I've been putting this post off for awhile, but I think it's finally a proper time to say at least a few words about the anime that I've been keeping up with this Spring. I'm currently partaking in no less than 8 series, but not all of them are necessarily current, so I'll try to stick with the newly airing shows only. Even still, this Spring had more going on in anime than I normally allow myself to commit to.



Bleach

Well, obviously there are going to be two series in this roundup that are ... well, givens. Bleach is like my long running lover, and although I left the skank while she flirted around with filler for 30 episodes, she came back, lost weight, and she's hotter than ever before. There's simply more going on in Bleach than the series had going for it even in the Soul Society arc. Add to that the increased powers that everyone is throwing around, and how can it not be awesome? The only lame thing I've noticed so far seems to be the subplot revolving around Orihime and her powers. Honestly, she's just not that interesting a character and her silly earrings are damned boring.



Naruto Shippuuden

I'm wondering if more people don't dislike Naruto now, than actually like it. I was never a bastion of the series, but just as with Bleach, I watched right up until the filler started. Now that things are back on track and time subsequently skipped, Naruto is definitely worth the attention. Characters are more powerful, less whiny, and the overall plot regarding the Akatsuki and the jinchuriki (those within whom the giant tailed beasts reside, i.e. Naruto & Gaara) is totally fascinating. I honestly can't wait to see all the tailed beasts revealed, because while Naruto the ninja fighting anime is mostly worthwhile, Naruto the giant monster/ninja fighting anime is freaking stellar.



Claymore

I was always under the impression that Claymore was a manga series originating in Korea (manhwa then?), but that may not be true. Regardless, it's been out in manga form here in the States for awhile, and I always notice it on the shelves as something that seems interesting. True to form, an interesting manga has become an interesting show, and all is good in the world. Claymore has a strange Berserk-type feeling, although I'm not sure if it ever delves so deeply into bad-assery and the world of darkness. I can't quite put my finger on why I draw similarities between the two shows, it's just a gut reaction type thing. The main characters in this show are the Claymore, bad-ass ladies who've given up their lives to become half-Yoma (half-demon), in order to go ahead and kill the full-Yoma populace. This course leads them to a life of solitude and stoic murderous rampage. Which, to me, seems like a good life. Noting of course that the more they rely on their demon powers, the faster they become a demon themselves. Gratuitous slicing in half and innumerable decapitations included.



Toward the Terra

Hopping back to the classics is Toward the Terra, a series based off a manga that's ... damn old. I love it though, as they maintained some of that classic anime art-style that always catches my eye (Metropolis, Android Kikaider, Cyborg 009 as examples). I'm genuinely not sure where this series is going, as the last episode I watched could have changed the overall direction thanks to some new developments, but as it starts this is a great view of, don't shoot me for going back to it again, dystopian society. A world in which all seems cheery and joyful turns out to be one hell of a fascist regime responsible for administering "Adulthood Exams" for children at the age of 14. These serve the purpose of identifying whether or not the children have within them the genes that would qualify them as Mu (Rahxephon, anyone?). Mu are normal humans, to some extent, but born with psychic powers, and they're systematically terminated by the government. The series follows a boy born with seemingly limitless psychic potential, and his interaction with the ailing leader of the Mu (and general cool dude), Soldier Blue.



Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann

Oh man, how do I explain this? Gurren-Lagann is everything that should be in a series. First, it looks ridiculously good. I mean, best looking series I've seen in a long time here. It starts off with this insanely climactic battle in which .... well, the entire damned universe seems to be exploding. That's SO hardcore. Then it tones down to human society, forced to love hidden under the ground on a planet that is riddled by "beastmen" and their attacks on the surface. Humans have lived underground so long that most don't believe in the surface, and consider it a rumor or legend. That backdrop alone should be enough, but add to that a fantastic sense of humor and you've got the mixture for greatness. Not to mention Kazuma, the patron saint of reckless-type fighting characters, who is willing to face off against giant mechs with ... a sword. And it's not even like it's his sword, he took it from someone, he might not even know how to use it! The sword is important though; in one of the great early battles the scope of this blade is brought into question, as unsheathing it takes ... seriously, like 5 seconds. Think about that. Oh yeah, I didn't much mention the mecha and the great situations surrounding those, and ... most importantly, the Gainax Bounce is in strong, strong, strong effect here. Fanservice for the undeniable win.



El Cazador de la Bruja

I'm falling behind in this, the latest series from those responsible for the other 'girls with guns' fare Noir and Madlax. It can only be expected though, as I've fallen behind in both Noir and Madlax as well. It's a ridiculous shame for me, because each one seems so damned good. El Cazador is no different, it just gets off to a slow start. There's mystery and supernatural elements and everything awkward that one could expect following Madlax, it just hasn't come in to play from what I've seen. Yet. The action, too, has been relatively low-key. I'm going to let this series simmer for a while longer before I jump back in. Hopefully, as the plot progresses the mysteries will either grow more mysterious (those are the best kind), or they'll reveal themselves (these kind, also are good).



The Skullman

Honestly, I wish I could say more about The Skullman. The character seemed so damned interesting, but I haven't gotten past the first episode. The subbing groups were behind so I'd stopped checking, but I'm sure all is good and cheery in the world now, meaning I'll have to catch up. The Skullman is definitely a mystery (Just who is the Skullman?), but there are also some elements of mystery surrounding the main character, and his interactions with those around him. It's a weird little show that seems to be getting overshadowed by the big guys this spring (Gurren-Lagann), and I'll have to rectify that in depth in the future. The show has a weird style that reminds me of Lupin the Third or something of that sort, as the characters seem loosely drawn or lanky in some way. Until the action starts and The Skullman shows up, then everything gets nice and detailed as always.



Denno Coil

The best for last? It could very well be that way. Denno Coil is a show that speaks to my passions. The storyline follows a world in which virtual reality isn't so much virtual, and our modern world has been overlaid with a digital one. This makes for all kinds of fascinating situations revolving technical issues like back doors, viruses, hacking and the like. This is blatantly reminiscent of what may be my favorite piece of animation ever, the segment Beyond from the Animatrix. Beyond is available on Youtube (Part 1 Here, and Part 2 Here), and I strongly suggest you watch it before undertaking Denno Coil, just for the ability to draw the reference. Even if you've seen it before, watch it again, as you probably forgot how good it is. Both Beyond and Denno Coil have that subdued look to them, Denno Coil much more so, and that is very visually appealing. The subdued look is far too underused in my opinion, and it alone is why I turn to things like Ichigo Mashimaro, Kino's Journey, and others.

That's it for new shows from me. Most importantly was getting the knowledge about these great shows to everyone else, but second to that, I need to know what I'm not watching that I should be from this Spring. Great stuff always slips under the radar, so if you know I should be partaking in a series that I'm not, let me know!

1 Comment:

  1. John (fjf314) Fabry said...
    Denno Coil just looks straight up hot. I want to see it so badly that it hurts. I also really need to catch up on Naruto and Bleach, but I'll have to wait until I have a connection that actually qualifies as "usable" before I make any attempt at that.

    Speaking of hot, check out that sexy new banner at the top of the page. It gets props, even if Blanka is bottom tier in just about every version of Street Fighter II (Dhalsim is the man in ST, though.)

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