Tuesday, January 21, 2014

a parade of first impressions

I picked up anime again a few weeks ago.  What propelled this strange occurrence since my hiatus to this blog and the anime/manga world since 2009 is the most random thing:  Netflix began uploading anime with dual language rather than simply uploading the English dubbed versions.  Now I can watch select few anime series and movies on Netflix in originality with subtitles.  It's kind of nice.

On that note, I began to think back on a lot of the anime I had yet to watch but had wanted to watch for a long time.  And somehow, that wall came down and now I'm watching lots.  It just so happened that I already had a Crunchyroll account too.  So I've been checking out a bunch of anime, new and old (some that are new to me, though way old for everyone else), as well as catching up on some anime I never finished (which will be a different post later).

So let the party begin.

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
This is the first of my anime "first episodes" marathon, as the premise sounded kind of neat.  Not that it was extremely interesting or anything, but I was curious enough to pick it up.  I'm not entirely sure what the storyline is about, but it seems to follow a young boy and his djinn with a promise to return the magical creature back to his own people.

It seems like a cute and possibly exciting series so far with really pretty animation and lots of action and humor.  I'm thinking that my only complaint about it is the talk about boobies every few frames of the anime series.  And our boys are constantly groping the girls around them.  I'm not sure I feel too great about those parts, but then again, this is Japanese anime after all and we're always open to the "open pervertedness" of the anime culture, no?

After finishing up other series, I may come and pick up the rest of Magi as well as it's second season.

Log Horizon
As of the writing of this post, I've already decided to continue following Log Horizon to it's most recently aired episode.  With 25 episodes total and only around 16 available so far, I have a feeling I'll be doing quite a bit of waiting around nearing the end.

MMORPG to anime series have always been rather successful and tons of fun to watch if you've ever been someone who's spent hours upon hours stuck in a virtual world of adventure.  In the same line, series about MMORPG worlds are even more fun when accompanied by the futuristic "real body experience" virtual reality gaming where the MMO can be played as if you were really in the game rather than just watching the game play on a screen.

.hack was one of few of these types with a multi-series show from a couple years back.  Last year, we enjoyed the glorious story of Sword Art Online that included a rather intriguing, almost horrifying real world experience where players are stuck in the game and a game death would mean a real life death as well.

Log Horizon takes on a different style of "virtually stuck in a game".  I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that Elder Tales was a game that you would play the normal way at present: on a computer, staring at a screen for hours.  I'm going to assume that this isn't one of those fancy futuristic games where we use virtual reality gear to enter the game's world as if it were real.  But then due the new expansion of Elder Tales, the players somehow ended up being whisked into the game itself as if it were really a virtual reality game.

So the story taking place now pretty much follows our heroes as they try to figure out what to do with themselves in this game where, death leads to respawning and survivability is easy, and the law is so non-existent that people have come to take advantage of the system to truly become terrible, evil people.  After all, if you kill and steal from others in the game, those people will respawn anyway and you get to keep all their loot.  And best of all, there are no repercussions.  So why not go all out and do exactly what you want to do right?

I guess the entire basis of this series will follow the mystery of why players were forced into the virtual world as real people and why there is no escape from the game at all.  In the meantime, we simply follow along some mini-adventures with our heroes.

The concept of the series still seems a bit hard to grasp for me, but I'm enjoying the anime nonetheless.  There's enough MMO language, gaming excitement, character growth, and dry, yet spontaneous humor to keep me interested.  Also, running gags are pretty fun when done correctly -- Nice Job! Akatsuki-chan!

Magical Warfare
I'm a fan of anything fantasy, adventure and magic, so a series called Magical Warfare sounded like it would be interesting.  Especially when we start with a kid suddenly acquiring magic when he had none to begin with.  It's a typical hero story line with the main character gaining power and skills, joining with characters of "a whole different world".

However, I started getting bored of the action as the episode progressed.  Even though there was a lot of fighting and a lot of info being flung around, I found myself hard pressed to care about the events.  And then there was the one suspension of disbelief moment in the nurse's office when the magic girl, Mui, pulls a gun out.  Rather than freaking out that she has a gun on her person, our main guy seemed pretty darn calm about it.  The entire time I'm wondering, "Why isn't he questioning anything that's happening?  Why is he just going with it all?"  And in spite of his easy acceptance of these strange circumstances, he then ends up freaked out when his friends are exposed to magic and develop their own powers as well.

Realistic this series is not (as realistic as a magic genre can be, I mean).  However, as I've mentioned before in some other post, even within the logic of the series itself, things should make sense.  And somehow, it didn't really.  At least not for me.

In short, I may not be continuing this series at all with so many other series to watch and so many other things to do.

My Little Monster/ Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
Here's another sweet little shoujo genre anime to add to my pile of rom-coms.  After finally finishing Kimi ni Todoke and then picking up another shoujo anime, Sukitte Ii na yo, it never hurts to have another one waiting for when I'm ready for another dose of fluff.  Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is proving to be every bit as cute and unique as I expected, considering the fact that the main couple comprise of non-standard female and male types (if you compare with the typical shoujo characters seen regularly).

The girl is smart, academically successful, and she has a no-nonsense attitude about her.  She's realistic too, as she doesn't swoon at the cute guy clinging to her; and she also behaves appropriately around him.  When he's acting all angry, dangerous and creepy, she walks away.  This is normal behavior in the real world, because no matter how good looking a boy is, if he's exhibiting violent behavior, it's probably smart to stay away from him.

Of course, as any rom-com would have it, the boy, of course has a heart of mush as all he wants is to make friends.  He's cute AND angrily violent at the same time.  I'm... not sure how I feel about that combination.  Because the depressing and pathetic cute side of him makes you want to hang around so you don't make him cry...  But his violent side makes you just want to avoid him altogether so that you don't get hurt.

Conflicts of the dramatic, teenage world, no?

As a short series, I'll probably finish this one fairly quickly, but it'll hang for a while until I've watched some other series.  Because after this, I'll have to search for some more rom-com, shoujo-esque series to enjoy.

Tonari no Seki-kun
I can't not look away from this series for some reason.  I mean, it's seven minutes per episode of Seki-kun killing time while he's bored in class.  It's like... I'm really watching merely out of curiosity to see what he has planned next.

Which is strange considering there's really nothing else going on.  So it's probably a good thing that this series is only airing short seven-minute episodes.  And for a while there, I was wondering how they would fill 20 minutes with nothing but Seki-kun's bored feats.

Watching it as it releases an episode at a time on Crunchyroll.  This series is amusing at best, but aren't those usually the ones you end up enjoying?

I did not even finish the first episode.  Nothing in the story line was making sense, none of the characters made sense, and the show seemed to be another weird fantasy/Digimon/Pokemon/transformers/mecha... well, I'm not sure what this series is about and maybe I would have found out soon enough.  But I didn't have the patience to sit through 20 minutes of this series when I was starting to wander.

Definitely not going to be continuing this one.  That is all.

Wizard Barristers
This is a hard one to form an opinion on.  On the one hand, the artwork is shiny and pretty and the concept is unique.  On the other hand, the story line thus far (episode 1) was kind of boring and random.  And the world creation isn't really making much sense either.

For now, I'm just going to monitor and maybe watch a few more episodes before I make a decision on whether or not I want to continue watching this one.

There's office politics, real politics, magical politics, and some silly magical girl antics going on that doesn't quite do it for me.

See my first impression post of Strange+.  That is all


So there you have it.  Several anime series that I've picked up and tried to pick up.  There are also several other ones I've begun watching as well, but that I don't have anything much to say about them.  Newer series includes Attack on Titan, which is visually and conceptually awesome, though it seems more like something my brothers would enjoy on a different level than I would.  I don't have many thoughts on it yet except for the fact that I'm enjoying it.  Other series include Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, and a continuation of Fairy Tail -- all three series of which are fun in a totally different way.  I have plans to start watching Gintama and maybe see to catching the first few episodes of One Piece... just because.

I've even been playing around with rewatching Sword Art Online, Samurai Champloo and D.Gray-man.

Otherwise, this is it for now.

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