My news article on the Japanese Pop Culture Club has been published. Check it out!
Mayoi Neko Overrun's main problem isn't that it's generic, but the fact that it doesn't even implement those cliches and stereotypes correctly. Jokes are very awkward, characters aren't interesting and the majority of the first episode is insanely boring, not to mention confusing. Judging by what I've seen, it's safe to say that I will cease to follow Mayoi Neko Overrun this season, as it fails at delivering a decent, if generic, romantic comedy, a feat that isn't really that hard to accomplish.
The plot to Angel Beats revolves around Otanashi, an amnesiac who has been sent to the afterlife. Upon entering, he meets a girl named Yuri, who is aiming a sniper rifle at a white-haired girl. He stops her from doing this and warns the girl about Yuri, discovering her name to be Tenshi. She is vey grateful for Otanshi's warning, showing her gratitude by stabbing him in the heart with a knife that magically appears on her arms. Fortunately for Otanshi, he is soon to realize that dying in the afterlife is impossible, as he regains conciousness in a school located in the afterlife. Upon searching the premise, he is promptly attacked by a crazy guy with a sword and sets off a trap in front of the principal's office which promptly causes him to lose conciouness again. He awakens to find himself at the homebase of the Shinda Sekai Seven (also known as SSS), a group who's leaders, Yuri, has a strong resemeblance to Haruhi Suzimiya and has the primary goal of taking over the afterlife by rebelling against god. After being asked to enlist, he is unwilling at first, but after being confronted with the idea of being ressurected as a barnacle, he agrees. The rest of the show chronicles the ongoing war between the SSS and god's servant, Tenshi.
A few cliches aside (amnesia and Haruhi-clone), Angel Beats is an extremely refreshing experience, as it offers a unique story, interesting characters and exceptional writing. Dialogue between characters is very humorous and fast paced, making it a very enjoyable experience. The animation and art are superb, as the anime includes fast-paced and energetic gunfights and appealing character models. Backgrounds also look nice, as they are very colorful.
The opening is also something worth mentioning, as the song does a great job of fitting with the mood of the show. It starts off with possibly the most epic piano playing scene I have ever seen in my life, mostly due to this scene being beautifully animated. The logo then appears and the characters and their names are shown, first the two main characters, then showing the other members of the SSS. The opening does alot to remind me of Clannad, as I believe the same people who were responsible for the Clannad After Story opening, were also responsible for this.
Angel Beats is a show that holds much promise, as the first two episodes really show how great this series is. I have much confidence that this series will be the best of the Spring season, as the overall quality has yet to be matched by anything else coming out this season. Angel Beats is definitely worth a watch.
While the story has MANY cliches (pantie shots, blushing, tsundere, misunderstandings, etc...), the concept alone is enough to keep me invested in the series. Other pros included the fast paced humor, a great example being a scene where Akuto tries to convince his peers that he isn't the demon king, as I noticed that dialogue was quick and jokes were thrown at the viewer constantly. The characters are also likable, if insanely moronic.The stupidity of the characters are both a pro and a con, as hilarious misunderstandings occur, but at the cost of characters being reduced to plot devices. Fanservice also harms the series, as it's shown obsessively and at very inappropriate times, such as a girl simply standing up or walking up the stairs. Flaws aside, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimauo is a decent series that I will definitely continue watching.
I have just watched many episodes of the addicting (albeit generic, cliched, stupid and painfully slowpaced) anime known as Bleach. The second most popular anime on MAL(MyAnimeList.com), Bleach is a series that people either love for its engrossing main story and interesting fight scenes, or hate for its slow pacing and annoying filler seasons. One of my favorite aspects of Bleach is the openings, which are stylish, epic and enjoyable to listen to. The following is a list of my favorite Bleach openings.
Warning: The following contains an opinion, meaning people are going to get pissed off. You are welcome to make your own list in the comments section.
Note: Bleach is not my favorite series of all time, as the filler episodes are causing me to REALLY hate the series.
#5-Rolling Star-By: YUI (Opening 5)
With a great song and nice visuals, the fifth opening coincidentally makes it into fifth place. The opening does a great job of expressing the style of Bleach, as we see a few characters wearing stylish and colorful clothing. The opening begins by panning across the city that Ichigo lives in, then showing Ichigo with his Zampakutō glowing red. The Bleach logo then appears engulfed in gray smoke. While stylish, the reason this opening makes fifth on the list, is due to the song. Rolling Star is a great song, but it YUI's voice isn't exactly appropriate for the show. Other than that, it's worthy of being on the list.
#4-Velonika-By: Aqua Timez (Opening Nine)
The ninth opening gets fourth place due to a solid song and an outstanding visual style. It begins by showing off Ichigo with his bankai activated, then showing the Bleach logo engulfed in flames, which is probably the best appearance of the logo on this list. Many will notice that the opening is very colorful, making it great eyecandy. The only flaw is that the theme song is solid, but nothing more. The tune does little to enhance the visuals, with the exception of the logo, making it a bit low on the list. Visuals and style alone are the only things that make this opening stand out from the rest.
#3-D-technolife-By: UVERworld (Opening Two)
In third place is the second opening. A great track and intense action scenes go a long way to make this earn a spot on the list. The opening begins with Ichigo sitting upright against a Zampakutō in a field of Zampakutōs. The camera pans around him and on the other side of the sword is Rukia sitting upright against the same sword. The Bleach logo then appears in black and white, then flashing to appear in color. The song is epic and the action scenes, such as Ichigo fighting Kenpachi, Orihime actually being useful (which doesn't actually happen in the main story) and Ichigo fighting Renji, are fast-paced and just plain awesome. The only major flaw is that the art is dated, evident from the shadow lines that appear on some of the character models, making it look a bit messy.
#2-After Dark-By: Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Opening Seven)
With an exceptional track, the seventh opening to Bleach gets ranked second on the list. While the visuals aren't extraordinarily creative, they look nice and polished. The opening starts by showcasing the weapons of the main characters, the music then building up to show the Bleach logo, with its flames actually on fire. Aizen also makes an appearance holding a cup of...beer?(WTF!?)
#1-ALONES-By: Aqua Timez
This is the greatest opening ever created! Utilizing a satisfying rock song, a superb black and white visual style and an epic feel throughout the whole entire opening, it's hard to hate it. While it does start off oddly (Kon singing the song along with Ririn, Nova and Kuroud dancing in the background), the song then builds up to an epic rock tune. It then pans around Ichigo in hueco mundo with the Bleach logo flashing on the screen, then zooming into his hollow mask, where we then see a cloud for no apparent reason. Did I mention that Aizen looks insanely badass in this opening?
So there. These are my top Bleach openings. Please tell me what you think and post your favorite Bleach openings in the comments section.
Here is a list of the animes coming out on the Spring of 2010 that I plan on watching. I will release a first impression later on. Hopefully, the animes will be released on Crunchroll, as I want to do this legally.
- Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
- Angel Beats
- Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
- B-Gata H-Kei