Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: Episode 13??

Back with a surprise I found on my reader deck, the 13th episode of the Spring 2011 series Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. If memory serves, this was the final episode that got cut from airtime because of the earthquake disaster. I’m a little ashamed I forgot about it. But I’m also a little miffed about having to wait a year to see this.  The final, definitive episode of what’s hopefully Denpa Onna’s first season (second season please! I must have more Erio!!)

This final episode attempts to wrap up the story the series followed a year ago around Makoto, Erio’s cousin, as he gains, and losses, adolescence points through socializing with friends like Ryooko and Maekawa, helping his cousin Erio who had some traumatic experience and now lives as an outcast believing she was abducted by aliens, and surviving his strange aunt Meme. At the festival (that Makoto helped to bring to their side of town by playing on a baseball team with Maekawa and hitting a home run, potentially with esper powers), Makoto meets with Ryooko and treats her to a reward for winning her basketball game in the 12th episode. Still keeping the amazing animation and fanservice, we’re given a visual treat and more inside jokes that’ll make you want to rewatch the entire season (oh, I want to so bad right now…I miss the good ol’ days).

Later, Makoto meets up with Erio in top of the shrine hill, where he and she gaze at the stars…until Yashiro makes her appearance. She declares that she’s got some truth to tell Makoto, and goes through her “Boy Who Cries Wolf” anecdote, leading up to more unbelievably convincing proof of her esper powers….BRINGING DOWN A METEORITE IN FRONT OF THE SHRINE, EXACTLY THREE STEPS AWAY FROM WHERE MAKOTO WAS STANDING AND YASHIRO TOLD HIM TO MOVE AWAY FROM!!!! If she’s not an esper…she’s got incredible luck.

In a state of shock and awe, Makoto spends the next few days nulling things over, was she an esper? Or maybe an alien? Did she know the meteor was coming and arrived to warn Makoto, saving his life? This again raises questions about Erio being an alien as she once claimed. In the end, he settles for simply not knowing, life will continue, and so will his journey through adolescence, he has the whole summer to look forward to, after all.

I can’t begin to explain how emotional I’m getting being able to see Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko again, I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia, or just amazement at how developed Makoto and Erio have become. He used to be such a socially inept transfer student, and she used to be an antisocial shut-in, but just look at them now. I’m more curious about this town that I was a year ago, especially finding out Yahiro took her pseudonym from the shrine in the city, which was known for meteor strikes. We (or perhaps just I) need a second season!….please?

Until next time,
- BeldenOtaku

(I’m definitely re-watching Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko again soon :3)

Nichijou

Hey minna,
it took a while, but I’ve started and finally caught up to the current episode of the comedy series “Nichijou”… I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.  The comedy is great if like you high-brow everyday humor, nothing too in detail or drawn out. All the humor from the characters bounces off of one another to form a storm of laughter the likes of which I’ve never seen, and the laid back, non-plot driven setup is exactly what I like at the end of a long day. I am truly happy to have been turned on to Nichijou by a friend (I can’t thank him enough, mostly because I can’t breath from laughing).

The animation style is also a major part of the comedy, the outlandish expressions and reactions (refer to here for a reference) are anime-comedy gold.  The wide array of characters offers many, many, many, many different scenarios, I’m quite particular to the antics of Hakase, Nano, and Sakamoto (Nano is my fav). But there’s no way to express what it is that Mai-chan does (just watch). Even the nonsensical in-betweeners are hysterical (like this, this, or all of this)

I eagerly await the next episodes and dread the day when new Nichijou is no more. But, until then…Nano Nano Nano Nano Nano Nano Nano Nano!

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Until next time,
- BeldenOtaku

Fractale

Hey minna,

Taking a look at a Spring 2011 Series, Fractale, today.  The story takes place on an island resembling a futuristic Ireland (certain scenes are directly taken from Galway city in the west of Ireland), in a world ruled by the “Fractale System” that ensures mankind’s stability and prosperity. One day, Clain meets a fleeing girl called Phryne, who disappears during the night leaving a pendant. When he is able to activate the pendant (which turns into a “doppel” named Nessa), Clain sets out for a journey with the girl-shaped avatar Nessa to look for Phryne and discovers the secret behind the Fractale System. (Wikipedia)

I found this series, in the beginning, to have the potential to reach the pinnacle of all science fiction, that is, to be able to blend current trends and issues with with a fictional, futuristic setting that provides the playing field for a character to overcome these issues.  The issues relating to the real world would be like “are we too interconnected?”, “when do we know that machines are taking over too much of our lives?”, and “when do we become too dependent on machines and begin to lose that which makes us human?”.

The animation was beautiful from the outset, and for the first few episodes, I was thoroughly impressed with just about everything, the plot, the characters, the suspense, but around a quarter of the way through the series is when the plot takes a sour path. It’s not that it developed in some unsatisfying way, it’s more like it didn’t develop at all. The mid-part of Fractale sees little to no development other than occasional side-quests and misadventures with Clain, Phryne, and Nessa.

Along with a plotline that flatlines until the last two episodes, I personally would’ve liked to have seen more explanations or in-depth histories of the Fractale system. The series seems to end without anyone having a clue as to why a young girl and her dopple are the keys to a system that they also don’t know why it was introduced or why it was failing.

In the end, Fractale had the potential, but didn’t deliver, perhaps to short-sighted writing, or maybe it was pushed to completion before it could’ve properly ended. Either way, we can add another science fiction series that didn’t quite live up to our expectations.

FractaleUntil next time,
- BeldenOtaku

[C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

Third review, happy Monday minna!

Today I’ll go over a series from last season, Spring 2011, [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, for brevity’s sake, I’ll stick to “[C]“. [C] is the story of a young college student who gains access and more than he bargains for in a hidden world where select people go to do battle using their futures as collateral.  This is a very original concept, in my opinion, and I was instantly drawn to its uniqueness.  Our main character, Kimimaro Yoga, is your typical dirt poor college student, working two dead-end part-time jobs to try to put himself through college, in a world where economic disaster nearly toppled Japan, entertainment is no longer decided by “do I want to”, but rather “can I afford to”, and, more often than not, Kimimaro can’t.

Kimimaro is first introduced to the financial district by its spokesman of sorts, Masakaki, a mysterious man who conducts and administrates business within the financial district. Reluctant at first, Kimimaro argues that he has no wish for great fortunes, he simply wants to earn enough to live a simple, modest live. He soon finds a large sum of money in his account and contemplates using that money to attend a party with a girl he’s interested in. He then encounters Masakaki again who takes Kimimaro to the financial district, for his first Deal as an Èntre. There, Kimimaro mets his asset, a creature that fights alongside Èntres in Deals and are said to represent their futures, Mysu.

Kimimaro and Mysu, a bit cold to each other at first, grow closer and work better as a team as they continue to fight in Deals, including a fight against Kimimaro’s teacher, where, thereafter, he sees, firsthand, the effects “going bankrupt” in the financial district can have on the real world.  Kimimaro also learns that his estranged father, presumed dead, was also an Èntre. Upset at the thought that his father was only concerned with money, Kimimaro seeks the help of another Èntre, Souichirou Mikuni, who suggests finding something to protect or promote with the money Kimimaro wins.

As the story continues, Kimimaro starts to see the ill effects that the financial district is having on the real world, futures are lost and poverty is becoming rampant.  He unexpectedly “runs into” (essentially kidnapped by) Jennifer Sato, an agent from the International Monetary Fund investigating the financial district.  With her help, Kimimaro begins to grow suspicious of Mikuni’s intentions while learning to “control his Deals” to reduce the impact on the real world.

To save the futures of all of Japan, Kimimaro is drawn into an ultimatum battle between Mikuni and his guild members over whose ideals will save Japan. With the help of Jennifer’s asset, Georges, Kimimaro and Msyu take down Mikuni and his asset, Q, and bring down the Japanese financial district. Kimimaro awakens to a world where futures weren’t gambled away, and Masakaki informs him that the financial district appears where ever there are Deals to be made…

First off, sooo many questions left unanswered, what aspect of Kimimaro’s future did Mysu represent? What about Hanabi? Will there be more deals? If so, will Kimimaro get drawn back in?  A second season is most certainly a possibility with an ending like this, but thankfully, there aren’t too many unanswered questions, just enough to keep the viewer guessing, and, in my opinion, an ending too nicely wrapped up is a bit cliché.

The animation was good quality, although, I can’t help but mention the odd three-dimensional cutscenes, they distracted me so much, mostly because it just didn’t fit in with the rest of series.  And the “english” used by IFC members could’ve been done better.

Fight scenes were very good, watching assets fight is a unique experience in itself, personally, I would’ve liked to see Msyu launch off a few mezzoflations against Kō’s asset, and rather than watch Kimimaro mope around, why not a few more Deals?

An overall excellent series, highly recommended to anyone who likes unique plot lines that explore new concepts and involve supercharged fight scenes.  The ending left me in tears, mostly because I hated seeing a good series end, but there’s hope for a second season, until then, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

[C]

Thanks for the read, until next time,
-BeldenOtaku