Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winter 2012 Season Preview

As I get ready to look back on the best and worst of 2011 in anime, first let’s look ahead to Winter 2012.  As always, I’m only going to preview the series of particular interest to me – there are numerous wikis for those of you looking for something more comprehensive.  Full previews are below the fold. Please check the sidebar and vote for your most anticipated series in the poll.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Usagi Drop – 6.5

[Oyatsu] Usagi Drop 6.5 (1920x1080 BD AAC) [741610CB].mkv_snapshot_00.13_[2011.12.29_22.36.03] [Oyatsu] Usagi Drop 6.5 (1920x1080 BD AAC) [741610CB].mkv_snapshot_01.06_[2011.12.29_22.36.56] [Oyatsu] Usagi Drop 6.5 (1920x1080 BD AAC) [741610CB].mkv_snapshot_01.46_[2011.12.29_22.37.36]

“Full Bloom in the Sky”

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2011 – The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

Doctor.Who.2005.Christmas.Special.2011.The.Doctor.The.Widow.And.The.Wardrobe.HDTV.XviD-FoV.avi_snapshot_00.25_[2011.12.29_18.06.18] Doctor.Who.2005.Christmas.Special.2011.The.Doctor.The.Widow.And.The.Wardrobe.HDTV.XviD-FoV.avi_snapshot_04.15_[2011.12.29_18.10.07] Doctor.Who.2005.Christmas.Special.2011.The.Doctor.The.Widow.And.The.Wardrobe.HDTV.XviD-FoV.avi_snapshot_09.12_[2011.12.29_18.15.05]

While it seems odd to be reviewing a Christmas Special on the 29th of December, it’s been a hellish week of travel and task – so better late than never, I say.

Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou – 25 (End) and Series Review

[OX-] Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou - 12 [848 x 480][H.264][6F38B924].mkv_snapshot_12.24_[2011.09.19_17.13.59] [KS]_Nurarihyon_no_Mago_Sennen_Makyou_19_[360p].mp4_snapshot_18.01_[2011.11.08_13.05.16] [AnimeUltima] Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou - 25 [400p].mkv_snapshot_18.12_[2011.12.18_21.41.26]

Even for a series as fond of recap episodes as Nurarihyon, ending on one is pretty darn lame.

Jormungand Anime Announced (PV Added)

Today brings the interesting bit of news that Takahashi Keitaro's manga Jormungand is getting an anime adaptation.  I don't want to say this one is dark, but parts of it make Deadman Wonderland look like Tamayura.  I would imagine this is going to be toned down some, but the good news is that White Fox (Steins;Gate) is handling the adaptation.  While the manga - a story of a child soldier and the arms dealer who ends up as his protector - loses focus and drifts sometimes, it's quite scary and surprisingly funny and even moving at its best.  If nothing else, it's not terribly commercial - which is reason enough to take this adaptation as good news.
Update: Here's the first PV from White Fox.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hourou Musuko - 104

hourou-musuko-2923733 hourou-musuko-2923741 hourou-musuko-2923751

“Mii-tan’s Father – 2”

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume – Series Review

[HorribleSubs] Shinryaku Ika Musume S2 - 04 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.46_[2011.10.17_19.51.40] [HorribleSubs] Shinryaku Ika Musume S2 - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.50_[2011.12.05_16.11.07] [HorribleSubs] Shinryaku Ika Musume S2 - 12 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.32_[2011.12.28_21.32.35]

If I had to sum up my feelings for the adorable squid girl and her superb supporting cast in one word, it would be “affection”.

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume – 12 (End)

[HorribleSubs] Shinryaku Ika Musume S2 - 12 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.58_[2011.12.28_21.16.49] [HorribleSubs] Shinryaku Ika Musume S2 - 12 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.15_[2011.12.28_21.29.29] [HorribleSubs] Shinryaku Ika Musume S2 - 12 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.32_[2011.12.28_21.32.35]

Just as a word from Maya signals the end of a season on Working, an appearance by TAnabe KOzue seems to usher in the finale of Shinryaku Ika Musume.

Shakugan no Shana III - 12

[Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 12 [A2FF8F2F].mkv_snapshot_00.24_[2011.12.28_16.55.53] [Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 12 [A2FF8F2F].mkv_snapshot_14.49_[2011.12.28_17.10.16] [Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 12 [A2FF8F2F].mkv_snapshot_19.10_[2011.12.28_17.14.37]

It’s tempting to draw a Freudian interpretation of this week’s “Shana”, but perhaps that’s just my snarky side causing trouble…

Kimi to Boku - 13

[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.16_[2011.12.28_14.57.02] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.43_[2011.12.28_15.02.29] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.39_[2011.12.28_15.15.33]

Kimi to Boku didn’t turn out to be the series I hoped it’d be, but at least it didn’t end up being the series I feared it would.

Mirai Nikki - 12

Mirai Nikki - 12 - Large 11 Mirai Nikki - 12 - Large 14 Mirai Nikki - 12 - Large 22

“Thanks for the investigation diary. I’m sure it’ll help me beat the shit out of someone.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam - 10

Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam - 10 - Large 09 Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam - 10 - Large 25 Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam - 10 - Large 32

A lot happened this week on Fam, including the long-awaited first appearance by yet another legendary character from the original series. But in introducing her, a new mystery was created involving two even more important characters via the passing words of Dio.

Bakuman 2 - 13

[BROSUBBERS]_Bakuman_S2_-_13_[720p][112C6403].mkv_snapshot_00.26_[2011.12.27_21.58.55] [BROSUBBERS]_Bakuman_S2_-_13_[720p][112C6403].mkv_snapshot_05.40_[2011.12.27_22.03.35] [BROSUBBERS]_Bakuman_S2_-_13_[720p][112C6403].mkv_snapshot_22.37_[2011.12.27_22.22.37]

This has been an excellent season on Bakuman, but I’m not at all sure I like the direction this is headed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ben-To – 12 (End) and Series Review

[gg]_Ben-to_-_12_[33993A13].mkv_snapshot_03.03_[2011.12.27_00.08.33] [gg]_Ben-to_-_12_[33993A13].mkv_snapshot_08.46_[2011.12.27_00.14.15] [gg]_Ben-to_-_12_[33993A13].mkv_snapshot_21.06_[2011.12.27_00.26.36]

For a series I really liked a lot for a long time, it’s amazing how little I cared about what happened in the final episode of Ben-To.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holy... Rurouni Kenshin Manga to Return!

I never would have expected this.  No word yet on what "brief run" and "reboot" mean, but can we possibly hope that this, at long last, will push us towards the Holy Grail of adaptations, the Jinchu Arc?  As surprising as this news is, it's easy to forget Watsuki-sensei is still barely 40 years old, so maybe we shouldn't be shocked.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Toradora OVA – Ben-to no Gokui

[CoalGuys] Toradora! - OVA [1B6B6AC1].mkv_snapshot_02.21_[2011.12.24_23.09.29] [CoalGuys] Toradora! - OVA [1B6B6AC1].mkv_snapshot_14.38_[2011.12.24_23.24.45] [CoalGuys] Toradora! - OVA [1B6B6AC1].mkv_snapshot_24.23_[2011.12.24_23.34.30]

Apparently it doesn’t take a half-price sticker to start a Ben-to war, at least where Takasu Ryuji is concerned.

Hunter x Hunter – 12.5

[AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.23_[2011.12.24_22.46.46] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.43_[2011.12.24_22.47.07] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.55_[2011.12.24_22.53.37]

Happy Holidays to all.  Alas, the only present H x H left under the Festivus pole was a recap episode.  With that big fat lump of coal in the stocking you don’t expect much, and indeed, boring recap episode was boring.  But we did get a few shots of Mito-san and Grandma, which has a novelty value in that Mito-san’s seiyuu Han Keiko is the mother of Gon’s seiyuu, Han Megumi.  We also got a glimpse of “the old man”, Ging, who even a neophyte like me knows is going to be a looming presence over this series going forward.

Working’!! – Series Review

[HorribleSubs] Working!! - 04 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.35_[2011.10.23_20.24.04] [HorribleSubs] Working!! - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.38_[2011.11.12_11.01.45] [Raws-4U] WORKING'!! 第13話(終) 「13品目 「さよならぽぷら」」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_20.17_[2011.12.24_21.36.16]

Now that’s how you do a sequel.

Working’!! - 13 (End)

[Raws-4U] WORKING'!! 第13話(終) 「13品目 「さよならぽぷら」」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_06.45_[2011.12.24_21.24.35] [Raws-4U] WORKING'!! 第13話(終) 「13品目 「さよならぽぷら」」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_07.03_[2011.12.24_21.24.53] [Raws-4U] WORKING'!! 第13話(終) 「13品目 「さよならぽぷら」」 (MX 1280x720 x264).mp4_snapshot_16.10_[2011.12.24_21.32.39]

Merry Christmas, Kawase Akiko-san.

Fate/Zero - 13

[Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 13 [E2464C40].mkv_snapshot_02.47_[2011.12.24_17.36.36] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 13 [E2464C40].mkv_snapshot_10.22_[2011.12.24_17.44.10] [Commie] Fate ⁄ Zero - 13 [E2464C40].mkv_snapshot_17.36_[2011.12.24_17.51.25]

Well – they really didn’t even try to end this in a good spot, did they?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

UN-GO – Series Review

UN-GO - 01 - Large 20 UN-GO - 07 - Large 30 UN-GO - 09 - Large Preview 02
Like Mashiro-iro Symphony, UN-GO was a series that failed to captivate me out of the box and turned into one of the better shows of the Fall season.

UN-GO – 11 (End)

UN-GO - 11 - Large 06 UN-GO - 11 - Large 12 UN-GO - 11 - Large 28

The little show almost nobody watched certainly went out with a bang, delivering up a classic finale to one of the most satisfying mysteries anime has seen in many a season.

Boku Wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Series Review

[Mazui]_Boku_Ha_Tomodachi_Ga_Sukunai_-_01_[89288C3C].mkv_snapshot_02.49_[2011.10.06_18.23.16] [Mazui]_Boku_Ha_Tomodachi_Ga_Sukunai_-_06_[1A42C742].mkv_snapshot_19.41_[2011.11.10_17.38.20] [Mazui]_Boku_Ha_Tomodachi_Ga_Sukunai_-_11_[4F3444DF].mkv_snapshot_19.27_[2011.12.15_20.27.13]

Haganai is a series that generally delivered on the Hippocratic Oath of anime comedy – first, be funny – and it’s a show I certainly liked.  But not as much as I hoped to.

Boku Wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai - 12 (End)

[Mazui]_Boku_Ha_Tomodachi_Ga_Sukunai_-_12_[8E1BF68D].mkv_snapshot_06.01_[2011.12.23_16.03.44] [Mazui]_Boku_Ha_Tomodachi_Ga_Sukunai_-_12_[8E1BF68D].mkv_snapshot_15.43_[2011.12.23_16.13.26] [Mazui]_Boku_Ha_Tomodachi_Ga_Sukunai_-_12_[8E1BF68D].mkv_snapshot_21.26_[2011.12.23_16.19.09]

As series finales go, Haganai signs off with one that was about as low-key and noncommittal as a finale can get.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Poll: What Winter Series Are You Most Looking Forward To? Part II

What Fall Series Are You Most Looking Forward To? (Part II)

Sequels reign supreme in the second poll, but I see a lot of sleeper potential in the third-place finisher, Area no Kishi.

Mawaru Penguin Drum – Series Review

[gg]_Mawaru_Penguindrum_-_05_[86845EF7].mkv_snapshot_02.32_[2011.08.04_23.05.55] [gg]_Mawaru_Penguindrum_-_19_[E0AC7FEC].mkv_snapshot_05.47_[2011.11.17_21.45.23] [gg]​_Mawaru​_Penguindrum​_-​_24​_[E51B0C58].mkv_snapshot_05.34_[2011.12.22_23.36.44]

This is a funny sort of post to write, because after twenty-four episode posts and some side posts, I almost feel as if everything there is to say about Mawaru Penguin Drum has already been said.

Mawaru Penguin Drum – 24 (End)

[gg]​_Mawaru​_Penguindrum​_-​_24​_[E51B0C58].mkv_snapshot_00.49_[2011.12.22_23.31.39] [gg]​_Mawaru​_Penguindrum​_-​_24​_[E51B0C58].mkv_snapshot_05.34_[2011.12.22_23.36.44] [gg]​_Mawaru​_Penguindrum​_-​_24​_[E51B0C58].mkv_snapshot_12.54_[2011.12.22_23.44.02]
[gg]​_Mawaru​_Penguindrum​_-​_24​_[E51B0C58].mkv_snapshot_19.01_[2011.12.22_23.51.22] [gg]​_Mawaru​_Penguindrum​_-​_24​_[E51B0C58].mkv_snapshot_21.00_[2011.12.22_23.53.20] [gg]​_Mawaru​_Penguindrum​_-​_24​_[E51B0C58].mkv_snapshot_22.41_[2011.12.22_23.55.29]

I almost feel lost even trying to begin this post, because there’s so much happening both intellectually and emotionally that I’m trying to sort out.  No other series this season has been able to do that to me, for better or worse.

Guilty Crown - 11

[Commie] Guilty Crown - 11 [8C27E959].mkv_snapshot_05.40_[2011.12.22_22.19.44] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 11 [8C27E959].mkv_snapshot_10.41_[2011.12.22_22.24.47] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 11 [8C27E959].mkv_snapshot_19.29_[2011.12.22_22.33.35]

It’s mid-series break time on Guilty Crown, so you knew something serious was gonna happen.  And when the ED gets used as an insert song, you really know it’s all hit the fan.

Mashiro-iro Symphony – Series Review

[Zenyaku-ACIFT] Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 05 [720p h264 AAC] [7A140642].mkv_snapshot_07.09_[2011.11.03_14.12.07] [Zenyaku-ACIFT] Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 11 [Hi10P 720p h264 AAC] [732C332A].mkv_snapshot_20.50_[2011.12.15_15.00.43] [Zenyaku-ACIFT] Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 12 [Hi10P 720p h264 AAC] [92568677].mkv_snapshot_17.54_[2011.12.22_17.53.22]

If I never see an adaptation of a romance game or VN better than Mahsiro-iro Symphony, I’ll be pretty content in that I’ve seen a studio get at least one just right.

Mashiro-iro Symphony – 12 (End)

[Zenyaku-ACIFT] Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 12 [Hi10P 720p h264 AAC] [92568677].mkv_snapshot_00.23_[2011.12.22_17.35.51] [Zenyaku-ACIFT] Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 12 [Hi10P 720p h264 AAC] [92568677].mkv_snapshot_19.12_[2011.12.22_17.54.41] [Zenyaku-ACIFT] Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 12 [Hi10P 720p h264 AAC] [92568677].mkv_snapshot_23.28_[2011.12.22_17.59.17]

I don’t know just exactly what Pannya was – even if he’s a boy or she’s a girl (thanks, confusing subs) but I know the little furball totally broke my heart in the finale.