Friday, August 17, 2012

The Impression Series: Summer 2012 [Part 2]

Oda Nobuna no Yabou
Genre: harem, comedy, romance
Studio Production: Madhouse Studios
Number of Episodes: ??
Comments: The first thing that popped up into my mind when I read the plot summary is…huh, another sengoku-themed series, and a Sengoku Otome look-alike on top of that? And indeed the two were remarkably similar, with the exception that the main character being teleported from the modern day world is a male, and the Sengoku era he’s teleported into is not exclusively an all-girl period. And, it was much better than Sengoku Otome, relatively speaking. I’m totally having fun watching the show, for lots of reason. Be it because I love playing Samurai Warriors/Sengoku Basara video games and hence somehow can relate myself with Sagara; or because I love the plot development where thanks to his in-depth knowledge of Nobunaga's reign, Sagara become the mastermind of almost everything that occurred in Nobuna’s reign (and his constant banter with Nobuna, which is always funny and cute); or maybe because I simply like Oda Nobuna (or to be exact, her seiyuu Kanae Ito). So far the plot never tell how Sagara ended up stranded in that sengoku era, not that I care, since I'm sure sooner or later the cause will be revealed. For now I'm just enjoying the fact that he did a good job as Nobuna's right hand man, along with the comedy romance that came as each episodes pass. One of the series that tops my weekly watchlist this season.
Verdict: 4.5/5

Kokoro Connect
Genre: drama, comedy, school life
Studio Production: SILVER LINK
Number of Episodes: 17
Comments: I thought the story is all about body/soul transfer, until I watched the latest episode...well nonetheless Kokoro Connect is one of the better show I've watched this season, and I'm loving every episodes I've watched so far. Basically the show revolves around the supernatural incidents occurred to 5 first year high school students - Taichi, Nagase, Kiriyama, Inaba and Aoki, who ended up randomly and mysteriously switched their bodies around for unknown reason to them; and later, experienced another form of mysterious phenomenon that really challenge their sanity and sensibility. What I like about it is the fact that while the series is predominantly a drama with lots of confrontation, monologues and confessions occurred between each of them, the story cleverly include humorous moments where appropriate that lighten the mood. Each of the characters were also have unique personalities and problems that made them likeable. Taichi is a selfless freak who would never thought about himself ahead of others; Nagase is still trying to find her "true self" due to her family problems; Kiriyama was an androphobic due to a an unfortunate incident; Aoki is...well, I dunno much about him lol. And Inaba, despite always looking tough and calm when all of them were together, was actually a very fragile girl that looks like her very soul could shatter due to those body switching and deepest desire incidents.
p/s: I like Teichii as a guy, because he's puroresu fan : )
Verdict: 4/5

Sword Art Online
Genre: action, fantasy, romance
Studio Production: A-1 Pictures
Number of Episodes: 25
Comments: Right after I watched the first episode, immediately I went to search for the light novel and found it (you know where to find it). After reading and skimming through some of the chapters and volumes, I got to say that I'm pretty impressed (hugely) with the story, but after watching 6 episodes of the anime to date, I'm a little bit disappointed. A very good story adapted from a great light novel, but the execution of the anime was poor. I dont know if its intentional or not, but I really think  the plot and character development was poor throughout the 6 episodes I've watched. The anime could be done better by going into the main story in detail, and skipping the side stories (where many of these early episodes are). Or of they were to include them, do it with a bit more depth included because these side characters (Silica,  Sachi and her guild members etc) left little to no impression to the viewers, despite their interesting side stories. Maybe this was done because the planned 25 episodes won't be enough to fill the large amount of stories that the novel had. I even doubt that the story would go into ALO or GGO, but hey, I can only pray that the story and plot development would be better after this, because the series already had great animation art and bgms to complement the great original story. No Umineko deja vu, please.
p/s: Imagining myself playing Cabal, as my Force Blader or Force Archer and trapped in the game's world...hummm might be awesome!
Verdict: 4.5/5

Bimbougami ga
Genre: comedy, supernatural
Studio Production: Sunrise
Number of Episodes: 13

Comments: The story is focused on a highschool girl, Sakura “Chichiko” Ichiko who was blessed with everything (looks, boobs, brains, money etc) a person can dream, thanks to her fortune that is so abundant that she sucked in other people’s fortune. Then came the god of misfortune, Momiji who tries to return the fortune balance around Sakura back to normal, but everytime she tried to do something, she would failed miserably...that fits her title. At first the series didn’t really seems all that interesting to me, but boy was I mistaken. I reserved my impression in the first 2 episodes because although I like the jokes, gags and parodies used, as a whole the series doesn’t really came up as a comedy show that I would enjoy week in week out. Then I watched episode 3 and the poor guy was introduced, the plot were developed better and the series somehow became much more enjoyable for me. I really LOL’ed big time with so many of the dialogues and comedies, I certainly laughed a lot more to all the parodies used, especially the many dragon ball references (There's no way that can be right!!!XD). And one more thing that kinda made me really like the series is, well..maybe it’s just me but I thought some of the BGMs used really remind me to some of the battle themes and BGMs used in FFXIII and FFX. The OP song was rather catchy too, and I like it.

Koi to Senkyou to Chocolate
Genre: comedy, drama, romance
Studio Production: AIC Build
Number of Episodes: 13
Comments: I don’t have many things to say about the series because I watched the show more or less to kill some 20 minutes of my life every week. A generic harem centered around club activities and politics around student council election, I would say the series  got my approval because it has Mai Kadowaki!!! Damn blame Rorona for my acute fanaticism toward her (sucks that she’s back to loli in Atelier Meruru...). Well to the very least, I guess it’s gonna be interesting to see how Oojima Yuki is going to win the votes of the academy students and keep his “leisure” club alive.
Verdict: 3.5/5

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru
Genre: harem, romance
Studio Production: Studio Gokumi
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: Another generic harem comedy romance show, yet I managed to watch all the way to the episode 4, and counting. The story of a high class guy trying to find his real little sister among the many girls that he met at his new school is interesting, unfortunately the plot development was poor and a bit predictable. Though in  the end  of the day for these kind of series, I care less about the story and plot, I care more about enjoying the harem romance. And it’s fun to have a guess and  on who Shougo's real imouto is (spoiler alert).
Verdict: 3/5

That's all for Summer 2012 for me. If I had to rank them from what I've watched so far, I'd say my top 5 series for this season (not in order) are Moyashimon Returns, Oda Nobuna no Yabou, Kokoro Connect, Sword Art Online and Binbogami-ga.