Currently Watching

Here's where I'll collect my thoughts on this season, if for no other reason that to do it.

Mezzo This is an oldie, and the dub was done by my favorite studio ADV. They are my favorite studio because their dub building is called Industrial Smoke and Mirrors (Fuck You George Lucas), and they did BGC: 2040.

Mezzo is weird in a way that is light hearted and enjoyable so far. The characters are interesting and I want to see them develop. The weakest point, however, is the clearly meagre animation budget. Episode 3 featured 5 full minutes of one scene repeating itself, which was unintentionally comedic but also a painfully obvious way to save cash. I'll likely finish it, get a few laughs, and wish that they had been given enough money to draw it properly.

Eve no Jikan It's been reviewed in a few places, and always in glowing terms, for very good reasons. The stories are short but there is no time wasted - at 15 minutes each vignette tells as much as most other shows do with 45. It works because they're told expertly, with the kind of polish and attention to detail that demands repeat viewings. The writers and animators all have my undying respect, but I do wish they would hurry the fuck up and release the rest of the show. At six short episodes there's no reason to space their release out over basically a whole year, and this might end up being my only criticism - there just isn't enough of it.

Soul Eater I want to write a little blurb about how terribly disappointing this show was. The first season followed the manga almost flawlessly, and as a result the show was witty, entertaining, and visually and auditorily unique. However, about the time the story broke off from the manga, the manga started getting incredibly stupid (gotcha!) while the show also started getting incredibly stupid. The past 15 episodes have felt like they were written by amateurs, under deadline, who had no organic understanding of the story or characters or world they were manipulating, but merely wanted to bring it to an end. And the end was utter shit. I had such high hopes, and boy did they come crashing down.

Eden of the East [gg] subbed the first episode, have said they won't be doing the rest of the series, and trolled very well by putting karoke over the OP which is entirely in understandable English, but ignoring the ED which is entirely in Japanese. WELL PLAYED MA'AM AND OR SIRS. Whoever ends up subbing it, I really really hope they do it well. The OP is mesmerizing and sets a very high bar for the show to live up to, there are elements of real mystery, teenage hijinks, and gleeful pop culture referencing. The creators took the time (at least in the pilot) to have American characters speaking American english, to the point where I think they actually fulfilled one of my long-standing fantasies of hiring Americans to do the voices.

Which scares me a bit, because again my hopes have been built up. HOWEVER if they maintain this level of quality this could easily become my favorite of the season.

EDIT: Holy shit I totally didn't recognise Oasis as the OP song, since I hadn't listened to their new album yet. Suffice it to say I think it's a brilliant move, and I hope other shows continue to do this (license good rock songs). The only other one I'm aware of is The Delgados who did the song used in the Gunslinger Girls OP. I think this one should be next.

Also if you pay attention to the series of pictures in the intro, you'll notice pictures of the NY skyline, both with the pillars of light that served as memorial after 9/11, and with the new tower that's proposed but hasn't been built yet. This is some sort of mind trip, and I want to see where they go with this.

Tears to Tiara Dropped after the first garbage episode. In case it wasn't clear, this is garbage. Painfully generic characters, painfully generic setting, painfully obvious and not even partially disguised references to standard western Arthurian lore, painfully stupid bad guy and even more painfully boring good guy. Oh, did I mention the princess / priestess who's going to be sacrificed to a demon unless her hero / prince / knight can somehow save her???

K-ON! Very strong opinions on this one from the blogs I read, either love it or hate it. I can see this going either way, if it treats the music as reverentially as BECK then I'll enjoy it fine, if it ignores the music in favor of rote teenage highschool tomfoolery I'll dump it. At that point they would basically need a Haruhi ep. 12 to redeem it in any way in my eyes.

Sengoku BASARA Only one episode in so far, but it could be promising. The animation is top notch, and it's over-the-top enough to be entertaining without being too grating. I will give it a chance, could fall under the category of RAPE or FABULOUS very easily.

I think that's it for now.

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