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Posts Tagged ‘Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai’

In two words: time loop. If you watch this series long enough you realize that this plot construct allows the same scenes or very similar scenes to be dealt with repeatedly, and by episode eight I was ready to poke my eyes out. Not that I hate time loops by themselves. Groundhog Day and Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl That Leapt Through Time) use them to great effect. However, both of those were movies. This was a SERIES.

What’s even more annoying is that there were some borderline excellent episodes, and the feel of those episodes strongly paralleled one of my favorite shows of all-time: the X-Files. Government conspiracy, aliens, and tragedy make for a potent mix, but only in the hands of decent writers.

The series begins with a handful of characters investigating the ruins of a town. As they talk, the official story of what happened here fades away and they start to unravel the truth hidden in folder 43. Events that happened after the great disaster seem bizarre and unconnected — at first. Then the series flashes back in time to two weeks before the disaster, to recount what happened.

* 1 – Eerie, odd, and intriguing, and not a little reminiscent of the X-Files. However, you’re left at the end wondering how the series will continue.
2 – Total change in mood with only a little of the eerieness in the first episode. Lots of the diminutive figures (which I hate), and some risque` elements. A few profanities. Things better get better fast or I’m outta here.
3 – The emotions are better-balanced here and the feel is getting darker. There’s one risque` scene that glorifies perversion, though. The next episode preview is creepy.
4 – One stupid risque` part as usual; the ordinary scenes are boring and stereotypical, but the eerie scenes are beginning to dominate and prove far more interesting.
* 5 – VERY GOOD. Freaky, tense, intriguing. One cuss word.
6 – It’s ok. No profanities. One arguably risque` scene. We do learn some more about the whole metaphysical background, but it doesn’t really make sense. If you can change fate, it’s not fate.
7 – Good. A serious mood. One profanity, some mistaken morality (there is nothing that is written).
8 – Ok. Some emotions, but not enough to compensate for the slow plot

High points: episodes 1 and 5. Maybe there were more decent episodes later on, but you’d need more patience than Job to get to them.

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I do a lot of downloading various torrents and I often run across shows that I’ll watch a few episodes of, or maybe just one episode before the suckage makes me nauseous. These are the latest bad apples that I have found.

Clannad V2 — The first series was excellent (except for the end), so I suppose it’s only natural that the follow-up couldn’t match it. Here, cutesiness gives way to purposeful sexploitation, plots founder, and lines are crossed for apparently, shock value. It’s not funny anymore, either.

Daa Daa Daa — Probably the worst combination of dumb sexual situations, psuedo-innocent characters, and bright ‘n’ bubbly animation. Fail on all four cylinders.

ef (A Tale of Melodies) — The prologue indicated an interest in truth and prayer. The show uses the usual voyeuristic camera angles spiced with trash dialog. Aquaplus now lives in the gutter and likes it.

Happiness! — Sexploitation + magic. Boring.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai — This is the most disappointing of the bunch, because the first episode was arresting. The series never really got its whole X-Files magic to work, losing its way in a maze of oversexed characters and plots that took forever to unwind. A shame, really.

Monster — A typical anime` series that overpromised and underdelivered. Don’t hint at the paranormal/occult as a way to distract the audience from a run-of-the-mill plot. It won’t work!

Real Drive — Voyeuristic camera angles, slow plot, and utterly uninteresting SF.

Tales from the Abyss — Wow, talk about disappointing. Dante’s Inferno recast in a medieval-esque Japan setting could have been fascinating. Just hinting at this idea and not working it through into the series is like popping the hood on a Corvette and discovering a Kia engine.

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