Tari Tari – Singing, Horse Riding and a Big Yellow Dolphin

Tari Tari was an enjoyable series taking a different approach to most high school anime by focussing on a group of students who are about toe graduate, rather than those who have just started. It did immediately draw comparisons with Hanasaku Iroha largely due to P.A. Works being at the helm of both series, along with the similar character design. However, in many respects Tari Tari is the inferior show, lacking in character and story progression at times, and often jumping between sections with out any real flow. However, it is by no means a bad series, with fascinating characters and a setting that demonstrates the importance of following your dreams or wishes. Read more of this post

Accel World – Two Worlds, One Problem

Accel World was a mixed bag, bringing together some brilliant fight sequences, along with exposition heavy episodes that often ended in tedium, and topped off with problematic characters that never quite managed to stay entertaining throughout. Although this is not strictly true, there were numerous characters that were great to watch, providing some interesting insight into a world that at first appears overly simplistic, but soon turns into something that may be too complicated for its own good. However, one of the central, if not the biggest flaw with Accel World is the lack of proper antagonists. As a series it lacked that all-important element, an antagonist that is both entertaining, while also being as evil and nasty as possible. This coupled with the protagonist often dissolving into angst and tears could make various episodes and sections painful to watch. Read more of this post

Kokoro Connect – Narration, Selflessness and Fond Memories

Kokoro Connect has been a fascinating series so far, providing a relatively light-hearted school romance while also looking in greater depth at the problems that each character has had to deal with in their past and present. What is particularly interesting about these events are their almost benign nature, they were not designed to hurt or destroy any in the group, rather, they are a neutral part of the story. Each character reacts to these incidents in a different way, with some affected more than others, however, it is a personal problem and while the events clearly had some impact upon our characters they remain neutral throughout. Similarly, Heartseed is not a malicious or bad character, their actions do not appear to be deliberately nasty, and the various situations that they continue to create are set up in such a way as to help rather than hind the central group of characters. Instead as the series has progressed the central characters of Iori, Yui, Inaba, Taichi and Aoki have begun to learn far more about each other than they once did. In essence Heartseed is showing them who they truly are and bringing them together in a close-knit group of friends who truly know and understand each other. Read more of this post

Natsuyuki Rendezvous – A tale of two halves

Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a tale of two halves, it was an excellent series right up until episode six, at which point things started to go very wrong and it slid down into the pits of mediocrity. This is not to say that the series was not enjoyable, because it was, however, there were some distinct decisions made during this series life that ultimately slightly ruined the whole experience. There are precious few mature romance series, most anime are set in high school or junior high school, with the protagonists often having to deal with other issues such as family circumstances or teenage angst. A romance series that takes place during a work or university environment, or at least have a more mature feel can be incredibly fun to watch and help to provide an alternative view of romance without the teenage angst. Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Paradise Kiss, Ristorante Paradiso and Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma are a few of the small number of such titles. What is so wonderful about these series is how they tell a story about romance, but without the angst, school references and other elements that pepper high school romance stories. There is still drama and elements of angst, but it is being used from a different perspective, and while there are still problems to overcome, they revolve around the needs of the everyday rather than problems with tests and the (apparent) innocence of youth. Read more of this post

The slightly Illogical Autumn 2012 season preview

So it appears to be that time when many anime bloggers start to look forward to the new season, to see what looks interesting, or to simply rip into anime as a whole with an immense sense of superiority. I tend not to look too far ahead when it comes to anime, and for the most part concentrate on the current season rather than look at anime that have yet to air. Also, I never watch previews, they tell you very little about the series, providing a few sound bites and a look at the animation style without really giving any indication as to what the anime will really be about. As such my previews don’t contain them and I don’t even bother with them, instead I see what other information is available and generally make up my mind based on the plot overview and artwork. Having had a look at the line-up for next season it does look to be potentially very interesting. As with all anime seasons there is a plethora of anime on show, ranging from the classic romance/shoujo series, through the light novel adaptations to the (usually) over-hyped anime that never quite turn out to be as good as everyone suggests they should be. Overall the season has quite a varied lineup, with may different genres included, something that is always nice to see in an anime season. There are some potentially very nice romance series which will obviously go down well with me as a fan of a good romance, along with numerous sequels to some more recent, along with slightly older series.

This list is in no particular order, and barring a couple of series that I honestly dont like the look of I will at least have a look at everything listed, whether I finish the anime is another matter entirely. Read more of this post

Moyashimon Returns – Deciding your own future

What makes Moyashimon such a fascinating anime to watch is the way with which it brings together numerous storytelling devices without letting any one of them overpower the others. The oddity that marks Moyashimon out from many other slice-of-life style series – Sawaki’s ability to see and communicate with microbes – is not essential to the series, although it does provide some interesting educational elements, along with certain comedic plot devices. Instead it is a series focussed entirely on the characters and how the cope with daily life at the Agricultural University. At the very centre of the story are questions about where these people belong and what they want to do with their lives. The main focus of Moyashimon Returns, at least in the last few episodes has been firmly on Haruka and her arranged marriage to a fat and entirely unlikable Ryuuta. Read more of this post

Rinne no Lagrange – Past, Present and Future

The Past, Present and Future and themes that have been touched upon throughout Rinne no Lagrange, demonstrating that what happened in the past can impact the present and the future. These ideas are all encompassing, bringing in anything from the apparently mundane notions of what you want to do after high school to the future of the Polyhedron. In fact the series is about the mistakes of the past catching up to those in the present and impacting upon the future of Earth, Le Garite, De Metrio, and numerous other nations and planets. The very existence of the Vox units is seen as the dangers of the past taking physical form and endangering the present. However, it is far more complex than this, and it has become clear that everyone has different ideas and views of the past. Throughout this and the first half of Rinne no Lagrange it has become ever clearer that these Vox units are far from simple, and that there are conflicting opinions of their use and their power. Read more of this post

Binbougami Ga and the Gadget of Misfortune

Binbougami Ga may be part parody using slapstick comedy and other humour to create a light-hearted story, but at the very centre of it we have a character that is deeply flawed and very lonely. The central relationship of the series between Ichiko and Momiji is one of mutual distrust and general spite. Neither character hates the other, but their petulant natures coupled with the ridiculous situations that they both find themselves in helps to create an atmosphere that is almost preposterous. Binbougami Ga therefore does what Medaka Box failed to do (and arguably the manga continues to fail in this respect) by managing to parody and lampoon other anime and manga genres, while also maintaining a relatively serious story and character relationships. Read more of this post

Something called the Aniblogger Interrogation Game

So apparently I have been tagged, not once, but twice by Justin and Naru in this Aniblogger Interrogation Game, which came as a bit of surprise since I rarely read blogs lately and had no idea that it even existed. But, once I had found some spare voodoo dolls and a handy tree to nail them to, thus cursing Justin and Naru I set about thinking of answers, questions, along with philosophising about the sound that a falling tree makes when there is no one there to hear it. This interrogation game appears to have been thought up by Iso of Nabe! as a way with which various bloggers could ask and answer questions thus sharing some information and various facts about themselves as human beings as opposed to disembodied existences on the internet. Read more of this post

Muv-Luv Alternative – Total Eclipse – The Politics of the Battlefield

The most recent arc of Muv-Luv Alternative – Total Eclipse has brought to light some interesting but obvious problems with the Muv-Luv universe, and humanities attempt to beat the BETA. The BETA may be a significant and ever present threat within the Muv-Luv universe, but it has not brought all countries together. Quite the opposite has happened with a similar arms race to the ones before WWI and WWII along with the Cold War in full flow despite this threat. Every major country and military power is attempting to design and build the best and most powerful weapons possible, not for the good of humanity, but for their own military and political aims. Those who have the largest and most experienced military force with the best technology will ultimately rule the world. Or at least this is the message that certain countries and groups are sending out during this series. Read more of this post