Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 3

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Mimi: What a lovely episode. We finally get some time to know the characters, starting with the Ades Federation. When at first they seemed like the worst people ever, they actually have a cute little girl on their side and a motive to help the people whose lands were stolen by the Turan. This gives them much more dimension and balance compared to Delphine, who was simply a wicked villain. I like how both sides seem to have a righteous agenda, yet they carry some heavy baggage.

Fam and Giselle are quite likeable now. So far, we know that baby Fam was discovered in a vanship with two other people found dead (maybe her parents), and was adopted by Giselle’s folks. They have that close bond from their childhood like Claus and Lavie do. Fam’s dream is to bring back the Grand Race, which sadly ended with the peace. And to my surprise, Millia also turns out to be a great character. I was afraid that she was going to be one of those stuck up, annoying princesses, but she’s very mature, and her emotions feel genuine.

The scene where the Turan held a memorial service was simply beautiful and moving, not to mention the piano/violin piece. I can’t wait to have that song.

What, the Silvius has been spotted?! Something tells me that Tatiana and Allis are going to be there. Yay!

Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle Episode 3 & 4

The Melancholy of the Boy Genius

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The Girl in the Secret Room

Alex: And with this…Phi Brain better be done introducing it’s characters.There are just so many main characters now…I mean,  Episode 3 featured a child genius who loves inventing and doesn’t believe in solving puzzles, and Episode 4 featured a girl..oh no, he’s a he. A guy who’s an eccentric artist and could pass for a girl…slightly different sidekicks to the norm.

The puzzles in these two episodes, what should be the focal of this franchise, well…one word could be creative. I would personally say that they’re out there and a little bit too abstract, like they’re trying too hard not to be solved. Every good puzzle needs to have an obvious solution. Or a solution that I can get before Kaito >_>

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Digimon Xros Wars Episode 59

Cuteness Causion! Cute Hunter, Airu’s Trap!

Mimi: The first 19 minutes of this episode is just annoying/silly filler, where Airu tries to kidnap Cutemon, and Tagiru visits Yuu’s house. You might as well skip to the last 4 minutes when something important actually happens. Yuu gets Damemon back, yaaay! Now how many more filler episodes will we have to put up with before we get to the good stuff (assuming there will be good stuff)? When will the old characters appear?

Btw… so this is what has become of Nene… o_o

Tamayura ~ Hitotose VS Kimi to Boku: My halfbaked thoughts

Alex: Slice of Life. That’s a genre which can go wrong in sooo many different ways that it’s not even worth mentioning anymore, but when it’s done right, it can be one of the most relaxing, enjoyable and even funniest genres out there. And this season we’ve been given the rare treat of having two brilliant slice of life shows airing one after the other every Monday. Comparisons really were inevitable, righttt~?

Once upon a time, in a world far, far away, we had K-On. A group of cute girls who lived their high school life together, playing in a band. We had moe times. Emotional times. Funny times. Relaxing times.Out of all the slice of life anime that i’ve watched over the years, K-On and more notably its sequel, K-On!! became the champions of that genre. Then, an OVA came along. The premise was nothing special, pretty much exactly the same as K-On. Just replace the words Music Club with Photography club and you’re set.

The OVA did little to change my mind that Tamayura was nothing but a shallow clone of K-On, attempting to cash in on it’s success. So imagine my surprise when a TV show of the same franchise was announced. And well, after being sceptical of the show, after hearing praise of it everywhere I went, I gave the first three episodes a try.

I was actually surprised. For once, a TV show figured out what it did wrong and changed it all, and it resulted in an enjoyable slice-of-life series that has a lot to like and not much to dislike. But one huge flaw remained.

Yeah, it’s still a form of a K-On clone. Cute girls doing cute things related to photography, even though it has a different style and a different method of showing things. K-On!! outstripped this show, even though it’s been ages since I last saw it. Not to say that it’s bad or anything, it’s a really good slice of life and a pleasure to watch.

On the other hand, we have a rather rare show. A slice of life without a single girl in it’s main cast. This alone was enough to grab my attention, considering how sick I am of all these girl-only casts and how male’s just aren’t represented correctly in anime. 4 episodes of Kimi to Boku later, and I was actually amazed.

Sure, it’s a very unique taste, and I don’t think everyone will love it as much as I do. But for me, it’s another defining slice-of-life doing a unique task and running the risk of failing, since let’s face it…moe animes sell because they’re moe. And that they have boobs. If they tried that style of marketing with Kimi to Boku, you’d end up alienating half of the market by using penis and shirtless guys to sell to the females. I think I figured out how poor Mimi feels looking at all these moe series..xD

Kimi to Boku is my personal favorite out of the two because it does what K-On did for the genre but with males, and I always preferred watching males on the screen than females…i’m sick of moe and tsunderes and that bunch of character cliches. When a good female comes along, she does capture the screen and make everything that much better, but i’m happy with my male characters and my male slice of life for now…

Has anyone else watched both of them? I’d be fascinated to hear your thoughts on which one’s better.

Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 16

That Man Who Won’t Die

Alex: The survival strategy is back with one of it’s best offerings, thanks to some snide humour from the penguinhat. Yay! It’s a return to the slightly comical, slightly serious side of things this week as we get the backstory of Natsume and just how she fits into the grand scheme of things in Penguindrum.

And that Doctor Sanetoshi and Kanba are “chosen”, just like Kanba’s parents and Natsume’s father, and they’re the only people who can get the world back on track. Penguindrum excels in making a messy scenario, full of random sketches and outbursts, yet keeps a level of control and order throughout, telling the clear-cut image of just what’s going on. Traits like that really are to be admired…xD

Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 15

The Savior of the World

Alex: Its been a while since I watched Penguindrum. But…if I remember correctly, it wasn’t left at a very strong point with the conclusion of the first half. But, I do love a series which has a good sense of what to do with an OP. The new OP is pretty creative and engaging, even though the song isn’t up to the standard of the first one.

Yuri fails in raping Ringo because Shouma saves her. Knight in shining armour. Considering that Yuri appears to have taken a focal point in the story, it’s time for her backstory…yay. To be honest, I wasn’t very excited about her backstory at all. She was a character who annoyed me and I didn’t care one bit for her motivations or reasons, to be blunt. That’s the main reason I put it off so long :b

Abusive. screwed up father, that lot…yeah. Oh, and Momoka. MORE Momoka. Granted, from what we saw of her, she is a very likeable girl and it’s understandable how everyone loves her and is all hung up over her death.But that doesn’t change the fact that i’m fed up of her being the core of every little thing.The parts of the episode which switched back to the modern-day scenario were the best parts, with more of the electrifying doctor and the mysterious Kanba.Oh…and the “fight” scene.That was both gripping and among Penguindrums finest moments, even it it was a little overdramatic. And…did they really do that to the Tokyo Tower?

I think i’m starting to see things for what they are in this crazy, screwed up series.

Fate/zero Episode 5

Howl of a Mad Beast

Mimi: Fate/zero continues to reach higher epic levels. There are just…so many crazy things going on. So Rider’s brilliant plan is make Saber and Lancer his subordinates, which ultimately fails and embarrasses his poor master. Then guess who tries to steal the show? Oh darn, my screen shots spoiled the answer. Friggen’ Gilgamesh and Berserker. Holy crap. Their battle is short, but it’s the most powerful and intense one yet. Gilgamesh really seemed invincible up until Berserker dodged all of his swords like it was after school practice. Then we get another superb fight, this time between Saber and Berserker. So hype!

Despite the CG, I totally loved Berserker’s design and intimidating atmosphere. Am I the only one who laughed out loud when Rider ran over him? More epic points for Rider. But even still, Berserker survives to fight another day. He probably only needs a bandaid or two! And poor Kariya. His servant might be crazy strong, but he’s the weakest master. That bloody worm stuff doesn’t look too good. Well, they certainly form an interesting pair.

Perhaps I should also feel sorry for Saber because Caster seems to be completely in love with her. I read that he’s mistaken her to be Joan of Arc, who was his former comrade and infatuation. I didn’t see that coming. Well uh…good luck with that, Saber. o_o

Really, what a great episode. It was a lot of fun to see so many servants gathered in one spot. The way that Gilgamesh’s pompousness clashes with everyone else is entertaining in itself.

Guilty Crown Episode 3

Void-Sampling

Mimi: Voids are the shapes of their hearts… But why a refrigerator?

As expected, the first half of this episode is pretty typical. Inori becomes miss popular in Shu’s school and moves into his apartment. Been there, done that. Things don’t get interesting until they start talking about voids. Though I gotta wonder… Why can voids only be drawn from people 17 years old or younger? It sounds silly, but I hope there will be a decent explanation for it later.

So, Gai tells Shu to find someone from his school who had witnessed their battle with GHQ. Naturally, this guy would be a threat. Since he turns out to be Shu’s good friend, Yahiro, he reveals that he knows his identity and promises to keep it a secret. The end result? Yahiro tells on him, and then he gets arrested by a creepy wacko. I am marveled by Shu’s brilliance. *0*

I noticed that people from forums are extremely split on this episode. Some say it’s the best episode so far, and others say it’s downright horrible. My opinion stands in the middle. It didn’t have the insane fun from the first two, so I didn’t enjoy it as much. Plus, Gai was hardly in it, and he’s one of my main reasons for watching. *sob* However, I understand that the show needs time to build up. The concept of voids and the cliffhanger were interesting. What’s going to happen to Shu now, and how will he escape? *hoping for more eye candy fights*

Gaming Review: Final Fantasy X

It would be no small understatement to say that after Final Fantasy 7, this is the second biggest one and the one the fans love and regard as one of the best. It’s also the last Final Fantasy with the classic turn-based battling system and the first Final Fantasy to receive a sequel. Final Fantasy 10 tells a story about a boy and a girl, and it all starts with Sin.

The boy is nothing special. Star player of a sport called Blitzball, with the usual angst and cheesy saying and catchphrases. The girl is a summoner from an island, trying to live up to the legacy that her father left her: defeat Sin. Sin is a large monster that haunts that world of Final Fantasy 10, and as the name hints, Sin exists because a long time ago people sinned. They used machines and all the electronic equipment we take for granted to start the great Machina War, and because of that, all machines were banned, and the world is united under the faith of Yevon, a religion that promises the defeat of Sin.

It’s the pretty standard set-up when compared with standards nowadays. Evil religion that’s full of false teachings and has everyone fooled. Male lead who’s angsty and can see through the false religion. The characters are all pretty much stereotypes as well, actually. But it begs the question, when did these things become a staple in the genre? After digging on a fair few forums and information sites, I’m led to believe that Final Fantasy X shaped the world of RPG’s and created these staples. Before Final Fantasy X, these things were rare and unheard of across the gaming world. After Final Fantasy X, everyone knows about them.

So…what’s so special about it? The gameplay is pretty flawless in terms of a turn based RPG. The battle system is pretty balanced and makes full use of status and the regular turn-based ideas, blending them into a hybrid of a battle system.The world map and navigation is a way of getting from A-B. It could be better but it could be so much worse, and the creative environments are often worth enjoying.

No, that’s not the best part of Final Fantasy. As with almost every Final Fantasy game, it’s about the journey you experience. Thanks to some very creative storytelling and the method of storytelling, the delivery of the games actual plot is pretty top-notch, only to be further backed up by the amazing soundtrack which really brings the game to life. And even when you’ve finished the story, there’s plenty of tough fiends, a pretty large trio of sidequests and some evil extra bosses to defeat.

With an amazing story and pretty flawless gameplay, Final Fantasy 10 dug itself into the ground as a staple of the RPG genre. You’ll be hard pressed to find an RPG fan who hasn’t played Final Fantasy 10, in all honesty.So if you are an RPG fan and haven’t played it…then the only excuse you’ve got is that Sony was stupid and removed backwards compatibility in the newer models of their PS3.

UN-GO Episode 2

Pitiless Song

Alex: At this point in time, UN-GO doesn’t have to sell itself as a powerful detective series that’s episodic and engaging. It has to prove that it’s different than the other detective series that have been heaped onto the anime world. Granted, UN-GO is a very good series and a strong detective franchise…and pretty unique as to be expected from the noitaminA time-slot. But that didn’t give me the confidence that it would make itself stand out from the other detective shows.

The case this time is pretty simple. Body stuffed in a suitcase, husband in hiding, no other suspects. So thankfully, we get some good detective work and a proper solution…something all the other series seemed to fail to manage.And there was no ghosts, no clues that weren’t presented, none of that stuff. How many of you know about the rules of Knox? Almost all detective novels and shows should aspire to meet these rules. And we finally get an anime which meets them.