Undercover Lover

The toughest part about each season is having to make up the WatchRanking chart each week, because so many shows are so many ways of good, and it’s hard to assign a numerical value to them. Despite all that, the other half of premieres rolled past, and here is your abridged view on some real gems this season. I did not have access to my system, so I had to pilfer some screenshots from elsewhere on the internet, so hat tip to Random Curiosity for that, who also reviewed those series too, if you’re interested in multiple angles.

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Shadow Lurking

So wait, how was she out during the day in previous episodes? Or was that the point?

Oh, so that's where you were!

I was completely unprepared to encounter the end of Bakemonogatari, in fact I apparently missed episode 14 as well, prompting me to go back and grab that before finishing 15. I must say, for being such a weird series, I actually enjoyed it more than some of the other stuff I have watched recently. The “Tsubasa Cat” arc was a bit long, but worth it.

Anyway, moving on to the meat and potatoes of this post, Pantsu Witches!

loli pantsu furries with guns, the only type of furries I will ever endorse

I'm under the impression if this actually existed, WWII would have been awesome.

Strike Witches 2 debuted roughly six months after the end of the first series. The opening depicts another Witches squad laying witness to a new Neuroi threat overtaking the old one. Miyafuji, the series heroine graduated middle school and is talking about going to high school to eventually take over the healing clinic where she lives when she receives another letter from her late father, the inventor of the Striker Units. She takes it to the military base to have Sakamoto, her mentor and fellow 501st member to look at, and catches wind of the invasion and involvement of another 501st member and friend, Lynette Bishop, now a Master Sergeant with the Britannia Air Force. Sakamoto denies Miyafuji a chance to help and departs with a new Striker frame, but you can’t stop the kid from going anyway, she jacks another Striker unit with the help of base crew sympathizers and joins Sakamoto in the air.

Strike Witches combines three things, lolis and magic, with WWII-style mechanics and weaponry. Why they wear skimpy panties and have anthropomorphic features when using said magic is pretty much never explained I believe, so it ends up being fanservice. The show itself is pretty awesome to watch, and if you have ever seen the similarly titled Sky Girls that show was essentially this concept minus the furries, and still awesome. If you’ve never seen Witches, start with the first. If you’ve seen Witches, the first episode thrusts you right into the action and will not disappoint.

Sub Group: HorribleSubs
First Rating: 8

Putting the DOM in YakuinDOMo

I'm nearly afraid to see what future episodes will be like

Seitokai Yakuindomo is this season’s strangest disjointed thing since the last similarly titled Seitokai. This series revolves around three school council girls and one guy they pretty much pressed in as the new member and Vice President. Oh, it’s also worth noting that the setting is an All Girls School that recently went Co-Ed. The president and secretary spare no expense in telling lewd and often sexual references to many situations putting this series almost like B Gata H Kei except without a plot or direction.

But hey, slim pickings this summer, we’ll see how it plays out.

Sub Group: Ryuumaru
First Rating: 7

Mayoi Neko Overrun ended it’s 13th and final episode with pretty much a complete recap with voice overs, which was a bit disappoint. Other than make vague references to possibly another series down the road, it pretty much seems the random wacky adventure ended with the last episode, so I didn’t bother running a screen cap for 13. I will say it was a good series, nothing super to drive home over, especially since Nyan Koi! had more substance to it, but it was amusing to watch.

Title: Mayoi Neko Overrun
Sub Group I Watched: Nuke, Ryuumaru
Episodes: 13
Rating (1-10): 7

The last series for this season is out on RAW but hasn’t been subbed yet, hopefully someone has it out tonight or tomorrow.

I also took a chance to drop into Connecticon today to hang out for a few minutes with a few friends, the talented duo who run AngryRabbit and Kitsune Kiki, Dave and Sam in artists alley, and an old IRC comrade, Dave Lister of Paradox Lost whom I bought one of his pieces from a game his company he is involved with is developing for the DS, which hangs nicely in my cubicle at work now. I was also walking around with another friend when we decided to go see Super Art Fight, which to me sounded much like Katsucon’s Iron Artist show from years lore. It was a similar concept, but cleverly pitched, as they gave the artists a topic to start, and changed topics every five minutes from a random user-submitted pool of ideas in a 25 minute match. Some excellent stuff was thrown out there (see Twitter hash tag #superartfight for examples) and others wasn’t that hot, but it was a good time. There was a lot of people this year, probably more than previous years, certainly interesting to see how large Connecticon has gotten since it first started out at UHart 7 years ago. Sadly I still remember the first, including the Bloody Roar tourney in one of the rooms, as well as getting my Aegis Gundam model. Good times.

Speaking of cons, the con circuit for myself next year will be both staffing cons, Katsucon in February at the Gaylord in Washington DC again, and also staffing at Zenkaikon in King of Prussia, PA in March. I may also make a bid for PAX East next year, as well as drop in for Connecticon since it’s in my neighborhood. No Otakon in case you were wondering, one of the reasons I stopped going in 2004 and again after 2006 was that the con is simply too big and too expensive to do anymore. I don’t cosplay, I don’t attend panels really, I don’t attend anime showings, workshops, or much else. I go for artists, dealers, and to hang out with friends. Katsucon has been my home con since 2003 not only because of staffing but because most of my friends, both personal and webcomic/professional go each year, so it’s been a good meeting place. Since the old IRC days this has been less so, but it’s still fun to go each year.

Summer 09 Wrapup

So between this week and last week, several series finished up airing. Honestly, as someone who barely keeps up with “currently airing” anime it is hard to really sit here like some “professional blogger” and tell you all the ins and outs of each season, since I really don’t pay the fuck attention to fine details like that. Hell I am usually two seasons or even two years behind in anime (see: Hayate no Gotoku, Nanoha).

However I have been watching a few series out recently, and they’ve been pretty enjoyable watches thus far, looking forward to the next seasons of some of them as well.

Shugo Chara!! Doki! honestly ended rather… dull. I know it’s a magical girl series and probably targeted at a younger audience so no real epic rape or battles, but it kinda felt like a huge troll to find out the mystical Embryo that you’ve been hearing for the past one hundred and one episodes is really Easter’s head boss, Hikaru’s egg, that has been waiting for him to accept the damn thing for an umpteen million years. So it was kind of an expected ending, but it left you thinking that something more should have happened. Regardless, getting to see somemore Dia screentime, Amu’s combined Amulet Fortune,  and Ikuto’s Seven Seas Treasure was probably the only real highlights of the last two episodes. If anything, the only real thing I have to say should have been changed, is dropping the whole Nadeshiko actually being a guy thing. Do the twin brother thing still, because his male chara was fine, but that whole business was just awkward.

Doki! Dokki! comes out this October I believe, dunno how it’ll be, but probably more of the same.

tl;dr: Skip the transformation sequences, they get boring after the 90th time, watch the major battles, rage a little at obvious oblivious, and don’t take much of it seriously, it doesn’t even take itself seriously really.

Title: Shugo Chara!! Doki!
Sub Group I Watched: KiraKira
Episodes: 52
Rating (1-10): 7

Saki ended pretty much with generic hot springs fanservice and GOIN’ TO THE NATIONALS, with ending scenes setting up even more characters to probably come into the next season of the series where it will be a MUST PLAY AND BEAT MAH SISTAH SO WE CAN END OUR YET UNTOLD STORY OF WHY WE’RE MAD AT EACH OTHER or something. Not sure when the next season starts, if it will be this October or if they’re waiting until next year, either way, too many damn characters, they already had all 26 or whatever in this year’s SaiMoe, gonna run over 2010 at this rate.

tl;dr: As I’ve said before, lesbians and mahjong. Nodoka makes this series worth it, but Stealth Momo Homo, THE Koromo, and Tacos-chan will make it worth watching also.

Title: Saki
Sub Group I Watched: MakiMaki
Episodes: 25
Rating (1-10): 8

Bakemonogatari there really isn’t much you can say about this one, it started out weird, it ends weird, and it was weird all the way through. Lacking any real central plot and really being all about the various characters and their conditions really makes the ending nothing worth noting in any real sense. I’m not even sure if 12 was the ending or not, MAL hasn’t listed it as over yet, or thinks it will go to 15, I dunno. It’s probably gonna be much like Haruhi 2 and have more episodes made maybe, or another season.

tl;dr: Senjougahara is the only reason to really watch this show. Hell, what she does in the first episode is the only reason to watch this show.

Title: Bakemonogatari
Sub Group I Watched: gg
Episodes: 12
Rating (1-10): 6

As for series coming out this fall, the good anon who runs chartfag.wordpress has an excellent visual on what comes out this fall:

Besides Shugo Chara!!! Doki! Dokki! and Shakugan no Shana S I may also give Nyan Koi!, A Certain Scientific Railgun (based on A Certain Magical Index), Yumeiro Patissiere (sounds a lot like Yakitate Japan, maybe want?), and possibly Kampfer a watch. I thought Shana was an actual series but it seems it may be an OVA or special, so probably a prequel or sidestory. Probably will dig through the lists for past seasons and find something I missed to watch.

You may notice I deleted the last two posts. I’m working up a template for how I want to structure this blog, nothing serious (I don’t do anything seriously now do I?) but I made this up to be sort of a “professional non-professional” review blog, which really means I write informal reviews and probably rage rants about the stuff I liked or stuff I hated. I also want to sneak in some classic reviews on series that have long since aired and aren’t considered new anymore, but since I am usually far behind on anime than some people, those who also don’t pay attention to every tiny detail of anime because they either have real lives or aren’t ASfags might enjoy to learn about something new that I just learned last week that premiered last year. But if all else fails, I just pimp chartfag because I am lazy and that dude has everything under the sun in delicious graphical formats. I on the other hand only have enough graphical capacity to make a ton of fucking SaiMoe2009 shit that probably no one else but me has seen.

Also, if people actually read this shit yet (I know it’s new, durr) if there is a classic series you’ve seen that I might’ve seen that you want put up here, or if you have suggestions of something I should watch, let me know, I’m not up with current trends of anything anime related unless it’s mecha, which I’m probably more up to date with than the rest.. well, maybe moeblob, but then there are so many of those series I’m bound to miss a few. Either way, drop some fucking suggestions. You may also find me lurking /a/ as Delta !vAgwUr71kY or plain old Anonymous, /m/ as Companion Sphere !cLAc5rAVRA or plain old Anonymous, and everywhere else as Anonymous.