Backlog: Week 14

Here we go again. This week I watched 13 full (10+ minutes) episodes and 9 shorts. Roughly three episodes per day on average.

Shinkai’s short movies and advertisements

I watched Cross Road, Someone’s Gaze, Egao and Taisei advertisements. In my opinion Cross Road (above) is the best of them. It’s a cute idea about two high school students studying for entrance exams. The animation is beautiful (it’s Shinkai, of course it is).

Someone’s Gaze wasn’t bad either. It’s about a family and their relationship, especially father-daughter, and how it changed throughout the daughter’s life. I teared up. Continue reading

Advertisements

First Impressions: Tsuki ga Kirei

Long story short: Tsuki ga Kirei is a love story between a girl in track and field and a boy writing a novel. (As always I’m writing this after three episodes, so there will be spoilers for those. I’ve started adding mouse-over translations for Japanese kana/kanji, so check those out as well.)

The girl’s name is Mizuno Akane (Akanecchi to her friends) and the boy is called Azumi Kotarou (Kota to his). They’re in middle school, in their third and final year. They are placed in the same class for the first time and have never talked to each other. Until they meet at a restaurant, when celebrating the beginning of the school year with their families. はずかしい!

Back at school, the sports festival is coming up. The two leads are in charge of the equipment along with a large part of the track and field club. Kotarou, being a library assistant, is an outsider, while Akane has friends all around her. But they exchange LINE IDs.

The second episode is all about the sports festival. While Akane is training for that and a race that’s soon after, Kotarou submits two stories to competitions. During the festival, Hira Takumi is brought to our attention as Akane’s potential suitor. I don’t think Akane gets it, though. (Her girlfriends support him from the shadows though.)

The third episode starts with midterms. After that, it’s time for Akane’s race and soon after the school trip. Their schoolmates are hooking up left and right. On the day of the race Kotarou is at the shrine, “community stuff” he says. He’s hypnotizing his LINE. Akane sets a personal best! And her battery dies. The third episode ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. きになります!
Continue reading

Backlog: Week 13

There was no Backlog last week, because I only watched 8 episodes and did not finish a single anime… This week I did better and watched 23 full episodes. No shorts! (Although Aho Girl and Tsurezure Children are only 12.5 minutes.) I finished 4 anime.

Working!!!

This is the third season of Working, a series about a family restaurant in Hokkaido and its employees. This season is the last with this cast, so many story lines are being tied up. It’s very satisfying because of that.

Everything else is the same as in previous installments. Animation, sound,… all in pretty good quality.

What I mind is that the finale is in a 50-minute special, instead of the series having 15 episodes. I’m pretty sure there’s a good reason for that, like finances or something similar, but like this the series is definitely not a concise project. Just like the other seasons, which ended with so many loose ends. Continue reading

First Impressions: Stella no Mahou

Stella no Mahou, Magic of Stella in English, is originally a yonkoma manga (see cover of the second volume to the right). It’s about a small group of high school girls who make indie games. Two have already worked on one game, but the main character, Honda Tamaki, is a newbie. She joins the SNS部 to fill the position of an artist, even though she is a little rusty at drawing and can’t draw digitally at all. It seems like the anime will depict their journey through making a new game together. It’s a pretty simple story with a clear goal.

Unfortunately I haven’t read the original manga, but I feel like the adaptation is a lot smoother than what I would expect from a yonkoma one. The episodes aren’t cut into smaller segments, but flow naturally.

So far, not much has happened. (Though I should have expected that. It is a slice-of-life anime after all.) Meaning we have been introduced into the story and gotten to know the main characters. I wouldn’t say they’re too inventive, but they’re not cookie cutter either. Continue reading

Backlog: Week 12

My backlog adventure is back after…three months. My exams are over and, while I’m still studying a little over summer break, I do have time for some anime. This past week I watched 20 episodes, including 15 shorts.

Nyanko Days

I’m a cat person. We have a British Shorthair actually. So naturally, I jump at all cat anime. This one is a series of 2-minute shorts about Tomoko and her three cats – a Munchkin Maa, Russian Blue Rou and Singapura Shii. The cats have their cookie cutter personalities and Tomoko is an average Japanese high school freshman. Within two minutes there’s not much happening… It wasn’t a complete waste of 24 minutes, but I really don’t have anything to say about it. Continue reading

First Impressions: Room Mate

Room Mate is a shorts series related to One Room which aired last season. When I reviewed One Room in Backlog: Week 10, I wrote:

The main character, you, interacts with three girls one after another. Everything is from his/your POV and you only hear one side of the conversation, the girl’s of course. The animation is nice, but the plot is very simple — it’s just like every other visual novel. All the girls like him/you. Boring really, but the girls are cute.

I was expecting Room Mate to be just like that, but with bishounen. What is my opinion after the first three episodes? Spoiler warning! Continue reading

Backlog: Week 11

This week was awful as far as anime goes. I was very busy and when I had some free time, I’d study and not watch anime. I watched 21 episodes, including 12 shorts.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go

New seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou are always a safe bet. I was having a hard time watching stuff at the beginning of fall last year and was looking for something I could depend on to be soothing and well-done. Well, this is it. There are a good number of regular “youkai-of-the-day” episodes, but there’s also some development with the Matoba clan and Natori-san gets one episode. Overall, exactly what you’d expect.

Young Natori

By the way, the next season, Natsume Yuujinchou Roku, will start airing on Wednesday. Continue reading

First Impressions: Frame Arms Girl

First of this season’s first impressions is here. It’s Frame Arms Girl, an anime that’s basically an advertisement for Kotobukiya’s Frame Arms Girl model kit line. I will spoil the whole episode, so read after watching, please.

Ao opens a package that arrives at her doorstep. Inside the package is Gōrai, a Frame Arms Girl: a small robot capable of independent movement. Gōrai is a newly-developed prototype: a Frame Arms Girl equipped with an “Artificial Self,” an advanced AI that gives her a personality.

The anime will focus on Gōrai, the first model released for the line, as well as Stylet and Baselard.

The main human character, Ao, who lives alone, because her parents are overseas for work, receives a package with Gōrai. It turns out that the developers of Frame Arms Girls sent them out to various people to test-drive them. Ao is the only one who activated her doll though, so she makes up for 100% of the data. She is new to the model kit world and not particularly interested in dolls. But if she collects enough data, she will get paid. *kachink* That’s roughly the first half of the episode. Continue reading

Backlog: Week 10

This was the last week of the winter season, so I have one anime from this season. In all I watched 21 episodes, including 13 shorts.

Tamako Love Story

Tamako Love Story is a full-length movie following the Tamako Market TV series. Mochizou is seriously considering studying film-making in Tokyo and has decided to confess to Tamako before going away. It’s a love story with one airhead heroine and one poor, sweet boy. I don’t want to give anything away, but he confesses! And her reaction! Aaaa! I cried.

Subjectively, I loved it. Objectively, the art is KyoAni. The plot is more than just a love story — we are confronted with all the main five characters’ visions of future and then there’s the baton club entering a contest. Plus there’s a little more development of lesser characters, like the shopping district men and women. I don’t think there are any bad points… maybe the yelling, but that might be more cultural? (When the characters are frustrated they run out into an open space, like a riverbank or a field, and just scream.) Let me know, what you think. Continue reading