What do you get when someone draws a character, then a band makes a song and music video based around that character, then they decide to turn it into an anime? Well, you get Black Rock Shooter for starters. The story behind the OVA is that artist Huke created the character designs, which inspired Ryo of Supercell to make a song titled “Black Rock Shooter.” From there, the whole thing exploded and became extremely popular, so they made an OVA. There’s even a game coming out, but that’s beside the point. The OVA has high octane action set in an alternate world, clashed against the backdrop of a normal junior high school girl’s life. This short, 50 minute OVA is beautifully animated and has great music, but suffers from slow pacing and unnecessary reverse-chronological storytelling.
Originally, I heard about Level E through one of ANN’s preview guides, which I use to decide what news series I’ll be watching. I kept pushing the series to the back of my pile, mainly due to the animation style and the fact I thought the show was going to be a straightforward tale of an alien living with a high school student. Honestly, I should have read closer, because this show is hilarious. I’ve never seen such a quirky, well thought, comedy series such as Level E and I have a feeling I might never again.
When Onemanga.com was still a free site, I’d spend hours reading manga series there. Some were series I buy that I couldn’t wait for to be released, and others were entirely new to me. It was a place to get into series to see if I wanted to buy them. A series I really enjoyed was Black God by Dall-Young Lim. I loved the action, the artwork and the story so I started checking out other works by him, such as Freezing. Despite some fan service, the series was decent and had good action. When I found out there was an anime being made, I was interested, even if I had a feeling the Korean art wouldn’t transfer well to animation; such was the case of Black God. Never would I image an anime to completely divert from the manga by show copious amounts of nudity for no good reason.
I hate to say it, but I’ve seen a lot of anime series revolving around juvenile delinquents. I love Cheeky Angel, as the thug Genzo’s facial expressions are hilarious. Series like Air Gear are Tenjho Tenge are full of great shōnen action with some gags thrown in. When I heard about Beelzebub, I thought a series about a delinquent with a baby that is the devil’s son might be good for some laughs. What I should have realized is how one-note this concept is and stayed away from this bland, boring comedy.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m a fan of detective shows. I used to stay up late watching Detective Conan when it ran on Adult Swim, even though it ran during the latest block of programs. Usually if I read a synopsis about a series and it sounds like a decent detective show, I’ll end up checking it out. Such is the case with Gosick, a series based off light novels following the exploits of Victorique de Blois, a young girl with an incredible level of intelligence that she uses for solving crimes.
Picking up right where the first season left off, with some minor retelling of the end scene, Tegami Bachi Reverse (Letter Bee Reverse) throws the series right into full story mode. Each episode has to do with the main plot of this season, which is the organization called Reverse. Reverse’s main goal is to take down the government and “reverse” everything back to the way it was before they can into control. The second season is a battle of the Letter Bees trying to halt Reverse’s advances, while trying to not be swayed by the arguments of this counter organization.
Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee) is an series I heard about near the end of last year, mainly from the announcement that its sequel, Tegami Bachi Reverse, had begun airing. To be honest, I ended up watching an episode somewhere in the middle of the series (why I didn’t start with the first episode escapes me) and couldn’t really get into. Coupled with the fact that I knew the full series was a whopping 50 episodes, I quietly tucked away the titled to the back of my head and left it there.
Fast forward to Acen this year; I met a person who was cosplaying from the series later, so I ended up attending the Tegami Bachi cosplay shoot and thoroughly enjoyed the cosplayers’ discussion of the series. At this point, I decided to finally start tackling the larger series I had been putting off and began with Tegami Bachi, and I must say it was one of the best choices I made in a while.
For any of you anime fans who haven’t been living under a rock, Haruhi Suzumiya is a series that you’ve likely heard of. Whether you only know of it, seen it and loved it or watched it with utter loathing, Haruhi has been very large in the anime realm’s public eye ever since the first season of the anime was released back in 2006. Three years later a second series was released, followed by last year’s movie. The film, “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya,” is basically a retelling of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with Kyon in George Bailey’s role, but without any disappointment regarding his life, which obviously leads to his panic and confusion when the quirky life he knows no longer exists.
One of my favorite types of genres is detective shows. I’m a big fan of Detective Conan and would stay up late at night to watch it when it was on Adult Swim, so when I heard about Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro (Demon Detective Neuro Nōgami) I was right away interested. A series about a demon who eats mysteries and solves murder cases was too much for me to resist. While I generally enjoyed the series, it did not live up to my expectations. With its Scooby-Doo like reasoning for figuring out the criminals and bizarre character transformations that make little sense, Majin Tantei is very hit or miss for anime fans.
It’s rare to find a quirky, niche, pandering anime series that I actually like; yet Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Is this a Zombie?) manages to combine gore, moe, magical girls, bizarre comedy, random nudity, imagined sister worship and some harem themes together into a pleasant potpourri, instead of the ass salad one would expect.