C³ OVA: Overcome Your Fears, or She’ll Curse You

Remember that show with cute girls that were actually cursed tools? And the male protagonist who could hold his own in a kitchen with a naked girl? That’s right, C³: CursedxCubedxCurious returns with a class trip OVA. Though the trip turns into a mystery after various creepy signs point towards a monster inhabiting the surrounding forest, the visuals and character nostalgia make this a very enjoyable break from the season’s regulars. The story ends with Fear rushing past her fears to save Haruaki from the clutches of…Kuroe and Sovereignty, at the request of Sekiabashi.

As stated, the visuals are just as enamoring as the original series, if not more so. With all the characters in their set roles, it was much easier for the story to just set into motion. Though I don’t think I remember Sovereignty and Shiraho being such a blatant yuri couple. I mean, it was certainly implied back in the original series’ run, but Shiraho stalking Sovereignty and having quite a time inhaling her pillow scents…I always saw her as more composed than that.

Why doesn’t this have a second season yet? I mean, the visuals are borderline perfect, and the story has all kinds of room to move forward. No real conclusion as to how to help cursed tools was ever reached, and then there’s the mysterious bad guys that never got identified at the end of the first season, or even mentioned in the OVA. Despite the sheer force of fanservice from the start of C³, which also permeated almost every scene in the OVA, that could run this show on awkward situations alone. Which reminds me, Haruaki is still my favorite male protagonist. He certainly isn’t shy about being surrounded by cute girls (not like they’re shy around him, either, if you know what I mean).

C³ – BeldenOtaku Photobucket

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Fall 2011 Final Review

Back for a final review of the Fall 2011 season. For simplicity sake, I’m dividing this post into “finished” and “continuing” series. Series that have reached a definitive end (even if just for now) and don’t have any rumor of possible continuation, are deemed “finished”, and series like Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon and Guilty Crown, which are most definitely going to be continued, are deemed “continuing”.

For “finished” series, this season I followed Shinryaku!? Ika Musume, Working’!!, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Ben-to, and Tamayura~hitotose.  Shinryaku!?, Working’!!, and Tamayura are all continuations from previous seasons or OAVs, while Boku wa, Ben-to, and  are original premiers.  The more comedic series, Shinryaku!?, Boku wa, and Working’!!, offered a refreshing break in-between more action or character-driven series like Ben-to, and Tamayura.  But that’s not to say the comedies didn’t offer their own substance in way of character development or excitement.  In general, the series I would like to see more of, and think there’s a chance of a continuation are Boku wa Tomodachi ga SukunaiC³and Working’!! (I feel like there’s still room for fresh material to continue the story of the Wagnaria crew).  Ben-to and Tamayura~hitotose both reached logical, definite conclusions, and I’m satisfied with their endings. I’m almost apprehensive of asking for another season of Ben-to, as this may not live up the enjoyment of the first season (but I’m all for more Asebi, so I’d be willing to try it if it did get a second season).  Shinryaku! Ika Musume, while amusing to me, is really a hit-and-miss sort of comedy style, and it’s quite fortunate to have gotten this second season.  I’m not hopeful for a third season, but if the hit-and-miss hits enough people to generate good revenue, enough to justify a third season, more power to them.

(I’m not used to giving ratings, but I’ll see how this goes.) Overall, for “finished” series this Fall 2011 season, I’d give an 8.7 out of 10.  A lot of the series, as stated, are continuations from previous seasons or OAVs, so they bank on previous success.  But there was quite a good bit of excellent new material to give a nice blend of old favorites and fresh series to keep me thoroughly entertained.

 

On to the “continuing” series, Guilty Crown, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, and Gundam AGE.  Ultimately, the only two I’m eager to see continue are Guilty Crown and Kyoukai Senjou, as they are the only ones to truly not make me cringe 90% of the time.  Guilty Crown was poised to become the next Code Geass, but, as many other blogs will quickly remark, this just wasn’t the case. Ohma Shu is no Lelouch Lamperouge.  But I do admire the unique premise, drawing voids that take on form depending on the owner’s heart is very interesting and I’ve been surprised to the individuality and applications of the voids Shu has so far drawn.  While the main protagonist leaves much to be desired, the 11th episode, marking the halfway point of the series, shows him finally acting the part of the hero. My fingers are crossed that this will continue into the Winter 2012 season.  Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon also broke it’s pre-determined impressions, as many, including myself, spent much of the series wondering what was going on.  While normally this would be considered a minus for a series, Kyoukai Senjou pulls it off in such a fashion that makes me overlook the confusion and enjoy it more so now that everything just seems to be happening in a way that makes me happy to understand.  While this is a confusing idea to some (trust me, I’m still wrapping my head around it), I’m still looking forward to the second season, announced to air in 2012.  Finally, there’s Gundam AGE, my most disappointing series this season.  Not that there’s inherently anything wrong with it, but if you’ve seen other Gundam series such as Gundam 00, Gundam AGE seems to spit in the face of previous success. The character designs are very childish, as is the dialogue, and I’ve never found myself rooting for the bad guys because I can’t stand what they did to the Gundam design.  I’ve really only continued watching because, steadily, AGE is recovering ground inch-by-inch. Supposedly this series is going to span three generations, i.e. Flit’s son and grandchild eventually become the focus. I’m hoping for Flit to leave the cockpit soon, I honestly can’t stand the thought of someone as generally annoying as that child piloting (what is, in my opinion) one of the greatest machines ever imagined.

Rather disappointing “continuing” series, compared what I expected going into Fall 2011.  My rating is a 7.0 out of 10.  Passable because the tail-end of the season sees some remnants of what I hoped for going in.  For Guilty Crowns sake, Shu better man up or shut up, take a lesson from Dan the Man and use some “GUTS!”.   Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon needs to do nothing but continue the great plot movement of the last 4 or so episodes in the first season (I fear the first episode of the second season will be a recap of the first season, if anyone involved with this show is reading, please don’t do this, just jump right back into the story).  Gundam AGE…*sigh* just, stop ruining what I like about the Gundams. If Flit is going to lose, don’t let it be because of something so simple as type-disadvantage.  If Flit is going to whine, let someone else b**** slap him. And if the UE is an alien force, give them a good reason for attacking human colonies (may I suggest reading the Ender’s Game series? very good example of extraterrestrial misunderstanding).

Next season has less in store (for me, anyway) than Fall 2011. I plan on following Kill Me, Baby! and Another for sure. As well as continuing Guilty Crown and Gundam AGE.  There’s a high possibility that I’ll pick up others perhaps a few episodes in if I get good impressions and have the time.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Additional note, just finished Azusa Nakano’s Speed Draw :3, you can check them out here. Enjoy, and Happy New Year.

C³: The Transcendentals are Everywhere

Hey minna,
back with the last curse for the Fall 2011 series C³: CubexCursedxCurious.  Fear, Kirika, and Konoha, prepare for a showdown with Alice and her cursed tool, able to remember any attack it’s blocked and reproduce it, along with her mirror cursed tool, able to duplicate herself many times over. The odds are bleak as the numbers stack up against Fear, who is forced to kill and slaughter one of the dobble-gangers, much to her disgust.

Only with the help of Sovereignty and Shiraho breaking the mirror, was Kuroe able to move again and hold all the dopple-gangers with her hair, while it’s up to Fear, Haruaki, and Konoha to take down Alice, once and for all.  Haruaki and Konoha are able to hold off Alice, but it wasn’t until Fear finally stood up and declared that she chooses to side with the humans, because what they can’t do makes them ever stronger because they still try.  Through fierce curse-calling and teamwork, Alice is given her curtain call…

Despite what looked to be a clean kill, destroying the cursed tool and even the dopple-gangers disappearing, Alice still stands, beaten but not out. Until she jumps for a getaway boat also carrying two new faces, one being a cursed tool himself.  Quite a way to leave a season, nothing but questions. Fear has another Intelligence Disc, but what about these new guys? And Alice is still on the loose.  I’m gonna dish out some curses of my own if a second season doesn’t come soon to tell how this story really ends.

Overall, a very enjoyable series, finding a good balance between frightening action and hilariously misunderstandable comedy (Haruaki never catches a break, does he. But at least he can fight.).  Though I felt the animation style changed somehow in the last episode (it seemed more streamlined in style and less gothic in the action scenes), the visuals stayed solid throughout the series and offered a very unique feast for the eyes, the closest approximation to the styles would probably be Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (with less variances). If you can put up with a little lack of information at the beginning (and the whole “never really explains cursed tools” thing), you should find the plot moves at a steady pace and the action keeps you wanting more.  The comedy is also deliciously awkward, no situation is too serious for someone to interject innuendo or a funny face. Looking forward to a second season, they just can’t leave it hanging like this.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

C³: The Fanatic is Somewhere

Hey minna,
back with another curse and a new episode of C³: CubexCursedxCurious.  After tracing the murders back to Kuroe and identifying the victims as all being patrons of her salon, Fear, Haruaki, Konoha, and Kirika have a sit down to solve the case.   Not wanting to believe Kuroe had lifted her curse but continues to hurt people, Fear storms out of the room.  Afterword, Kuroe explains to the three remaining that she discovered some time ago that her power is derived from consuming human hair, so she indulges it. (Because that makes total sense, right?)

Their discussion gets interrupted when Alice reveals herself, and draws Konoha and Fear out for a fight, leaving Kuroe and Kirka in the house to protect Haruaki.  Unfortunately, it was all a trap. After incapacitating Kuroe with some kind of incantation, Alice then uses her cursed tool to threaten Haruaki’s life if he and Kirika didn’t follow along, making them her hostages.  She takes them to a warehouse where she has them handcuff themselves and sit quiet while Alice video-tapes a ransom message to Fear and Konoha.

Alice requests that Fear join her organization, the Viviolio Families. And, from my understanding, it seems the Families stand at odds with what Fear wants to believe. Alice’s Families don’t think a cursed tool can be “cured”, but they do believe in “acceptance” and apparently letting the tools live out their curses to the fullest extent…which means mass murders for tools like Fear.

Kirika is able to escape thanks to her partner from the Lab, but he doesn’t bring Haruaki or Konue with him, saying that their job is only surveillance. Kirika, unable to accept this, swerves the car they were riding into a wall, apparently killing her partner.  Now that she’s on the run from Emirate Laboratory, she rejoins Fear and Konoha as they prepare to take on Alice to save Haruaki and Konue….

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

C³: The Sadistic Person is Nowhere to be Seen

Hey minna,
back with another episode of  C³: CubexCursedxCurious.  After a new villain and a new ally made their appearance last week, their plot points really start to pick up.  Several murders have been discovered, which one leaving victim very deformed.  Remembering what Alice said last episode, “The culprit was me”, Fear, Haruaki, and Konoha believe it was her who committed the vicious crimes and set out to track her down.

After finding Alice, the team is lead on a chase through the forest to Alice’s hideout, where she breaks out her cursed tool. It’s exact specifications are still unknown, but she was to level the building and disappear using it.  But, before she vanished, Alice did tell them that all the victim’s had something in common and she wanted them to figure it out.

Meanwhile, Kirika is having troubles of her own.  And after being shown how much Haruaki cares for her well-being and opinion, she decides to reveal to him the true cost of her cursed tool.  While Ginstmag’s Love will keep her alive and free of bodily harm so long as she doesn’t take it off, “The River of Black Strings”, as we already know, has the ability to bind and crush its opponent, but at the cost of frequently strangling and breaking the body of its user.  Which leaves Kirika writing in pain on many days, approaching death, only to wake up some time later completely healed.  Haruaki shows she doesn’t have to handle all her burdens alone, even offering to take “Ginstmag’s Love” with him, seeing as curses apparently don’t affect him.

A new victim is found, again very deformed, and Fear believes she knows the similarities now. All of the victims had their hair cut at Kuroe’s salon, they even check security video of Kuroe’s shop to find her receiving a gift bag with a victim’s hair…could Kuroe really be behind these vicious murders? Or is this some kind of trick by Alice?  Speaking of which, what is the real power of her cursed tool?

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

C³: The Returnee is Somehow Eccentric

Hey minna,
back with a curse and another episode of C³: CubexCursedxCurious. Featuring a new OP this week, it makes me think the series is going to start taking more focus n Kirika and the mysterious research organization, hopefully it’s not full of pervs like the math teacher who nearly got his a** handed to him after trying to make a move on her. Also, a new addition to the cast, Kuroe Ningyohara, a past resident returned to show the progress of her curse-removal, who also picked up a stalker from a new mysterious organization after cursed tools…am I the only one who feels like they’ve been kept out of the loop?

Not much in the way of solid development, other than introductions to what looks like the new arc of the story.  But, by the time the principal’s assistant was busy playing dress-up with Konoha and Fear, I was wondering, what was this anime’s type again? Harem? Action? Eechi? Or some odd medley of everything…even if Kuroe is older than she looks, it’s still strange to see a seemingly 10-year-old girl advertising sexual beauty. And if Fear’s antics continue, Konoha will be wiping Haruaki’s entrails off the walls soon…

This mysterious woman even arrives at Korue’s opening of her beauty salon, leaving with the ever more mysterious line: “I am the culprit”. The culprit to what? What’d she do? I suspect it has something to do with Kirika, tracing back to how I feel like the next segment of the series is going to be more focused on her.

One thing is for certain, C³ takes moe to a whole new level…I should stock up on nose-plugs to try and prevent too much blood loss.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

C³: Like an Inescapable Curse

Hey minna,
back with a curse calling and another episode of the Fall 2011 series, C³: CubexCursedxCurious.  Fear, along with Hauraki and friends, need to find a way to stop Sovereignty Perfection Doll, a cursed tool smitten with Shiraho, from stealing away the emotional energy from the students of the school to prevent her from killing Shiraho using her cursed tool, Killing Organ.

First things first, Sovereignty needs to be drawn out to be dealt with.  In order to do that, Fear uses a cell phone Shiraho gave to Sovereignty to tell her that they’ve taken Shiraho hostage, and, to complete the act, they actually take her hostage.  Konoha, in cursed blade form, forces Haruaki’s hand to keep Shiraho at blade-point, resulting in Sovereignty’s love-stricken attack against Fear and Kirika. As the pair fight off Sovereignty’s tree-doll army, Fear catches Sovereignty in one of her cursed torture devices.  Driving emotions forces out all of Sovereignty’s hidden blades and killing devices, part of her curse, Killing Organ.  Using their love for one another to bring out all of Sovereignty’s cursed powers was the girls’ plan all along, and once all the blades had been revealed, Konoha, with Haruaki’s help, removes all of the blades. Not so much “lifting” the curse, as simply removing the sharp ends of it.

After a tearful reunion where Shiraho and Sovereignty are finally able to hold one another, the story skips to when the gang is back in school.  All the effected students have returned to good health, and the principal drops a little backstory for Shiraho. Though it seemed somewhat pointless, it was at least interesting to see that Haruaki isn’t the only kid with a parent who seems to find no fault in logic about sending cursed tools to their children.

Now that Sovereignty is nothing more than a walking tower of moe-awesomeness, where will the story move to now? Another villain? Or perhaps they’ll finally dive into the whole organizations thing and provide a little more information on cursed tools and the “Indulgence Discs” that Fear now has two of…

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku