Anime Mikan Watch

Mikan Watch #2: Kamichu!

It’s been a while since I updated my Mikan Watch series… like three years? Oh well.

I was watching Kamichu with my girlfriend and I spotted a mikan box in episode three at around the 5:40 mark. I tried explaining to her that they’re kind of like easter eggs, and I’d point them out in other anime. I think she just wanted to continue watching the show, though.

This mikan box is a bit boring, because it doesn’t even have a picture of a mikan on it.

Anime First Impressions

Amagami SS #1: Friend Zone

Amagami is the other Summer season anime that I decided to check out. It’s a pretty standard dating simulator to anime conversion, though apparently it hits each girl’s arc, so you can see what the main guy would do in alternate timelines. Either that or he’s just a major player.

Junichi starts his day off in his closet panic room planetarium. He can’t get over being stood up two years ago on Christmas eve. Note: Christmas Eve is sort of like Valentine’s Day here. You need to have a date, otherwise you’re a loser who just waits for Santa to bring you stuff.

A variety of the six girls who appear in the OP show up in this episode, but the arc belongs to Morishima, the school idol and class president. Junichi does something nice for a freshman, and Morishima notices. What follows is a bit of luck and a bit of stalking (by Morishima, actually). Junichi is probably too gun shy to hit on Morishima, but she makes it easy for him by running into him at the library and jumping onto his back (literally).

There are a few warning signs that Junichi is headed into the Friend Zone, though. Morishima keeps saying he’s a nice guy. FRIEND ZONE! She also uses him to carry books and whatnot. She’s just testing how much she can get away with by messing with him. Probably self esteem issues or something. When she mildly suggests that he might have taken a liking to her, Junichi jumps the gun and confesses. He obviously should have acted like a douche instead, because Morishima tells him she prefers older types. This sends Junichi back into his closet planetarium fetal zone for the count. Or at least for the episode.

I’m guessing that Junichi will use his persistence to prove to Morishima that he deserves to play in the major leagues. I don’t envy him though, as getting out of the friend zone is an uphill battle. Probably better to just hit on one of the other girls.

As far as the episode went, I liked the art and the character designs. I noticed that the characters all seem to have pretty large waists. It’s probably a more realistic design, but they seem kinda awkward. Also, there is no megane character as a love interest. Unless one of the girls develops an astigmatism, I will be very unhappy. Amagami SS is generally pretty cliche, but I think it could be worth it given the quick turnaround per girl and cute character designs (Nice choice grabbing Morishima first, Junichi)!

Also, more evidence for picking Morishima:


Anime First Impressions

Mitsudomoe 1: Where’s Nanaka?

Oh, there she is. I found her.

For a random crazy sister anime (apparently the director of Minami-ke is on this one, too), Mitsudomoe is about right. There’s the genki one, the evil one, and the studious one (which doesn’t necessarily make her good).

Also, I think the title has a meaning, but I’m gonna make up my own. Let’s break it down. Mitsu = 3. That makes sense, three sisters. sudo = sudo cause havok. moe = the kids are moe? Not really, but I needed to use the “moe” part somehow.

The gag of the episode was the kids naming their pet hamster “nipple,” then a lot of Three’s Company style humor with the hot nurse misunderstanding the kids talking about nipple getting sore from too much touching, etc.

This one got a few laughs out of me, so I’ll keep watching it as time permits.

Anime Review

Angel Beats! 13: 卒業

Well, that takes care of Angel Beats! After getting rid of the smoke monsters, Yuri wakes up and everyone has already moved on. Way to thank your fearless leader, guys! The only ones left are Otonashi, Hinata, Fake Potter Guy, Yuri and Kanade. They have a fake graduation ceremony and then “move on,” one by one. I have a feeling the ceremony would have had a greater effect on me, had I graduated from a Japanese high school. They really sing school theme songs and that one universal Japanese graduation song?

The last two to go are Otonashi and Kanade, obviously. Otonashi decides to get cold feet and proposes that he and Kanade just chill in the purgatory world. He uses the excuse of wanting to help other poor souls, but we all know he just wants to take advantage of alone time with Kanade! Oh, and then Kanade tells him she already has his heart. Which is not a euphemism. His donor heart went to Kanade. She just went to the high school for the dead to say thanks. Hopefully the reason she died as a highschooler was not because Otonashi’s heart turned out to be a dud. “Thank a whole bunch for giving me a heart that just failed after a few years!”

It seems like fate is nice in this series, and everyone gets reincarnated and gets to live a happier life the next time around, as shown in the epilogue. All’s well that ends well, I guess (which is hard to determine with reincarnation).

Angel Beats kind of reminds me of a Japanese film called “After Life.” It also features a pretty mundane afterlife, though with a twist on “moving on.” You should check it out if you liked Angel Beats!

Overall, Angel Beats was pretty darn good. It’s the first anime that I’ve followed on a per week basis regularly and actually finished. I feel it could’ve worked well as a longer series though, since many of the characters had no backstory at all, and so their personalities just seemed forced with no reasoning behind them. And what was up with TK? I guess we’ll never know. Unless there’s a spinoff.


Angel Beats 12: The Matrix!?

So… Angel Beats is kind of running out of episodes and they kinda have to clear up this latest plotline with the LOST smoke monsters and hatches (to the Guild). In this episode Yurippe meets up with the program dude responsible for all of the nonsense:

Where have I seen this before? Oh, right, the last Matrix movie did this. Remember the horrible ending where Neo met the Architect guy and he explained everything but it really made no sense at all? And the exact same thing happened in this episode of Angel Beats! Apparently love blooming on the battlefield (like Metal Gear Solid!?) causes bugs in the Matrix…

The next episode is called “Graduation” so I’m guessing everyone gets fulfilled and the school ends up resembling Conway’s Game of Life with only NPCs hanging out and interacting with each other.


Angel Beats Episode 8

Angel Beats is still pretty good, but has anyone noticed the production values going downhill? Look at the side of fake pottery guy’s hands!

Also, I guess it is sort of annoying that things seem to be going nowhere and we’re still stuck wondering about Angel and her “Angel Manual.” If this is all a computer program I’m gonna be pissed!


Angel Beats 04

Angel Beats is actually a pretty entertaining and funny show. People seem to be enjoying it more for trying to figure out what it’s about, but I kinda like the characters and the random stuff that happens in any given episode.

This week, the Girl Dead Monster band is on hiatus while looking for a new lead vocalist. So the boss makes everyone play in the baseball tournament instead. Main dead guy and the gar for main dead guy start recruiting for a team. I can’t remember anyone’s name, btw, so I’ll just describe them. They end up getting annoying little girl, ninja girl and spear guy. Plus a few other generic cute girls who don’t mind balls being thrown at their faces.

I’m starting to think of Angel Beats as a sort of Anime version of Lost. We get to learn about the tragic pasts of all the characters. And I don’t doubt all of them have tragic pasts. They are all dead high schoolers, after all. Between the tragedy there’s lots of fun gag humor like the dude putting the annoying girl into a headlock repeatedly. Angel Beats seems pretty self-aware in that we all know the girl is annoying and enjoy seeing her get into a headlock. And main guy already suspects that people leave the island world when they fulfill what they couldn’t in real life. So the anime is now using that suspicion to its advantage by pulling the football from us, Charlie Brown style, right before gar guy catches the game winning fly ball.

This episode seemed like a bit of a filler, so hopefully there’s more plot moving forward. I was pretty happy with the humor in this episode, at least.

Anime First Impressions

Angel Beats – First Impressions

Angel Beats is another anime that’s getting a lot of attention in the nano-sphere (and beyond, I suppose). I’d rather not explain the entire first episode. But basically it’s about a dude who wakes up in the “afterlife” where he can’t actually get killed. And he joins an army that’s fighting against Angel, who is apparently the boss of the world and is seen as their aggressor (makes sense since she kills… err, mortally injures the main character shortly after meeting him).

I guess the anime is mostly memorable due to the animation quality (which seems very digital and bright). The bright colors actually seem a bit out of place since the afterlife is usually thought of as this misty, grey sort of world. There’s also a bunch of characters in the undead army that could be interesting, like the weird American (?) guy who no one understands, or the Judo guy who has a case of the Brocks, or the guy with the spear who’s overly-defensive of their fearless leader.

The main thing that’s messing with my head on this one is that I’m currently playing a DS game called “The World Ends With You.” The game’s plot seems a bit too familiar to this anime. Guy wakes up and can’t remember stuff, fighting against “reapers,” they could end up getting “erased,” apparently they’re in the afterlife (I haven’t gotten to the end of the game’s story yet). So I’m linking any mysteries with Angel Beats into my experience with that DS game. Not sure if they’re inspired by each other or anything, but I thought this anime was a little too similar to the game I’m playing right now.

Angel Beats is actually entertaining enough on the level that the main character can just keep on dying and respawning. It’s like the part in Groundhog Day where Bill Murray keeps trying to kill himself. The animation is also neat and I’m probably willing to give the show a few more episodes to see where it goes from here.

Anime First Impressions

Arakawa Under The Bridge – First Episode Impressions

Arakawa Under The Bridge seems to be this season’s random gag anime. The name is fitting because it’s basically about a dude who’s constantly getting trolled. Aaaand that’s about it.

Ichinomiya is heir to a corporate dynasty who lives by the rule: don’t owe anyone anything. Apparently this doctrine is such a heavy part of the family that being in debt to someone actually causes Ichinomiya to get sick. I guess that means he doesn’t carry a credit card either. Anyway, his live is saved by a random girl named Nino. Because he has to make his debt up to her, Ichinomiya agrees to do whatever she wants. This includes living under a bridge with her and putting up with other wackiness like being renamed by the Kappa guy in the river.

Arakawa seems to be a gag anime. Ichinomiya is the straight man and the other characters are the ones who do insane things that Ichinomiya points out, only to find that no one else thinks they’re insane. When done correctly, this kind of show is hilarious. After watching the first episode, I feel as though the writers and/or director really aren’t going into it full force. Maybe I’ve been spoiled watching shows like Sexy Commando and Cromartie, but this show just seems a bit too reasonable. No weird humming, martial arts moves involving unzipping one’s fly or a badass robot. Though there was some ahoge movement.

If I’m going to watch a WTF anime, I want some really WTF moments. I haven’t gotten that in the first episode of Arakawa, though maybe it’ll appear eventually. I may check other blogs in lieu of watching the next episode.

Anime First Impressions

B Gata H Kei – First Impressions

The other anime series of Spring 2010 that I’ve watched so far is B Gata H Kei. It’s the one about the girl who wants 100 sex-buddies by the time she gets out of high school. Like the saying goes: “Aim for the Moon; Even if you miss you’ll probably end up with like a dozen STDs!”

So yeah, that’s the basic premise behind this one. Yamada has just joined High School, which apparently means it’s time for her to pick up guys and score! I’m not sure how she got this idea since her friend thinks she’s kind of crazy and no one else seems to be on board with her. I partly suspect that the Japanese Government is behind her motivation in an attempt to increase the faltering Japanese birth rate! She picks a random plain-looking guy because she happened to fall on him, which denotes fate. In anime terms I actually think that is a good predictor of relationship compatibility.

Yamada goes full force on the guy, Kosuda. Because she’s so results oriented, she ends up scaring him more than winning his heart (or at the very least, his attention). Yamada’s complete disconnect between reality and her fantasies make for some really humorous situations, like when she realizes people usually kiss before moving to the next stage. In baseball terms, she wants to head directly to home base. Oh wait, I guess that’s not a good analogy because you start at the home plate when you go up to bat… She also realizes at the last minute that she forgot to stock up on prophylactics before cornering Kosuda alone in his room. Wasn’t she paying attention during health class!?

I like B Gata H Kei because, as raunchy as the premise sounds, it’s really an innocent story about some high school kids trying to figure out what relationships and sex are about. It’s very apparent that both of the lead characters are so inexperienced that they’ll probably never end up doing the deed. That’d kill the series anyway. So hopefully the rest of the series will be a bunch of fun missteps with small milestones along the way (like Yamada getting over Kosuda’s pitched tent so she can kiss him). There is also something really endearing about the character designs. They seem like they’re about 10 years back or so, dont’ they?

I literally watched B Gata H Kei without any idea of what it was about. I was pleasantly surprised and I’m looking forward to watching more.