Second and final batch of my quick first impressions on some of the Winter 2008/2009 anime series.
In this batch: (1) White Album; (2) Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo; (3) Rideback; (4) Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai; (5) Koukaku no Regios; (6) Genji Monogatari Sennenki; (7) Kemono no Souja Erin; (8.) Viper’s Creed; (9) Birdy the Mighty Decode: 02.
- The OP ["Shinai" by Nana Mizuki] sounds okay. Setting is 1986. Yuki is trying to break into the entertainment business as an idol. She also attends university along with her boyfriend Toya (voiced by Maeno Tomoaki). In Ogata Productions, the agency which Yuki is under, Yuki is friends with Rina who is a popular idol singer. There are also a bunch of other characters who are connected to the 3 main characters. I like what they did with the characters’ thoughts often appearing as text, which kinda reminded me a bit of Honey and Clover. The ED ["Maiochiru Yuki no Youni" by Suara] is a nice ballad.
- Watch it? I’ll check out a couple more episodes, but I’ll most likely just marathon it later when all the episodes are done.
Also known as The Girl Who Leapt Through Space; Sora Kake Girl.
- Akiha runs away from home because she doesn’t want to be forced to get married. While in space, a gravity quake occurs. She meets an AI named Leopard who controls a colony. She also meets a space police and a girl with nekomimi… and their space adventures begin.
- Watch it? Nope.
- OP ["RIDEBACK" by MELL] is on the techno dance side, which sounds quite nice. Pretty good animation, fluid movement. I loved the ballet parts and the chase sequence. The lead character is Rin, an aspiring ballerina who has great talent like her mother. Unfortunately, she injures her foot during a performance. She decides to quit ballet. She attends school with a friend. One rainy day, she takes shelter from a warehouse which is apparently occupied by some group of motorcycle enthusiasts, the Rideback Club. A guy convinces her to try out an awesome red humanoid motorcycle. It started out pretty well, but then had a little malfunction with controls. Despite that, she finds out that she enjoyed it very much. It makes me want to buy a motorcycle. xD Nice ED ["Kioku" by Younha feat. GOKU], soft and upbeat. I like it.
- Watch it? Yep.
Also known as The World Reflected in the Eyes of a Girl Looking Up at the Heavens; Munto.
- The OP ["Anemoi" by eufonius] is alright. Lead character is Yumemi, who seems to be the only one who can see the floating islands up in the sky. On her way to school, a guy named Munto (clad in gay red clothes; ~Lol, reminded me so much of Him from the Powerpuff Girls xD) appears and tries to take her away but can’t because of some time-space continuum barrier thing. Munto is from the floating islands that she can see, and the king of a place called Magical Kingdom. He’s e trying to avoid world destruction. Apparently, Yumemi is the key to opening the future of the heavens, “the girl of destiny.” Heavenly people will die if they fall to the lower world (which is Yumemi’s world). Lots of terminologies, I kinda started to get lost halfway through. The ED ["Hikari to Yami to Toki no Hate" by Ceui] sounds okay.
OMG, and I thought Natsu no Sora had a long title! This is also such a mouthful of words. No wonder people choose to refer to it simply as Munto.^^;;
- Watch it? I don’t think so.
Also known as Chrome Shelled Regios.
- We get some action right of the bat; the BGM during which was complemented the scene pretty well. They have an old lady adviser which reminded me of the stargazer from Darker than Black. They have this university with regular and military students. Layfon was supposed to attend regular school, but was forcibly transferred to the military department after the student council president heard of his ability. The 17th platoon leader, Nina, asked the student council president to make Layfon part of her team as they lack one member. Seems like a video game turned into anime.
- Watch it? I’ll check out two more episodes. I’m a wee bit curious about Layfon. I don’t think I’ll be following it this season though.
Also known as The Tale of Genji.
- Not exactly the kind of OP ["Hiyori Hime" by PUFFY] I was expecting for a series like Genji. It was upbeat and quite catchy. The art/animation is pretty good. I don’t like the eyes, though, but I guess it’s a typical one for a period anime. So basically, when Genji was 9 years old, he bumped into a beautiful lady in the palace. Since then, he had been wandering around the palace trying to find that girl. Alas, she was his first love. We learn that she’s Lady Fujitsubo, 14 years old. Back to Genji (or Hikaru-kimi as he is often called). He is second in line for emperor, mom died when he was young, mom was the most loved one by emperor, making Genji a favorite of the emperor. One day, the emperor summons him because he wants to introduce someone special to Genji. It’s Lady Fujitsubo! Ah, but she is introduced to Genji as the emperor’s new wife, in other words, Genji’s new stepmom. Ouch. Apparently, Fujitsubo was chosen because of her striking resemblance with Genji’s mother. They get along well. He tries to get over his feelings for her, but fails. My, my… he kissed her. Fujitsubo tries to avoid him since. It breaks her heart, but she feels it’s the right thing to do. I suppose the story will go from there. The complicated story of Genji’s life begins. The ED["Ai" by Kousuke Atari] is a ballad (which somewhat sounded like Natsume Yuujinchou‘s season 1 ED to me).
- Watch it? I don’t think so. I’m not really into period dramas, plus it’s filled with very complicated relationships that will probably boggle my brain.
Also known as Kemono no Soujya, The Beast Player Erin, The Player of Beasts
- Catchy OP ["Shizuku" by Sukima Switch]. Nice animation. Erin’s mom takes care of animals, has a way with beasts. There is war between kingdoms. Fierce beasts called “touda” are used by one of the armies as their secret weapon. Meanwhile, away from where there is war, Erin and her mom, Soyon, live in a small village where fierce beasts called “touda” are raised. Soyon is a beast doctor. She uses a low frequency whistle to helpd her tame toudas. A man named Wadan delivers a baby touda to the pond. Soyon takes a look at the baby touda and gives Wadan given specific instructions on how to take care of it, particularly to lay out fresh straw mats for it. The next day, baby touda is reported missing. Wadan goes to Soyon’s house and passes his mistake to her, threatening her job if she can’t find the baby touda. Erin overhears this and goes her separate way to find the baby touda. Erin and her pals sneak into the underground touda pond. Erin knows quite a lot from her mom, and noticed that they did not put fresh straw even though it was instructed by Soyon. Erin finds the baby touda hiding in a hole and retrieves it. However, the fierce adult touda, known as Kiba, finds them. Just when Kiba was about to attack Erin, Soyon appears and blows her whistle. SAFE! Soyon tells off Erin, but goes easy on her since Erin found the baby for her. She asks Erin not to do anything that dangerous again. Erin reports that the baby touda ran away because the straw mat wasn’t changed to fresh ones. Wadan is reprimanded by the chief and Soyon. Erin tells Soyon that she wants to be a beast doctor like her when she grows up. At Erin’s young age, she only thinks toudas are cute and humble creatures. Soyon tells her to never forget that toudas are beasts. Cute ED ["After the rain" by cossami]. Nice melody, and I love the piano parts. I really like it.
Soyon’s pretty cool. There is a lot of potential development for the story. I really like the OP and ED art. I was looking forward to this series because it was written by Nahoko Uehashi. Upon watching it, I wasn’t really disappointed, but I wasn’t that elated either. I was probably expecting too much. It doesn’t look to be as awesome as Seirei no Moribito but I’ll still check it out because it looks interesting.
- Watch it? Sure, it looks nice. I read it’s about 50 episodes though, so I’ll take my time.
- The OP ["R.O.C.K." by iLL] is alright. I like the beat. Starts with action… Shooting, blowing up, and chasing. Animation looks OK. The story is set in the middle of the 21st century and revolves around the members of a private military company (PMC). They ride cool bikes and each have an operator they work with in headquarters. Riders codename: Grim Reaper, Cyclops, Sorceress, and I can’t recall the other guy. Bike turns into a humanoid skatin’ robot. Pretty cool chase. Saiki is the lead guy, codename Cyclops (you’ll know why once you see him). He often goes against protocol and does not easily comply with his operator, Sakurako, back in HQ. Hard to penetrate the armored car type villain, which Saiki tricked to hurt itself. It worked for a while, but it’s not dead yet. It has some sort of fail safe mechanism to reboot or something. It was probably explained in more detail, but I cant understand Japanese. Anyway, Saiki has a broken wheel, but keeps on chasing to prevent armored car thing from reaching the city. Other 3 bikes give chase too.
Saiki has some sort of plan, operator doesn’t like it but complies with Saiki’s request anyway. Whatever it was, the director at headquarters doesn’t like it. Saiki is pretty extreme and dead serious about his job. He goes on humanoid form, attaches to armored villain, and they both blow up. I think that was his plan. Did you think he was dead? He escaped the bike/robot before it blew up. Sakurako gets reprimanded by the director back in HQ, who in turn has a talk with Saiki later. He doesn’t say much, but then he says something that makes her smile. I think by the end of the episode, Sakurako narrates something about the city. It seemed kinda long for a 23-something-minute episode. The ED ["AINOOTO" by moumoon] is in Engrish. It’s quite a nice ballad. I like it.
I got the gist of the story, but I couldn’t figure out much of what they were saying because I saw it raw, so most of my impressions are based mostly on what I saw and what I assume they were saying. Note that I watched it in Japanese because there were still no subs at the time of this entry, and I wanted to finish writing my first impressions already. I’ll just edit/add in more details when the subs are out.
- Watch it? Probably not. I’m not into mecha, but I’ll watch it again with subs, then maybe watch a couple more episodes. We’ll see.
Season 2 of Birdy The Mighty Decode. Also known as Tetsuwan Birdy Decode:02.
- The OP ["kiseki" by NIRGILIS] is pretty good. I like the beat. New villains. They look meaner. she’s after big league criminals this time – they’re the ones who took ryunka. Setting is one month after season 1. Senkawa still hung up on Nakasugi. Senkawa and Birdy are still sharing the same body because to save Nakasugi’s, they used Senkawa’s repaired body as ryunka’s vessel for the latter to be destroyed. Ohoho, looks like Birdy’s the one with a love story this time. How come I think her love story will also not end well? Hmm. Upbeat ED ["Tane" by no3b], sounds quite nice.
- Watch it? I’ve seen season 1, so I think there’s a chance I might watch this too.
~ So, what’s on your watchlist this Winter season?
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