episode and what her new character will be like. I have a feeling that she will end up with Ren and make Sho feel jealous which wouldn't be a bad story. In fact, I think this series is going to be very original as I haven't seen a revenge through show business type of story before. I think this will definitely be one of my favorite shows this season.


Tales of the Abyss - 04

I was really disappointed with this episode. The problem wasn't the characters (even though Luke's arrogant cowardice is really annoying) or the plot. The problem was the way they put everything together. Their transitions are too rough and sudden and break the flow of the episode.

For example, one moment they are reading a letter from Anise about her journey and the next moment they are off on the road fighting monsters. It makes sense that they'd fight monsters on their way to Anise but it was so sudden that it felt random. At the very least, they could have shown them walking or say something like "let's get on our way." They left me thinking there would be more dialogue about the brother and then they cut us off at the last minute. I felt like I was being blue balled.

The series lacks a strong frame of reality and so many times I'm reminded that I'm not in the anime but a person watching it from a computer. That's a serious flaw in my opinion; especially since this is supposed to be a fantasy anime that draws people into the world.

Another problem they need to fix is the way they explain everything in the series. Most of the dialogue in this episode came from explaining everything to Luke. I get that he's had a sheltered life but I hate being spoon-fed all this information. It's a very boring way of catching everyone up.

Despite these problems, I really like Tear and the way her and Luke interact. They look cute together. Tear's character is drawn so well and she just screams C.C. any way you look at her. However, I have to say Luke's outfit makes him look pretty gay.

I was also a fan of Anise's mood swings. She reminded me of Maki from Seto no Hanayome. Hopefully, we get to see more of that angry side of her in future episodes for comedic relief. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing her kick Luke's ass.

I still like this series so I'm hoping the next episodes will be more like they were in the first three episodes. Luke is going home next week but I hope their journey will last more than 2 seconds this time.