Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bakemonogatari Review

    Story: 9/10

    The first episode of this series was a blast, you have a guy who accidentally caught a girl when she fell and found out that she doesn't have any weight and then it was later revealed that she has also experienced an oddity so he tried to help the girl but she threatens him that if he would reveal her secret she'll torture him and she even stapled his mouth. I was like whoa, who's this girl she's really interesting and the guy is so goody good that he's persistent to help the girl even though she keeps on verbally abusing him. Then the story has taken one interesting ride when we get to meet other characters dealing with different oddities that has afflicted them and at the same time the viewers could see the development of the relationship of Araragi and Hitagi. The story is really captivating since you will get attached to the main characters so you would want to know what will happen to their relationship. I'm glad that the story revolved around them even though this series is separated into different arcs where the focus in every arc is the story of one of the side characters and interesting enough as different arc are being shown, the viewers was able to know the story of the side characters and at the same time the series was able to develop the relationship of Araragi and Hitagi every arc. What drawn me in this series is the love story of Hitagi and Araragi and how they interact every episode and let's not forget how other characters tried to get Araragi's attention. This series ended on a satisfying note even though it was very frustrating to wait for the online episodes and get it subbed.

    Character: 10/10

    Each one of the characters in this series is really memorable. You have the sarcastic but kind hearted Araragi Koyomi who cannot ignore people and is always ready to help them. The self proclaimed tsundere, Hitagi Senjougahara who is revealed to be a sadist and her background is really interesting and you'll feel sorry for her. With her smart retorts to whatever Araragi says is really entertaining and I've got to admit I really like her that she was able to surpass Haruhi Suzumiya from my top 10 favorite character. Kanbaru Suruga on the other hand is a sporty girl with dark secrets and an exhibitionist. Though she is often a comic relief don't underestimate her for her character has more depth and the viewers could easily empathize with her. Hachikuji Mayoi is a cute fifth grade elementary school girl who is always wandering during her arc and purposely stutters Araragi's name. She has also a good background and her arc is also good but not as good as the other character's arc. Like Hachikuji, Sengoku Nadeko's arc is also not as good as the other's arc but she is oh so cute and her arc features some action but the animation is not complete. She is quite shy and when she talks, holy crap she's so cute and she has a crush on Araragi. Hanekawa Tsubasa is a class president and oh so kind and nice but deep inside, she keeps her feelings from Araragi which caused for her oddity to resurface again (OMG black Hanekawa is so hot XD). I really like Hanekawa's character because I could relate to her, she can't say what she truly feels so that other people won't be bothered. Her arc is really good because we are presented with a possible threat to the Koyomi and Senjougahara relationship and we get to see her true feelings. Oshino Meme's character is reliable, quirky and mysterious. Araragi always comes to him when there's an oddity. I'm really interested in Oshino Shinobu's character because all we know about her is that she is once a very stunning vampire but now, she's become a very cute and silent vampire. If ever there will be a sequel to this series I hope the story would delve into Shinobu's past and how Araragi met her.

    Animation: 9/10

    Another unique aspect of this series is its animation. I'm not really a fan of Shinbou's style but this time it made the series amazing. The different camera angles, the abstract backgrounds that makes the viewing experience enjoyable. My only rant in his style is the use of cuts where words are displayed instead because I can't really understand Japanese nor read it and since it is being displayed very fast, I have to pause the video in order for me to read it. The character design on the other hand is superb, the characters are really attractive and they show wide range of emotions.

    Sound: 9/10

    This series has the best songs performed by a seiyuu. It's good thing that every arc we get to hear and see new song and opening animation because it makes the series fresh and exciting every arc. I'm going to list the OP songs in order from my favorite to least favorite and I'm going to put my comments beside it.

  1. Staple Stable by Chiwa Saito - Really catchy and memorable. I kept humming it for a week and people around me think I'm crazy but nevertheless a really good song, I love it.
  2. Sugar Sweet Nightmare by Yui Horie - Also catchy and by far the best Yui Horie song I've heard. I also like the lyrics of this song
  3. Ren'ai Circulation by Kana Hanazawa - Really cute and catchy. I also kept humming this one and because of this got inflicted with LSS (last song syndrome)
  4. Ambivalent World by Miyuki Sawashiro - Also a good song but got overshadowed by the other songs.
  5. Kaerimichi by Emiri Katou - It's cute but too cute. Has ridiculous lyrics but that really describes the story of Hachikuji

  6. The lyrics of each song of the characters really reflects their character and feelings. The ED song Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari on the other hand is also awesome. Has a catchy tune and relatable but sad lyrics. This song made me discover the world of vocaloids because when I researched on who made the song that's where I found their other works. The seiyuu has done a great job voicing their characters since because of them the characters feels alive.

    Enjoyment: 10/10

    The unique story, relatable characters, attractive character design, awesome soundtrack and the fact that my ratings are really high in this series, I've got to admit this is really enjoyable from the opening episode to the last. This series will make you smile at Senjougahara's antics and her conversation with Araragi and the exciting scenes will keep you at the edge of your seat.

    Overall: 9/10

until then...


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kittan Review

Story: 7/10

What really made me watch this series is its setting, handsome samurais during the edo era and that they turn into vampires and then one girl accidentally stumbled upon their secrets, its really my kind of show. The setting is unique but the writers wasn't able to fully utilize it. It really has a lot of potential and I think it would have been better if they have focused a bit on fleshing out the historical battles in the series because it really need details since I don't basically know what's going on with the war. They keep jumping from one event to another, I can't really follow it since I'm not familiar with Japanese history, all I know is that some part of it is fictional, I just don't know which part. I wish they made use of the higher ups that manipulates the war from behind since those peoples would make a good antagonist beside Kazama and company. I also had a problem with the character's motivation specially in the last episode when Hijikata was babbling about being fake warriors and then drank the Ochimizu and later on said that he had done that because he lost control of his emotions. If you can't understand what I'm saying here go watch the last episode and you'll be able to make sense of what I'm saying here. There were still a lot of plot holes like why is Chizuru's father together with Kazama and what happened to Chizuru's brother, I hope those will be answered in season 2. I really hope that this won't turn out like Vampire Knight but I'm not keeping my hopes up so that I won't be that disappointed.

Art: 9/10

While my impression on the story is mostly negative, the art on the other hand is really commendable. I could feel the edo era with every episode mainly because of the background and the bgm that accompanied it. The background isn't really detailed but what makes up for it is the lighting during certain scenes. The lighting reflects the mood in every episode, the setting sun, falling cherry blossoms etc. The character designs are really good they stand out from the norm, the guys are really handsome and Chizuru really looks adorable but I think the original material is more superior than the anime. Well, that's usually the case since its from a different medium and a good example of that is Vampire Knight and Maid-sama since the original drawing of the mangaka is more stunning than the anime version because it has been simplified and I can forgive that since its inevitable. The animation on the other hand is really good and I wasn't expecting that from Studio DEEN. The animation during the fight scenes are really detailed but sometimes it looks cheap and that's probably because of lack of budget but that didn't get in the way of the sword fight scenes since I really enjoyed it. There are also some instances that the faces of the characters are deformed but I don't mind it since that's a common event during the middle part of a series.

Character: 6/10

To tell you the truth I don't really like the character of Chizuru since she's really helpless all the time that I often wish she would die on the course of the series. She's always a damsel in distress, sure she has a katana but it's really useless with her, I haven't even saw her battle someone. I don’t really like useless girls like her, it would have been more interesting if she could fight someone and defend herself even if she's weak I'll accept that at least she's trying. The characterization in this series is really weak since their characters is not that developed and I think I could overlook that because there will be season 2 but as it stands now, there is only one character that had caught my attention and that's Kazama. I really expect this series to have a love story but I haven't even had a glimpse of it, I don't know who Chizuru likes since she keeps on blushing to anyone she talks to. Series that are based on otome games usually has a problem with who the girl would end up to and I'm tired of that so I hope Chizuru would choose someone even if it's Hijikata or anyone I'm fine with it but I really prefer Kazama since I think they really fit each other.

Sound: 8/10

From the opening song to the ending song I could really feel the ancient Japan setting from the series and I like it because it feels like every time I watch the series I'm transported back in time and like I'm living during that era. The OP song "Izayoi Namida" by Aika Yoshiokais really beautiful accompanied by an awesome opening animation it makes the opening of every episode exciting. The ED song

"Kimi no Kioku" by mao on the other hand, I like it than the OP songsince it's really catchy and the lyrics of the song kind of tells a story and it's really sad. The ending animation that accompanied that song are mostly stills but the art is really awesome specially the lighting.

Enjoyment: 7/10

I still enjoyed this series despite it's flaws and mainly because of the twist and revelations from some of the episodes. I really enjoyed it also because of the handsome guys and I've got to admit Chizuru still looks adorable even thought she keeps pissing me off. The premise is really interesting that every episode I'm always looking forward on what they would reveal and I'm still looking forward for the next season since this ended with a lot of untied knots. I won't recommend this to everyone since I think it won't be everyone's cup of tea because not everyone watch shows because of it's bishies and potential love story and people might get annoyed with Chizuru and yours truly is often annoyed with her. I will recommend this to people who are interested in watching shows that has ridiculously handsome guys and a story where the girl is surrounded with those guys and add the fact that those guys are samurais and vampires at the same time, so if you like this kind of series I think it's worth a try.

Rating: 7/10

until then...


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