Hamatora and Re:␣Hamatora: Let’s keep this nice and quick…

NB: Hamatora is another of those mixed media projects, though as far as I can tell, it only had a complementary manga...?
NB: Hamatora is another of those mixed media projects, though as far as I can tell, it only had a complementary manga…?

(Summary from ANN) “Minimum” – a special inborn power found in a limited number of human beings, known as “minimum holders.” In Yokohama, the detective team Hamatora, formed by two minimum holders named Nice and Murasaki, comes across information connected to a serial killer being pursued by their old friend Art. It turns out all the victims are minimum holders like them. Unwillingly at first, the two detectives become involved in the investigation.

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Mahouka: oh how I wish they’d actually succeeded with this one!

Mahouka Mahouka...where to begin?

Mahouka Mahouka…where to begin?

The First High School affiliated with the National Magic University. Entry into this school makes you one of the societal elites whose magical talents have been acknowledged. But at the same time, right from the start, you’re either a great student or a mediocre one. What becomes of the pair of siblings that enter this school on either sides of this division?

To be honest, I’m a little conflicted about what I should do with this post. Whilst I do not think that all the criticisms directed at the anime are valid — particularly not those that the majority of light novel readers kept going on about in the first arc — there were some serious problems with The Irregular at the Magic High School (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei), aka Mahouka. Some of the problems stem from the light novel, whilst others are problematic because of the anime. However, I would also say that the anime also improved on several things that I dislike about the light novel (and to be frank, that I dislike about this type of media in general). So overall, what we got was something that I was happy to sit through once — I’ll even admit that there were episodes that I enjoyed watching for a second or even third time — but that really felt quite uninspiring at the end of it. And that’s a huge pity, because Mahouka actually has some themes that I find very interesting to think about.

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Magi: I really didn’t need another reminder of just how superficial I can be…

In a medieval world where nations are still being forged, a young boy magician has grown up in a closed magical space. Eventually, he enters into the world at large to find out about himself and what role in the world he should play…

Magi - The Labyrinth of Magic
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic…

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Tsuritama: Eno-shima-DON!!

‘Fishing…ball…?’
I’m not surprised they didn’t even try translating it…

Despite a youth of constant relocation, Yuki is still unused to meeting new people and all the attention that comes with it. When he comes to Enoshima and is befriended by an alien who transfers into his school at the same time, the potential for embarrassing situations increases exponentially. But all that alien really wants to do is fish – how does this translate into a situation where four vastly different people come together to save the world? (Not a spoiler, honest – Yuki, the main character, brightly reveals this to us in the first episode).

If this doesn’t tell you what kind of show this is…
I kid, I kid – it’s not some kind of ‘power rangers’ show…I think… ^^;

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Baccano! and the unfortunate paradox of innovative storytelling

I had planned to write about Chihayafuru for the next two weeks…but the last few chapters of the manga (specifically, 90-92) have thrown a spanner in those works…

Well, that’s one of the reasons I’m tackling Baccano! first – the other being that it’s been on my backlog for way too long. Baccano! had slipped under my radar until I watched the adaptation of creator Narita Ryougo’s other notable series, Durarara!!, whereupon almost everyone who’d seen the former lamented that the latter had not quite lived up to the high standards it had set. And now, more than two years later, I’ve finally sat down to find out why.

"You must throw it away, the illusion that a story must have a beginning and an end."

But where to begin? That is a brilliant question. And one that cannot be answered. As Gustave Saint Germain intones in the final episode

Stories have no beginning, nor do they have an end. All they have are people connecting with each other, working with each other, affecting each other, and the expansion of those connections throughout the world. Stories must never have an end.

Similarly, there is no main protagonist. Or perhaps, you could say that everyone is potentially the main protagonist, for the perspective of any story changes depending on the the position one views it from.

But let’s give it a shot anyway.

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Contemplating Nisemonogatari: …and the controversial…

Some of the scenes in episode two set off the critics, but it was the fourth installment of Nise that really lit the fireworks. This being the episode where Shinobu, in her 8-year-old form, is shown bathing for a good half of the episode, in Araragi’s presence.

Why is there a Degas picture here, you might ask? Well, read on…

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Contemplating Nisemonogatari: …the bad…

Warning: slight spoilers for Kizumonogatari included…

This scene says it all really...

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words…but I’m not in any way inclined to post screenshots of what I despised about Nisemonogatari. And no, unlike with a number of other fans, it wasn’t actually Shinobu in the 4th episode that offended me – explanation for this coming soon. Rather, it was certain shots of Karen spread over various episodes. If I had to put it into words, ‘the pervertization of the viewer’ might work.

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Contemplating Nisemonogatari: the good…

Back in 2008, Bakemonogatari captured the attention of many fans, probably for a number of reasons. However, the reason you hear bandied about most seems to be the crisp and refreshing dialogue, which has the characters flirting, trading jokes, sprouting their idiosyncratic verbal trademarks, and the occasional thought-provoking way of thinking. Most people who did not spoil themselves with the novels were expecting the same out of Nisemonogatari, its chronological sequel.

This is flirting? Well...yes.

Whilst that expectation wasn’t, IMHO, the smartest thing to take into this series (as I will attempt to discuss over a few more posts), I contend that Nisemonogatari actually one-upped its predecessor in one particular area. By this, of course, I’m referring to the battle of words between Kagenui and Araragi about the value of a fake.

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Bakemonogatari: the core of an obsession

So here’s the first of the two ‘biggies’ that I’ve just never really figured out how to write about. One guy, six girls, two little sisters and some rather disturbing animation in the first episode. I really didn’t expect to fall in love with this series.

I love you.

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Macross Zero: the dawn of a new era

Perhaps fittingly, it’s been 10 years since the first Zero OVA – it was made in celebration of 20 years of Macross after all. A decade of Macross for me…that’s nothing compared to the 20+ years that some of the old hands have enjoyed, endured, and perhaps, slaved – for it is arguably thanks to them that the rest of us are now able to appreciate much of the franchise. If not for them, I may never have come across this OVA, which ended up being my gateway to Macross.

New faces…ably supported by some old hands…

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