I had all but abandoned this blog but today I am really fuming after I heard about Toukai TV’s decision to cancel the airing of the twelfth episode of Higurashi. For those of you who haven’t heard it yet – in a nutshell the story goes like this:  girl kills father, girl says she has wanted to become mangaka, media fuels anti-anime hysteria, TV station gets scared and refuses to air the episodes of Higurashi and School Days for “various reasons”, fans of Higurashi and School Days are enraged. (more…)



I haven’t read that much manga and what I have read so far has been mostly unfinished series or a few volumes long. I say that as a disclaimer – maybe there are many great long manga series out there and the heaps of praise I intend to write for Battle Royale would be an expression of my relative inexperience as a manga reader. But I can’t help it, this manga has affected me too much, so I have to write down my impressions.

The premise of Battle Royale is simple, if extremely brutal and disturbing. In a totalitian ruled Japan the greatest entertainment show is simply called The Program. Every year a random (or not so random as it turns out) school class is picked, delivered to a certain location and told the rules of the game. Every student receives a random weapon, they are all in a restricted area and they have three days to win the game. How does one win? By being the last man standing. Literally. So the choice is kill or be killed. And if they don’t want to fight – they all die. So we have 42 ninth-graders (or third year middle school students if you want the Japanese system) battling it out to the death, TV ratings soaring with each juicy murder or rape attempt, plot twists are in abundance – treacheries, alliances, plans, detailed action scenes with their own twists – it’s not easy to guess what comes next, even for people like me, obsessed with guessing exactly that. And now I know why the final third of Mai-HiME is so often compared with Battle Royale and as much as I love Mai-HiME, I think Battle Royale is better, not least because it doesn’t have the an ending that ruins everything but also because it is even more brutal to its characters. (more…)

Haruhi Happiness.jpgAnri Happiness!

I don’t want to hide the fact that I don’t really have a clue why I have ended up enjoying this show quite a lot. Nothing really stands out (except Yuuma’s crazy mother) when I try to analyse Happiness! but I guess this is just another comfirmation that some things are more than the sum of their parts. When you look at the show you can easily classify it as yet another romantic comedy that takes place in a high school, a concept that is one of the main pretenders for the most beaten to death idea. Yet, this show does make me laugh out loud and no character has yet made it to my list of characters who should be put out of their misery, actually none has even managed to get on my nerves at all. And let’s face it – bright colours, light-hearted atmoshpere, beautiful girls and some comedy is a winning formula when done right. Alas, things seem to go wrong very often when the formula is tried, so I need to enjoy the successful attempts as much as I can. (more…)


As they say in South Park – “I learned something today” . Namely that I shoudn’t get obsessed with delayed fansub releases, even if I have really enjoyed the series in question thus far. Checking so many times every day for episode 4 created monstrously big expectations which were more or less impossible to fullfil. Don’t get me wrong, the episode is not bad at all and my only major complaint would be the rather inconsistent animation quality. Kate and Claire continue to be notably easier to like than Rachel and Rose but regardless of the viewers personal preferences the character interaction remains heavily grounded in reality with all the pros and cons that are to be expected from such an approach. The girls got rid of yet another lunatic but the way things are presented makes me thing that the series will not go for the monster of the week approach and even if it does it might still maintain the quality, as long as the characte development does not suddenly cease. (more…)

You know what comes to my mind when I see Kyoto Animation mentioned? Two things – the first one is Full Metal Panic:Fumoffu which is one of the best anime comedies ever. But the second one is more relevant – the phrase that comes into my mind is “what a waste of great animation”. First, it was The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi and now Kanon. And while I found Suzumiya Haruhi to be merely a mediocre series that I might one day actually watch to the end, Kanon is mystifyingly bad. I say mystifyingly because apparently everyone but me loves it and all I see in it is a stupid harem show that needs this great animation quality as much as car stuck in a traffic jam needs a 500 horse power engine. It’s not fun at all, it is so moe-ish that I think I got a nearly deadly dose of moe after just two episodes. Most importantly – will I live to see the day when high school girls behaving like little kids all the time will be considered stupid and annoying by the majority of anime fandom rather than cute and endearing as it seems to be the case now? (more…)

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This is certainly one of the overlooked gems of this season. Which in a sense is good because it makes my decision to blog it seem less futile, so I might just do it on some sort of regular basis. It’s a GONZO anime and it stands out for a number of reasons. The art is odd and especially the character designs are bound to turn off a lot of people but in general the art is at least memorable and does not scream in your face “just another anime ” or “we didn’t have a big budget so we decided that zero originality in the art was the formula for success”. It has a very gripping and somewhat heavy, gloomy atmoshpere and amazing sound – the effects, ambient sounds, seiyuu work and music are all essential parts of what makes Red Garden special, at least for me. Last but not least, the series seems to be a mystery with supernatural elements but with a heavy emphasis on the character’s development, something that was sorely lacking in some of the crucial chapters of Higurashi, for instance. (more…)

I see I haven’t bashed anything in a really long time. I have just grumbled a bit about Strawberry Panic. True, it got so bad that I doubt I will actually finish it but compared to Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru it’s almost a masterpiece (at least if we compare only the first episodes of the two series). Imagine Strawberry Panic (Maria-sama ga Miteru, dumbed down for drooling fanboys, will do if you haven’t bothered with SP), only with a boy called Mizuho who pretends to be a girl as the main character, with more fanservice and even more annoying characters. It took about ten episodes for the SP cast to make me want to cut their collective tongue to make them shut up but just two in the case of Otome…something. It is such drivel that it makes me a bit ashamed to be anime fan. It’s not funny. There is no plot to speak of. It’s just as realistic as me having a harem full of supermodels and also being to create a new universe all by myself. It does not seem to be real yuri. It includes every cliche in the book and I mean it. (more…)