Archive for March, 2012

Winter 2012 Draws to a Close, and Spring 2012 Begins to Bloom

First of all, if you haven’t been keeping up with YumeState or Sea Slugs lately, be sure to check out some of my latest posts:

So what are my thoughts on winter anime? There were four shows I watched all the way through, and one of them still has three more episodes left. And I thought all four shows were great! I’ve written a lot on all of them recently, so I’ll just give ultra-mini-reviews here:

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Winter 2012: Favorite Characters

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

I did this sort of post for summer and fall of last year, so I might as well continue that tradition and list a few of my favorite characters from the winter 2012 anime I watched.

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Telling a Story with Princess Tutu (Ep 14-26)

Who’s telling the story here?

I finished watching through the Princess Tutu anime, and overall it was an enjoyable story. The characters were fun and likeable, and had a surprising amount of development over the course of the series. The main four characters at least changed a good deal, made clearly evident if you compare Duck, Fakir, Mythos, and Rue as they are at the end of the series to how they are at the very beginning. I think I particularly liked how the romance subplots turned out for the four, which worked with the shoujo tropes nicely.

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On Friends and Whether or Not We Should Kill Them

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

Just wanted to write up a quick post on the winter anime I’m watching before the season ends! Not much time left for all these shows, so I’m pretty excited to see how they’ll all end! Note that there may be spoilers for Kill Me Baby, Natsume Yuujinchou, and especially for Mirai Nikki and Another. Make sure you’re up to date on these shows before reading on!

I’ll start with Kill Me Baby.

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Natsume’s Book of Friends – Volumes 3-5

Time for another manga post, and this time I delve back into the world of Natsume Yuujinchou. It’s nice to read these stories, and remember all the good times from the first three seasons of the anime. The order of all the stories is quite different from the anime, but either way it seems to work out okay, since the series is episodic (particularly in these first five volumes). I loved all the stories in these three volumes, and as always I think the unique art style is one of the things I think makes the manga worth checking out, even if you’ve seen all the anime.
My favorite stories from volumes 3-5 are probably these three:

The chapter with the snow bunny is just too cute. Definitely one of the most adorable stories in the series. One of the more bittersweet stories.

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The Road Paved with Good Intentions (Mirai Nikki: Ep 15-21)

Our continually-evolving protagonist Yukiteru continues to fascinate me the most out of Mirai Nikki’s bizarre cast, which may be odd considering how much he’s generally disliked. But he’s a character that’s always changing, and it’s never because he wants to. Or rather, the situation he’s been thrown in has repeatedly forced him to change himself in order to survive. The last few episodes especially have shown just how much Yukiteru has changed, and at this point it’s actually debatable just how sympathetic he is.

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Silent Hill 2: A World of Nightmares

(Note: This post first appeared on YumeState.)

“In my restless dreams, I see that town. Silent Hill. You promised you’d take me there again someday, but you never did. Well, I’m alone there now… in our special place… waiting for you…”

Silent Hill 2 came out on the PS2 about ten years ago, but I’ve just gotten to it now. It’s gooooood stuff. The game is widely regarded as one of the best games in the series, and in the entire survival horror genre. What makes the game special is the powerful atmosphere, mysterious plot, and psychological undertones.

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Baaabyyyy Pleeeeaaaase Kiiiill Meeeeeeeee (Kill Me Baby Ep 3-10)

It doesn’t seem many people are blogging about Kill Me Baby, which is understandable. Not too many people seem to like its style of humor, and even then there isn’t too much to talk about it. There isn’t much in the way of plot, save for the premise itself. The music is pretty inconsequential, save for the catchy ending theme. In terms of art, the animation is simplistic, the backgrounds are given a bare minimum of detail, and there are only a handful of characters total. In fact, most of the time the show is nothing but Yasuna-chan and Sonya-chan doing stupid stuff (and even then, most of the time it’s just them engaging in childish banter). What the show entails could probably be broken down like so:

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How Repetitive is Natsume Yuujinchou Shi? (Ep 3-8)

I’ve had a lot of exposure to Yuki Midorikawa’s works the past couple weeks, as I’ve been catching up on Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, watching the Hotarubi no Mori e film, and reading some more of the manga Natsume’s Book of Friends. Suffice to say I’m a big fan of these stories, but as the Natsume series continues on week by week, I think it’s good to pose the question: Is it becoming a little too repetitive? This is, of course, one of the biggest difficulties in creating a long-running episodic series. If it’s too formulaic, people are more likely to move on to other things after a while. But at the same time, the general atmosphere of the series probably needs to be maintained, since that’s perhaps Natsume Yuujinchou’s biggest selling point.

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