Here’s the 2nd and final batch of my quick first impressions on some of the Spring 2009 series.
In this batch: (1) Tears to Tiara; (2) Natsu no Arashi!; (3) Hanasakeru Seishounen; (4) 07-Ghost; (5) Eden of the East; (6) Ristorante Paradiso; (7) Shangri-La; (8.) Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity-
- Upbeat OP ["Free and Dream" by Suara]
- Using Riannon, the bad guys, led by an arrogant old man, summon some sealed demon king named Arawn. Riannon was supposed to be an offering/sacrifice for Arawn, but I’d doubt she would be since she’s the lead female character.
- The ED ["Blue sky, True sky" by Aira Yuki] was okay. I kinda like it.
– In general, I thought the animation was alright and the characters looked alright.
- Watch it? Most probably not. The story doesn’t interest me much
- The OP ["Atashi dake ni kakete" by Omokage Lucky Hole] is catchy. Another tune which has a disco-ish vibe this season.
- Ah, so Arashi can time jump, huh? When jumping around in time, she says a multiple number of oneself can’t exist at the same time and will cease to exist if the concerned person accidentally encounters himself. Apparently, the white haired girl can also time jump. And in this episode, they jump around in time for the silliest things… and the strawberry bomb adventure continues next episode?
- The ED ["Kirari Futari" by Ryoko Shiraishi] was okay.
– I’m not so much into the character design. On the upside, SHAFT made it somewhat more appealing with their trademark visual style. That big-muscled guy got a bit on my nerves though, and the characters couldn’t charm me.
- Watch it? Nah. I kept skipping parts. It couldn’t hold my attention.
- I like the music, but I thought the OP ["Change" by J-Min] song was just so-so.
- A rich bishoujo named Kajika is back in Japan from America. She makes a new friend but later gets into a bit of trouble with some ruffians. Out of the blue, her childhood friend, Li Ren, saves her from the bad guys. She’s later recalled from Japan by her father. She’s obviously happy to see her father, hugging him but suddenly slaps him (Ouch. She’s got guts!) for asking her to come back from Japan after merely 6 months. Apparently, her father has something to important to tell her. When she was 2 years old, she was sent to Givoly Isle in the caribbean, isolated from the world, because her mom was murdered and she has a “heavy fate” that her father will tell her when he meets the man Kajika decides to marry.
He challenges her to a game wherein she will have to meet three men that her father personally chose, then she’ll choose her husband-to-be from them, and make the guy she chose choose her (Confused? In short, the catch is: to make it a fair game, the guys don’t know who she is exactly, and vice versa. Her father will merely set up the meetings). These 3 guys are shortlisted by her father over the course of 12. If she doesn’t like anyone, then her father and the guys lose. She can decline participation in this “game” but Kajika accepts the challenge anyway. Since Li Ren is like a brother to her, he is tasked by Kajika’s father to watch over her over the course of this game, noting that Li Ren’s participation helps Kajika while also stregthening the bond between Fang clan and the Burnsworth conglomerate. Li Ren accepts. Kajika’s father quietly notes that Li Ren has awesome self control, but Li Ren’s unchanging facial expressions won’t win anyone over… And the game begins in episode 2.
– The ED ["One" by J-Min] was an okay ballad.
– Li Ren is hawt! *Ahem* Moving on, things only started to get interesting for me when Kajika’s father appeared and gave her that odd challenge. With his little talk with Li Ren, how come I think Kajika’s dad secretly wants Li Ren and Kajika to end up together? From the next ep preview it’s pretty obvious Li Ren likes Kajika too. Hmm. But maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I dunno why but the character design oddly reminds me of Prince of Tennis.
- Watch it? Hmm. Not sure. My interest was not completely triggered by this one, it kinda lacks something… But I’m curious enough about the other 3 bishounens to come (and more Li Ren too!), so I’ll be checking out the next episode before I can say yay or nay.
- The OP ["Aka no Kakera" by Yuki Suzuki] was okay.
- Teito is the lead guy, who’s a very capable and strong fighter attending military school. He’s best friends with Mikage (whose dere-ness balances Teito’s tsuntsun personality). They are about to have their finals/graduation from military school. They promise each other that they will never abandon each other in the battlefield. Finals day. Apparently, the final exams are so darn difficult that students even get killed during finals, so most students drop out at that point. Final exam, defeat and kill the criminal before he kills you (extreme much? ^^;) Teito saves Shuri’s cowardly ass, Mikage assists. Teito doesn’t kill the criminal saying he’s not really the enemy, Chief Ayanami walks in and makes the kill instead. Mikage and Teito pass., along with 19 others. While accidentally overhearing some military conversation, Teito realizes that Chief Ayanami was the one who killed his father years ago. Teito loses his cool and immediately attacks Ayanami, but is easily counterattacked by Hyuuga. Teito gets detained. Mikage finds out about it and, being the good best pal that he is, tries to save Teito. He manages to find Teito who’s doing pretty well escaping by himself.
- Cute ED ballad ["Hitomi no Kotae" by Noria]. I liked it.
– Lots of terminologies in thise series too. I read its wiki guide ahead for some background, but I still didn’t get much of terms. I get the gist of the story though. Anyway, their zaiphon whip power thingies were cool! Their military uniform somewhat reminded me of Lelouch (although its design is quite different, but whatever). I liked Teito, and he obviously has some emo backstory going on. Mikage is so adorable! (his bishie form won’t be around too long, but I still like him) Mikage reminded me so much of Tamaki from Ouran. xD In fact, looiking through the character guide, there are several blonde Tamaki-look-a-like bishounens in this series… Let’s see… there’s Mikage, then Shuri, Konatsu, Frau, Hakuren… I kept looking at the character guide and I can barely distinguish them from each other save for different clothes or eye color (Mikage has an X scar on his chin so I could easily tell him apart).
- Watch it? Yep. The animation was pretty good and it has quite a decent story to boot, plus bishounens with cool fighting abilities.
Also known as Higashi no Eden
- The OP [“Falling Down” by Oasis] is a really nice English tune. I liked the song, and I totally loved how they did the OP sequence = cool mix in visuals! Very nicely done and it stands out from the rest of the OP sequences this season.
- Story starts in Washington, DC, so there were quite a bit of English speaking going on. Nekkid Japanese guy (he later picks the alias, Akira) walking around, being observed by someone and referred as “number 9″ (I think). Only things he’s carrying are cellphone and handgun. He meets a girl named Saki coincidentally in front of the white house, who offers her hat and coat as thanks for helping her out of a pinch with the cops. Akira gratefully accepts and goes his way. He makes a call with his cell phone and is answered by someone named Juiz, who’s apparently his concierge. Juiz informs him that he had his memories wiped, and that Juiz’s instructions were only to tell Akira where he should go next, nothing more. Gives Akira his “home” address. Meanwhile, Saki realizes her passport and wallet are in the pocket of her coat, which she gave to Akira, so she tries to run after him. In Akira’s room, loads of suspicious terrorist-ish stuff in his room, with weapons and various passports with different aliases (reminded me a little of Alias’ crappy season 3). Saki manages to find Akira and asks for his passport and wallet. Akira gladly gives it back, chooses Akira Takizawa as his main alias then burns his other passports in the toaster. They decide to run together. In the airport, they see the news that there was a missile attack in Tokyo… And the story begins.
- The ED song [“Futuristic Imagination” by School Food Punishment] was pretty good too. I also loved how they did the ED sequence, which I thought was quite reminiscent of Honey and Clover’s OP sequences.
-- Akira looked ridiculous running around in Saki’s coat and cap. xD He realizes this, so he simply asked for some passerby’s pants and the guy cheerfully hands it over… lolwut?! xD The English dialogue being thrown around are pretty well spoken too. It seems IG hired some American folks to make it sound, well, more American English. I know the apple is related because of the Eden part of the title, but I still wonder if the apple would have any significance in the story (they used it in their promo stuff too). I guess I just have to watch and find out.
(1) It’s Production IG, so it’s kind of a given that the animation quality would be good. (2) Kenji Kamiyama directing the series – I haven’t seen GitS: SAC yet, but I found Seirei no Moribito totally awesome! (3) Umino Chika did the character design – I absolutely love, love, love Honey and Clover to bits. –> the 3 main reasons why I was eagerly anticipating this series. You could also throw in the fact that Kenji Kawai (who was also responsible for the awesome Moribito OST) is in charge of the music. Been looking forward to this one the most this season, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.
- Watch it? Yeah! I liked the light atmosphere despite the seemingly serious and mysterious plot of the story. I’m definitely watching.
- The OP ["Marigold" by orange pekoe] was quite catchy and jazzy. I liked the beat.
– Setting is Rome. Older men with eyeglasses abound. Why? Because Lorenzo’s (the restaurant owner) wife, Olga, requires them to do so. So it kinda became a trademark of the resto. Nicoletta goes to rome do visit her mom (Olga) and was planning to tell Lorenzo that Olga is in fact a divorcee with a 21-year-old daughter (Nicoletta). Some little dramatic backstory, Olga left Nicoletta with grandparents, blah blah. Olga lies to Lorenzo, saying Nicoletta is a daughter of a friend hers. I dunno what else to say… Oh, right, Nicoletta will be trying to figure out if she has a thing for much older guys than her while trying to find her own path at the same time.
- Kinda cute ED tune ["Suteki na Kajitsu" by Lisa Komine]
– - Somewhat reminded me of the Bartender anime and the J-drama Bambino, minus the eyeglasses fetish and, uh, other stuff. The character design kinda makes me sleepy. No bishounens too (If I have to choose among the lot, I’d say Teo is the most good looking one). They’re all kind and cool gentleman though… Older and wiser, I guess. ~Oookay, the next episode preview almost threw me off, but its just a preview, so I won’t jump to any conclusions (lol, poor Claudio cornered by aggressive Nicoletta who’s also probably having an identity crisis sort of phase, which is quite common among people her age).
- Watch it? Setting the episode 2 preview aside, I’m likely to watch this series sometime, but probably not this season.
- The OP ["Kimi Shinitamō Koto Nakare" by May'n] has a nice beat.
- Basically, they’re fighting about carbon emissions and the lead girl, Kuniko, is supposed to be next in line to lead the metal-age, an anti-government organization, that resides in Duomo (I think).
– The ED ["Hajimari no Asa ni Hikari Are" by midori] was alright.
– I didn’t really know what else to say. It was kinda boring the first half, so I didn’t keep tabs much on what’s happening, then the pace picked up a bit on the second half, then the action started towards the end of the episode. Kunika has a pretty kicka$$ boomerang and some neat fighting skills.
- Watch it? Nah, I don’t think so. But I’ll check out the next episode because I’m curious about the resonating sound reaction between the dagger and the boomerang, and who rained down on the ruckus.
- Yuuri comes across a Tayutai (a mythological race worshipped by the Yachimata Shrine) in a construction site and gets off on the
wrong foot with a girl from Flawless (I dunno, a school department?) Yuuri has some sort of exorcism capabilities, coming from a family that runs a shrine. While trying to deal with the situation, he and his friends wake up a Tayutai named Kikurami Kaminohime who governs the east of Yamato, and is the god that Yuuri’s family (Yachimata’s descendant) worships. Thousands of species of Tayutai sealed. If they escape = world chaos. Seal must neither be moved nor destroyed, so Kikurami asks Yuuri to please protect the place, saying she believes a day will come when Tayutai and humans can live together in harmony. Kikurami can’t leave the place because she’s guarding some mean spirits. But alas, due to Yuuri’s clumsy friend, the seal gets broken by accident. Before Kikurami disappears, she takes the form of a young girl (sort of the reincarnated form of the tough Kikurami spirit earlier turned moe). Kikurami = white hair, Mashiro = red haired gal, who confesses to Yuuri and wants to be his wife. So I guess their mission is to defeat the unsealed 3 strongest evil Tayutai that got away while Yuuri deals with moe Kikurami and his harem?
- The ED was kinda nice and upbeat (or is it actually the OP, but used as an ED for ep 1?)
- Watch it? I’ll pass.
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