Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

This show has all the ingredients to be something remembered for generations, but it doesn’t know what to do with them. It doesn’t resort to perv material to make up for it, and so it doesn’t fail spectacularly either. It just bubbles along, slowly, like someone dancing in place. The music is almost better than the series, in a way; the music is memorable — both themes — and even the music used in the show itself, while the show just doesn’t have the character development, and the growth that makes a series worthwhile. With that said, the best episode of the series is the last. It has character development, timelessness, and the painful, yet necessary maturation of growing up. The next-best episode is the first. The rest range from good to somewhat questionable (some risque insinuations show up from time to time), but the whole innocent sheen remains intact.

Rin, Natsume, Yuka, and Saki

Natsuro Kiseki tells the story of four jr. high girls — Rin, Yuka, Natsume, and Saki — in their last summer together, as Saki is moving to a new school on a remote island. They have many memorable experiences along the way, beginning with flying about 100 feet in the air in the first episode. This is a wish granted to them by the rock-sama at Rin’s shrine. (Yeah, rock-sama. Whatever.)

The tone has sensitivity and honesty high on the charts. The dialog is realistic, too, and the characters are sharply defined. At the best, it’s simply delicious, wistful, and yet, sadly inexorable. At worst, it’s just there, like images moving on a screen.

This wasn’t a bad series, but I wasn’t emotionally moved enough by it to bother listing out short descriptions of each episode. They were all stand-alone episodes anyways except for 1,11, and 12 — and that’s sad. Natsuro Kiseki, like a lot of people, and a lot of days in our lives, self-immolates in unused potential.

Fansubbed by Rori and by Tasty-Anmitsu.

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Black Rock Shooter (OVA) 2010. Ok, what we have here is a plot that takes forever to unwind, but the direction of which is obvious within the first ten minutes. Not only that, but there is zero depth: the conflict is a hackneyed over-emotional metaphor for a tiff between best friends. Seriously? And then there’s all the plot threads left dangling all over the place! What the heck is the orange world, anyways? Don’t even get me started on the predictable cliff-hanger ending.

If you’re not turned off yet, the fighting scenes feature boringly predictable psuedo-metal music coupled with basically loli fight scenes. I’m really sick of that. Not only is it totally unreal (you cannot fight in a string bikini, guys — it offers no protection and it gets blown off when you’re falling through empty air), but it’s so transparently prurient. Lest you think that is just part of the genre, you have the other loli parts where the school uniforms expose midriffs. Yeah, I can see who this appeals to, and it’s not me.

About the only thing BRS has going for it is the lack of profanity and some cute scenes between the two main characters. You’ve seen that in Clannad, Soro No Woto, To Heart, and K-On, though, and those series did it much better.

Black Rock Shooter misses, big-time. Welcome to the graveyard.

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There are some anime` series that I really don’t get. The Alice Academy (Gauken Alice) is one of them. Although it’s spazzy and bubbly, the undertones are bleak to the point of nihilism. Take for instance the main character, Mikan. She tries to pursue a friendship with a girl who never, ever returns it. This is heartbreaking in itself and not really funny unless you’re a fan of cutting black humor; admittedly that is occasionally entertaining, but to have it thrown in your face over and over again is dispiriting.

Ok, let’s say that you can handle that much, but things get worse for our heroine. By episode two, she finds herself in a school comprised of elitist bullies who take delight in tormenting her in embarrassing and typically true-to-life jr. high/high school ways. Maybe I’m just too emotional for my own good, but I sure remember junk like that. Mikan never gives up, but that’s a bit unrealistic; by this point, a lot of people would be crushed. However, she still hasn’t endured enough. Her friend finally comes to defend her, after admitting that so doing results in her sacrifice of being honor student of the year and insults Mikan, publicly.

The Alice Academy pretends to be funny, but what it holds up as comical is all-too real. I really couldn’t continue watching it after two and a half episodes.

Welcome to the graveyard, Alice Academy.

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