I’m a little late, but anyway, here are my quick first impressions on some of the Spring 2009 anime series. I’ll split this into two entries. This is batch 1.
In this batch: (1) Sengoku Basara; (2) Asura Cryin’; (3) Basquash; (4) Queen’s Blade; (5) Pandora Hearts; (6) K-ON!; (7) Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom; (8.) Valkyria Chronicles; (9) Cross Game; (10) Saki.
Also known as Devil Kings
– I liked the OP [“JAP” by Abingdon Boys School]. Catchy melody. ~Lol @ OP sequence when the army danced to the beat a bit.
– Setting is the Sengoku era. It’s supposed to be based on historical Japanese figures. Lots of fighting, testosterone, and special fighting powers. Blue guy (Date Masamune) fights red guy (Sanada Yukimura), blah blah. Nobunaga’s army about to attack Kenshin’s army, but interrupted by Date and Yukimura’s brawl (lol, Wolverine, is that you?). Considering the situation, they all decide to back out and just fight another day. It’s like watching a video game (well, duh, it was originally a PS2 game)
– The ED [“Break & Peace” by Dustz] was alright.
- Watch it? Uh, I dunno. Maybe for the lulz… Yukimura and Date are fun to watch.
– I didn’t like the OP [“Spiral” by angela] much.
– Three years ago, Tomo got involved in a plane crash. While in the hospital, he meets a ghost girl named Misao. Three years later, Tomo is living on his own, kicked out by his newlywed mom, financed by his older bro (Naotaka). Tomo receives a big silver suitcase from a Shuri, mainly because his Naotaka’s younger brother. That night, he gets attacked by a heterochromic miko who’s looking for something called “asura machina.” Along with Shuri, the miko can also see Misao and calls her a “projected existence.” At school, Tomo learns that he’s schoolmates with Shuri and miko gal. Apparently, miko gal has some sort of double persona (tough pretty girl when eyes are heterochromic, normal pretty girl when eyes are the same color). Shuri says his older bro established the chemistry club for Tomo, she sees ghost gal Misao, and will teach him about the suitcase and Misao’s existence. They later get ambushed by a bunch of white clad guys wanting the “extractor,” Shuri and the dark society comes to his aid, Takatsuki Group also after the suitcase. So it’s White against Black, but Black and White against Takatsuki. In a pinch, Shuri asks Tomo to open up the suitcase, Misao agrees so he opens it, releasing some creepy “darkness of schwarzchild” which apparently is an armor thingy known as the “asura machina” and Tomo has to save the life of a certain girl.
– I didn’t like the ED [“Link” by angela] much either.
— A ghost gal that sleeps and changes clothes? xD Anyway, I thought the story kept jumping around and was pretty hurried. So who’s this girl that he has to save? Hmm, I suspect it’s Misao since she was noted as a “projected existence,” but what do I know. Heh. I thought there were too many elements packed in: ghost girl, mecha, fighting miko with double personality, gun-toting men in white dressrobes and black clothes, etc. Please make up your mind.
- Watch it? Leaning towards a “No” but I’ll check out the next episode before I can say anything final.
– No OP for the first episode.
– Dan is a basketball-playing rogue, aka Dunk Mask ( lol, Zorro?). He hates “Big Foot Basketball” (BFB) and thinks it’s boring, partly because of something that happened to sister Coco. It seems she used to play good ol’ basketball but some sort of accident ruined her legs. He meets his old acquaintance Miyuki (whom he initially didn’t recognize because of her big boobies ^^;). Miyuki is some sort of Big Foot mechanic, gives him tickets to watch a live BFB game. They learn that the TV game has visual effects thats why it looks lame, while the live game is quite boring. With the help of Miyuki, Dan tries to redefine BFB with him dressing up as Dunk Mask and riding Miyuki’s Big Foot, showing some old school b-ball moves. People liked what they say, but his showing off ends up in disaster when a pretty able BFB player blocks his dunk. Dan gets arrested, jailed for a year. Apparently, he became a legend for that act and street BFB has become quite popular.
– The ED [“free” by Yamada Yu] is pretty catchy with its pop-ish, techno-ish beat. I liked it!
— Lol, mecha basketball? Animation-wise, they have pretty good movements. I like the eye-cacthing visuals and colors, but the character design is so-so, imo. I’m getting quite familiar with Hiro Shimono‘s voice, makes me exclaim, “Hey that sounds like Tadashi from Special A!” This time, however, he plays a leading character (he’s also in Asura Cryin’ as Tomo’s friend, Higuchi).
- Watch it? Um, I’m not sure. Probably not, but maybe I will if I feel bored or something. It’s actually quite enjoyable, in a way. Also, I’ll check out the next episode for the reason that Yuichi Nakamura might finally make an appearance as “Iceman Hotty” (~lol, what a name xDD)
Also known as Queen’s Blade
– WTF?! Outfits are ridiculous, undoubtedly designed with major fanservice in mind. Was this supposed to be an H-anime but they changed their mind or something? Boobies as weapons? Nekkid girls and boobies alert, distasteful showiness of much skin, and they all wanna fight each other in order to be the Queen of wherever the heck they are.
–– Bailed out after about 4 mins. I shouldn’t have even bothered in the first place. It looked so wrong in so many levels. It was worse than I expected (and mind you my expectations were low, like below low). I mean, when I saw the promo pics, I should have known. Very BAD JUDGMENT on my part. That’s 4 mins of my life I can never get back. Now excuse me while I hit my head on my desk. (>_<)
- Watch it? NO.
– The OP [“Parallel Hearts” by FictionJunction] was alright.
– The Bezaraeus household is busy preparing for the coming-of-age ceremony of the clan’s descendant, Oz Bezaraeus, who’s turning 15. While playing around the manor grounds, he falls into some sort of graveyard with 1 tombstone and a gold pocket watch. He takes it and this triggers the things that happens next. He gets dragged into some sort of memory, meets a very angry and creepy girl who says she’ll kill him and never forgive him, and will hunt him down to the very end. Some suspicious hooded person grabs hold of Gilbert, Oz’s servant friend, and Gilbert’s body gets hijacked by some ill-wishing spirit to get to Oz and fulfill “the prophecy.”
– The ED [“Maze” by savage genius”] sounded okay.
— Man, this series has so many terminologies. @_@ I think anyone who isn’t familiar with the manga (like me) would be quite confused about what’s happening in the episode. If I didn’t read up for some backstory and term meanings on Wiki while watching, I would’ve been completely lost (not that it helped much, but it did help a bit).
- Watch it? Not sure. I think I’ll check out the next episode because that’s where the real story kicks off, then I’ll decide from there.
– The OP [“Cagayake! GIRLS” by Aki Toyosaki with Yoko Hikasa, Satomi Satou and Minako Kotobuki] was nice and upbeat. I liked the melody.
– Two weeks past the start of high school, Yui is still unsure about which club to choose and doesnt want to end up becoming a NEET. Meanwhile, Ritsu asks forces Mio to check out the light music club (K-On) with her. They find that the club is about to get suspended because the remaining members have already graduated. Teacher says if four people don’t join within the month, K-On will get axed. Ritsu and Mio apparently had a dream to have a band, as the drummer and base player, respectively. Tsumugi, who plays the keyboard, later joins because it seems fun. Yui sees the club’s poster and decides to check out K-On (her flashback shows she can “play” the castanets when she was a kid xD) The 3 K-On members are so excited that there’s someone interested to join their club, they all think Yui’s a great guitar player. Yui changes her mind and tries to clear up the misunderstanding, but keeps getting interrupted guessing who her favorite guitarist is. She manages to tell them she doesn’t want to join anymore since she doesn’t know how to play an instrument, but the 3 members are desperate to recruit her to meet the minimum number of club members. So they bribed Yui with yummy snacks and a live band performance in order to convince her to stay. And because it looked like the band were having fun playing, Yui agrees to join. In addition, the 3 members say they will try and help Yui learn the guitar.
– The ED [“Don’t say ”lazy”” by Yoko Hikasa with Aki Toyosaki, Satomi Satou and Minako Kotobuki] is quite catchy too.
- Watch it? I think I will. It’s light and seems fun!
Also known as Phantom of Inferno; Phantom ~Requiem of Phantom~
– The OP [“Karma” by KOKIA] is kinda dramatic… To me, it came across as something that’s trying to give a James Bond-ish vibe.
– It starts off with a guy assassin driving a pink Cadillac. He notes that he’ll kill in order to live… A glimpse on his backstory follows. He wakes up in a drab room with some sort of amnesia. He can’t remember who he is, where he is, and why he’s there. Apparently, it’s a lab of some sort and his every move is being monitored by a scientist known as Scythe Master, who allows the amnesia guy to “escape.” Scythe then sends out his top assassin girl, known as a Phantom (the best sniper and assassin) after amnesia guy to test his “natural skills” as a potential assassin for their group, known as “Inferno.” Ein, Inferno’s top assassin, chases him around with a gun. He runs at first, but fights back when Ein corners him. She throws him one of her knives and challenges him to a knife combat telling him to fight her like he means it, if he wants to live. After exchanging some pretty nice moves, amnesia guy manages to pin down Ein, but doesn’t kill her. As he attempts to escape, he realizes the warehouse they’re in is in the middle of nowhere. Ein calls him “Zwei” and that he’ll be her apprentice. It turns out that Scythe is repressing Swei’s memories thru drugs and hypnotherapy, and that Zwei was supposed to be killed after witnessing an assassination carried out by Ein. Back to the present, Ein and Zwei team up for a mission and succeeds. Kill or be killed… That seems to be their motto.
– The ED [“Gates of Hell” by ALI PROJECT] sounded kinda odd. Between this and the OP, I think I like the OP better.
— Guns, shooting, and blood everywhere. Ein’s mask reminded me of my dear Hei from Darker than Black (I’m still hoping for a DtB season 2!). Ein and Zwei had some pretty nice and cool fighting moves. The animation was alright, but the story seemed to lack something that could probably make it more interesting to follow.
- Watch it? Hmm. Although I’m rooting for a happy ending for Zwei x Ein, I think I’ll pass on this series. More hand to hand combat in the next episode, so I might check that one out.
Also known as Senjou no Valkyria -Gallian Chronicles-; Battlefield Valkyria: Gallian Chronicles
– The OP [“Asu e no kizuna” by HIMEKA] is pretty good. I kinda liked its melody.
– Episode starts with a little history lesson about The Greedy One (a Darc) and The Courageous One with a spear (a Valkyria). The main characters, Alicia Melchiott, Welkin Gunther, and Welkin’s sister Isara Gunther are introduced. Alicia first thought Welkin was a spy for the Imperial forces, but turns out to be the son of a legendary Gallian military officer. In simpler terms, the main plot is their town, Bruhl, is caught in the middle of a war between the Empire and another region (Gallia? I’m not sure, I don’t remember). Anyway, the bottom line is they’re fighting against the Imperials.
– The ED [“Ano Kaze ni Notte” by pe’zmoku] is a catchy and fun tune. It also has a cute ED sequence featuring the characters in chibi mode. ^^
–– I thought the animation was good and it has a pretty decent seiyuu line-up with Marina Inoue and Susumu Chiba leading the cast, along with Houko Kuwashima and Jun Fukuyama playing supporting roles. The characters are quite likable too, and I like Welkin, er, I mean I like the character design.
- Watch it? Yes. I like how it looks and the story is quite interesting. If it’s set for only 13 episodes, I might even blog it if I find the time. ^^
– I loved the guitar intro of the OP [“Summer Rain” by Kobukuro]. It has a disco-ish feel to it. I found it nice and easy to listen to.
– We meet Koh Kitamura and the Tsukishima family. He’s very close with Wakaba, the 2nd Tsukishima daughter, because they are the same age and were born on the same day. One summer day, tragedy strikes, and I guess after that life-changing moment is when the main story starts along with much of the baseball element of the story.
– The ED [“Koikogare te Mita Yume” by Ayaka] is a nice ballad.
— I won’t go into the details of the first episode, but it was pretty good. It was cute, but a bit heartbreaking. I knew what was gonna happen, but it still made me cry a bit. I’m not very much into the character design, but it doesn’t bother me much (in fact, it somewhat reminds me of Ranma 1/2 – how nostalgic!)
- Watch it? Yeah. It’s pretty good. Although I think it’d be best to watch this later in a marathon when all the episodes are in.
– No OP for the first episode.
– Kyou, a friend of Saki, invites her to join the mahjong club at school because it lacks members. Saki grudgingly comes along to have a look. The student congress president (who’s also the president of the mahjong club) notes that Saki has must be exceptional at playing mahjong since she was able to keep her score at +/- 0 for three consecutive games, exclaiming that maintaining a zero is much harder than earning high points. Saki declines the invitation to join, saying she hates mahjong because she always loses against her family members. When she wins against her family, they get angry; when she loses, she won’t get candy. Hence, she sort of trained herself to get zero points all the time (not losing, not winning). They try to get her to join the team.
– The ED [“Netsuretsu Kangei Wonderland” by Kana Ueda, Ami Koshimizu, Rie Kugimiya, Ryoko Shiraishi and Shizuka Itou] is okay. Nice and upbeat.
— I used to know how to play mahjong (my grandmas taught me), but I totally forgot about it. Anyway, that’s a cool playing table! I’ve never seen one like that before (they play old school). Setting some bit of yuri vibe aside, I found this series quite enjoyable to watch.
On another note, Jun Fukuyama is everywhere again this season (07-Ghost, Hanasakeru Seishounen, La Corda d’Oro, Pandora Hearts, Saki, TRC/xxxHolic OVA, Valkyria Chronicles, Shangri-La, and a few others that carried over from previous season). Not that I mind, though. ^^
- Watch it? Probably, yes. It’s quite interesting, and it might help refresh my very rusty mahjong memories. xD
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