What's everybody watching? (Sorry, a bit long)
- Just wondering what anime everybody is watching these days.
I'll go first.
Airmaster: I heard about this show from Allan and Dreiser at the con, though
I missed the impromptu episode showing. No matter, that's what Bittorrent is
for. :-D Not to give too much away but basically its the story of a girl
named Maki who has a unique aerial fighting style (hence the name) and kicks
a lot of ass and takes a lot of names. I've seen 10 episodes so far, and
there doesn't seem to be any overarching plot lurking in the background.
Frankly, plot is not one of its charms. Its well animated, some of the fight
scenes especially. Some of the characters are outrageous and over the top,
though Renge-chan takes a little getting used to.
There is yuri content, as Mina, one of Maki's new friend falls in love with
her, despite her denials that "it isn't like that." Not sure where it's
going, and I haven't gotten a really good sense of how Maki feels, but that
just may be me.
The entire show feels like it either came from a video game or should be
one. The opening and ending themes are hard rock and rock hard, the ending
theme reminds me a lot of the Chili Peppers back in the "Real Men Don't Kill
Coyotes"/"Mother's Milk" days. I don't remember the incidental/background
music right now, so I can't comment on that. Overall, it is very
entertaining, will not alter your worldview, but its definitely something
Rose of Versailles: This is the TV series that ran from 1979-1980. I've
seen 13 episodes and the animation and character designs are a lot better
than what I was expecting. I had seen the original MS Gundam series that was
aired roughly the same time and RoV is much, much better. I guess they had a
higher budget. I'm not sure about the historical accuracy of the series, I
have not retained much of Pre Revolutionary France, but as they say at the
NYT, why let a few things like facts ruin a good story.
Everybody knows what this is about right? French General has no sons, raises
his last daughter as his son, calls her Oscar. Oscar meets a young Marie
Antoinette, becomes the Royal Guard Commander, and wacky French Revolution
Yuriness is kinda low, lots of noblewomen compliment Oscar on her handsome
looks, but wish she were a man. I understand there's more to come as the
series progresses, but so far not much.
As to be expected from something set in the 18th century, lots of sweeping
orchestral passages for dramatic emphasis. The opening song is catchy and
dramatic, I'm hearing it in my head as I write this (Bara wa, Bara wa. . .
), but I'm kinda cool on the ending song. To be honest, Andre's(?) voice
over at the end cracks me up every time.
I started watching this at the same time I finally caved and started
Tivo-ing episodes of All My Children and I started comparing the two. RoV
wins hands down in every category from over the top dramatic devices to
sheer style to simple things like dialogue and plot. This is another highly
entertaining show, in my opinion. Soaps wish they had this kind of dramatic
flair and fabulousness.
Divergence Eve: This is a new Sci-Fi series, and it's just bizarre, and I've
only seen three episodes. It's got that mix of CG and cel-style animation
that's everywhere, but it's not very well integrated. The character designs
are unique for the fact that every female on the show, (and it's a primarily
female cast) have breasts shaped like the nose cones of F-14 Tomcats. The
only female that I've noticed that doesn't have perky 44D breasts is the
girl who is supposed to be 12. Dyson's Law of Self-Generating Anti-Gravity
as applied to Human Mammaries is perfectly demonstrated on this show, and
while I will probably never, ever say no to fan-service, my sense of
anatomical proportionality has been deeply offended. Does this mean I'll
stop watching this show? Probably not. My sense of curiosity will outweigh
my better judgment and I'll wonder why I wasted my time after it was all
over. Plus, I have a high crap tolerance. (I did sit through 3 viewings of
Sumo Vixens after all.)
Frankly, this show suffers from a split personality. You have a hard sci-fi
show, dealing with the dangers of using pocket dimensions as a means of
interstellar space travel among other potentially interesting science
fiction hooks, in competition with unabashed fan service. Nowhere is this
split personality in concept more evident that in the opening and closing
themes. The opening theme is this kinda cool, mysterious industrial song
that foreshadows some overarching plot lurking beneath the surface. And the
end theme is perky J-Pop interspersed with shot after shot of the main
character in as many blatant fan-service shots and outfits as they can come
This could be an interesting show, they've decided to play with the linear
progression of the serial, by stating that the events that happen in the
first episode take place after the last episode. But, then again it could
not be. I don't think I'd recommend this one yet, especially as there hasn't
been any yuri in it so far. But, with a mostly female cast and an eye for
fan service, I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
Scrapped Princess: I'm surprised this show hasn't been licensed yet, its
got all the ingredients, cool character designs that will appeal to fanboy
and fangirl alike, and easily engaging story and richly layered plot,
sympathetic and well rounded characters, good music. (I forget their name,
but the same duo who does the closing theme for Azumanga Daioh does the
closing theme for Scrapped Princess. I really like them, their harmonies
The story is about a young girl who was born a princess under a dark
prophecy. If left to live she will destroy the world. So the attempt is made
to off her, but it obviously doesn't succeed. Cut to 15 years later, and she
is trying to flee her kingdom and her destiny with her two siblings who have
pledged to protect her.
There doesn't seem to be anything overtly yuri-ish in this show that I've
noticed to date, but I'd still recommend it. It's just good. Now that I
think about, though, I've probably jinxed the series, and it'll probably be
announced as licensed tomorrow, or at Otakon at the least.
Onegai Twins: I just saw the first episode of this the other day and just
downloaded the second. I'm not sure why though. I saw Onegai Teacher and
thought it was derivative and average, and this sort of sequel looks about
the same speed. Its very well done, but just not all that original or
special. And yes, I'll probably watch the whole thing now, because its
apparently a neurosis of some sort.
Other shows that I'm watching or have watched recently:
Sakura Wars: Ecole d' Paris: OVA series, slow release. Not bad, some yuri
potential but nothing so far.
Captain Herlock: OVA directed by Rintaro. I'm not sure if its a remake or a
retelling of Captain Harlock. Shonen style by the numbers, no yuri. But
Macross Zero: Fabulous CG, mix of cel style and CG is top notch here.
Prequel to the original Macross series. Again, no yuri.
UFO Princess Valkyrie: This disturbed me on several levels. Why did I waste
my time? I should have listened when Erica said she didn't like it. Damn my
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Guilty pleasure show. Bandai has
had distribution rights before it even aired in Japan. The continuing
adventures Maj. Motoko Kusanagi and Section 9. Heavy on the intrigue and
mystery, styled like a police drama, but does contain some of the wacky
elements and humor Shirow put in the manga. Aside from vague scenes in
episode 5, very little yuri, but it's Motoko. Plus Yoko Kanno does the
music. The opening theme is sublime.
Wolf's Rain: Same animation studio as Cowboy Bebop, character designs are in
the same vein. Lots of yaoi potential. No yuri potential. I had thought that
I might actually get to see this entire series before it got licensed. Nope.
They announced the license a couple of weeks ago just when the story was
reaching its climax. Oh well, I guess I'll see the end of this next year.
Features music by Yoko Kanno
GunParade March: Based on the video game. Earth attacked by Aliens, again.
Running low on troops, Japan lowers the enlistment age to 16. High School
classes become military units. Boy pilot meets Girl pilot. Boy and Girl
don't get along at first. Dance around each other's feelings until the final
episode. Rinse. Repeat. It's actually not as awful as it sounds, as it does
take the time to consider the consequences of its premise, just not all that
hard. Some yuri potential in supporting characters. A sempai-kohai pairing
between the ground crew chief and one of the mechanics.
Well, that as far as new stuff for me. I'm leaving out the dubbed stuff on
the Anime Network On Demand Channel, as well as the stuff on Anime Unleashed
and Cartoon Network, and I stuff I buy online, mainly because it's almost
1:30 am and I should be in bed. It's still a school night after all.