An Oasis of Thoughts

Final Summer Evaluations

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Sorry for the dead quiet activity: school has once again reared its ugly head. Here’s my mini-review/impressions of the summer series (or the continuing spring ones), and I’ll try to post full reviews soon. Also, October’s monthly post will be out soon.

Accel World

Animation C+ | Story C | Sound B- | Characters C+ | Enjoyment C | Overall C

I dropped Accel World in favor of what I assumed was the original author’s stronger work, Sword Art Online. Big mistake. While I had problems with Accel World’s clunky exposition and the need to stop a nicely animated battle for explanations annoyed me greatly, but this is something you should expect from virtually every series. SAO, on the other hand was just godawful all around and not even the female characters were any interesting, this is where Accel World has the upper hand. I am glad I picked up this show again, because while it still stumbled a bit, at least the characters weren’t entirely bland or a loud annoying tsundere. Heck even Taku had more of a personality than Kiribland, which may or may not have something to do with his awesome mimicking of Ash Roller. While everyone can agree that everything involving Noumi was painful to watch, I literally watch his final scene with Haru every day. God damn, that was so delicious how Noumi begged for forgiveness and I actually thought Haru would actually spare him, luckily though it was him who brought the blade down on that prick. I’m pretty sure I’ll watch a sequel, whenever it airs. The production was solid courtesy of Sunrise, and the music was pretty awesome: I love all four OP/EDs, but the second OP and the first ED are my favorites. The music was also very energetic, especially the Physical Full Burst music. It sounds kind of weird, it fits for something like Pokemon but I absolutely love that track out of the rest. This was a good show, and definitely much better than it who shall not be named.

Hyouka

Animation A+ | Story B- | Sound B | Characters B | Enjoyment B | Overall B

I already wrote my review for Hyouka here, but I’ll just quickly summarize that if the “Why didn’t she ask EBA?” arc or if you’re not familiar with the arc name, the one where Irisu was introduced, I’d give this show an A score. That arc was just bad, why did the cast get so emotional over a fake murder event? That really left a bad taste in my mouth but luckily the next arc, the Kanya Festival arc, literally was the best part of the show even including the development of Mayaka and Satoshi. Production values were stunning, music was great and the characters are all well developed. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you do so.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Animation B | Story B+ | Sound B | Characters B | Enjoyment A+ | Overall B+

My review for Jinrui is here. Needless to say, I absolutely loved Jinrui. I loved the dark humor, the witty narrator/protagonist and the sheer absurdity that this cast finds completely normal. The presentation of the arcs was a bit risky, especially having the last few episodes lose that wittyness for character development, but I still can say with complete certainty that if it weren’t for Jinrui and Hyouka, Summer would just be godawful.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate

Animation C+ | Story D | Sound C- | Characters D+ | Enjoyment D | Overall D

I absolutely hate Chisato with a passion. So yes, this review is a bit biased because she clearly needs mental help before Yuuki even considered dating her but meh, this is the real reason I don’t watch harem series: the girl I want (Satsuki) loses to a clear cardboard cutout of any of the School Days girls. But my issue with this show is that it tried to do too much in only 12 episodes that nothing really connected with me, except the politics angle. Another forgettable VN adaptation ruined by the 12 episode curse. Well it looked decent production wise and the music was okay, but that’s my feelings of KoiChoco: “Okay”.

Kokoro Connect

Animation D+ | Story C+ | Sound C+ | Characters C | Enjoyment C+ | Overall C

I really like how Kokoro Connect brings up important issues in a way that is actually a bit creative, but the resolution for these issues is weak precisely because it’s another short series. Well, there’s four more episodes but they’re on the Blu-ray so I can’t review those. Some times I felt the cast was more like a plot device to bring these issues up, and then bring them back to give these issues a lackluster finish. Particularly the final arc: Finally poor Aoki gets the spotlight, and he does it with his constant proclamation of his love for Yui, which turns out to be related to another girl he liked who looked just like Yui. Short story: he sees the other girl, says “Oh, I don’t like you anymore” and just leaves. What? Come on, that was just a waste of time. Still I loved this show mainly for Inaban, who always felt like the real leader of the show rather than Taichi. God damn loli Inaban….god damn. Miyuki Sawashiro is a seiyuu legend, I may just add her to my top seiyuu list because I loved her performance of Inaba. Music was good, but I loved that last ending “Salvage” which was storyboarded by the legendary Kunihiko Ikuhara (Penguindrum, Utena) and I loved the opening “Paradigm”, too bad the composer of Eufonius quit after he got tangled in that nasty controversy with Kokoro Connect. Anyways, this show had great beginning episodes and lackluster endings. The animation was pretty cheap, what the hell Silver Link? Where’s that SHAFT art you always use? This show totally needed it!

Kuroko no Basuke

Animation B- | Story C+ | Sound B- | Characters C+ | Enjoyment B | Overall C+

Seriously, I don’t get the hate for this show. It was better than most of the shows airing at the same time. People say that “It’s so unrealistic!” Duh, it’s a Shounen Jump series. What Shounen Jump series is actually realistic? Yes it has that sports stigma, but honestly this was one of the best shows, just pure adrenaline with awesome music and solid animation. I knew how unbelievable this show was when it came to the basketball physics but something about it caught my eye and being my third sports anime after Chihayafuru and Ookiku Furikabutte, I have to say it’s quite good. The plot is simple, but the matches are thrilling. This show KNOWS how to do tension and build-up, and with the animation effort of Production I.G., the matches were all very well animated. Every match was thrilling, but nothing came close to the final match between Kaijo and Touou, now THAT was on the level of Chihayafuru’s second to last match and Oofuri season 2’s big match. It’s pretty obvious a season 2 is coming, and whether it’ll be in Winter (appropriate given the next arc is the Winter Cup arc) or spring, it’ll come and I’ll be waiting excitingly.

Natsuyuki Rendevous

Animation B+ | Story C | Sound B | Characters C- | Enjoyment C+ | Overall C

This show, it had so much potential but I have to agree with everyone here: that middle half was just too long and ought to have only been maybe two episodes long. I truly loved the first few episodes, but once Hazuki was stuck in the fairy tale world, that growing potential just faded. I never imagined an 11 episode series to feel slow, but that’s exactly how Natsuyuki Rendevous felt. This show truly had one of the best opening episodes, but the rest was just painfully slow and the ending was not surprisingly, rushed. Still, really wonderful voice acting and the animation was very impressive.

Tari Tari

Animation: C- | Story: D | Sound: C | Characters C | Enjoyment: C- | Overall: D+

Review here. First and foremost, treat the male characters like they’re legally retarded and you bet as hell I’m going to be very critical about this show. Tari Tari just plain annoyed me, it never tried to leave its not so comfy comfort zone and I said “not so comfy” because even though you can still do alot without taking risks, Tari Tari just didn’t even do the basics that well. I get the message this show was trying to send, but the priorities of this show tended to change almost every episode and the biggest moment of the show was completely rushed. I really hope that if this show even dares attempt to go for a second season, that it focuses on the male characters before anyone else. They deserve to be treated as equals, and not laughing stocks. Still, everything with Wakana was definitely watchable and I cared more about her mother than probably everyone else in the cast. At least the adults in this show were treated like competent beings, but that doesn’t excuse the lazy storytelling effort this show brought. I’m hesitant to check out any more P.A. Works series, except for the new HanaIro movie coming out soon.

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