[Review] Ozuma

Ozuma (or Ozma) was my first Matsumoto Leiji experience, and was just as grandiose as I had expected.  There’s an almost Miyazaki-esque feel to the themes of Nature and Man permeating the show, with reverence paid to Life’s raw power and mutability.  Complete with gorgeously detailed backdrops and sweeping orchestral sounds, we are expected to stand in awe of the beauty that is Life.  This life resists all forms of control: the Ideal Children’s attempt to infinitely replicate their genetic code, their further manipulation of the Natura’s bodies as shells for their own souls, and even in the Ozuma’s strangely sentient acts of self-preservation.  Through these struggles, the very definition of humanity is questioned.  What is more human than fighting to protect a way of life and set of ideals? What is the human mind, but a means for forever expanding the horizons of knowledge?

Almost hand-in-hand with these questions is an additional dispute of duty and love.  There are quite a few examples in Ozuma where characters display obvious signs of affection bordering on love, or even obsession.  And yet, in almost each case, those feelings are pushed aside for the greater good.  Duty triumphs and the “right” path is taken.

“Live, and love each other.  That is all humanity can do.”
-Maya

Wonderfully imagined, Ozuma suffers from too little time and overly lofty goals.  A large array of themes are presented, only to turn into simplified lessons, or never addressed again at all.

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Winter 2012 Season Wrap

This winter review includes thoughts and ratings on Ano Natsu de Matteru, Another, Bakuman 2, Black Rock Shooter, Brave 10, Chihayafuru, Danshi Koukousek no Nichijou, Inu x Boku SS, Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, Mirai Nikki, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, Persona 4 The Animation, Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle, Rinne no Lagrange, Senki Zesshou Symphogear, and Zero no Tsukaima F.  Spoilers are included for many of them, so tread carefully.

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Hikaru no Go (Review)


Almost exactly 10 years ago, Hikaru no Go aired and re-popularized the ancient strategy game of Igo (or “Go”) for its young audience.  I’m sure if I had seen it back then, I, too, would have wanted to hop onto the bandwagon and learn how to play.  Luckily for me, I stumbled across the show while browsing through Netflix, where it is currently available in all its Viz Media subtitled glory.  Warning, spoilers ahead.

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Summer 2011 Final Thoughts (a.k.a. How the heck did I manage to watch all of these?)

So I’m late crossing the finish line, but at least I finished, right? There were a ton of series to make it through this season, and I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through writing this entry.  But, here we are, and I’m now wading through a rush of newly airing fall anime.

Final thoughts include: Bunny Drop, Tiger & Bunny, NO.6, Sacred Seven, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Kamisama no Memochou, Hanasaku Iroha, Natsume Yuujinchou San, Blood-C, Dantalian no Shoka, Ao no Exorcist, Kamisama Dolls, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Uta no Prince-sama, Baka to Test 2, and Nichijou.  These thoughts are fairly brief, given the large number of anime covered in this season review, and are usually about two paragraphs long.  If I like the show enough, I’ll most likely return to it sometime for a re-watch and write a more detailed review!

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(Review) Arakawa Under the Bridge

When this show first aired, I found both its image and description on the seasonal chart dis-interesting and skipped on watching it.  This was before I was so open to trying at least one episode from most airing anime, so I had no idea what I was missing out on.  It wasn’t until I became more of a fan of SHAFT—thanks to Hidamari Sketch, Bakemonogatari, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, and Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko—that I discovered that Arakawa was also done by the same production company.  The anime was fairly well received, given its second season and positive feedback from some of my notable forum peers.  So I tried it out, and fell in love after the first episode.  While it adheres to many of SHAFT’s characteristics—head tilts; long, flowing hair; art not afraid to conflict and experiment—it also did a wonderful job of distancing itself from their faults as well.

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(Review) Hyakko

4-girl, slice-of-life anime, otherwise known as moe-blob anime, have been a bit of a turn-off for me lately, since it seems to be the cool genre to do these days…or I may just be noticing a popular type that has been around for far longer than I’ve been watching anime.  The criteria: the girls (usually 4 different archetypes), a school setting, a random club or common group activity outside of class, and tons of everyday cuteness.  K-ON!, A-Channel, and Yuru Yuri all follow this formula, and as such, fail to distinguish themselves from the rest of their fellow cute peers doing cute things.  The few that deviate–Kamichu!, Nichijou, ARIA, and Sora no Woto–actually provide something for me to appreciate, be it a unique premise, setting, and/or characters.  Hyakko falls into this latter crowd, as it leans more towards slapstick comedy than the typical school life.  I found its attempts at humor largely successful, though occasionally anticipated.
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Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra (Review)

I was one of those kids who grew up with her nose in every kind of book, dog-ear-ing their pages and refusing to get rid of any single one of them.  I viewed, and still view, them as people of a sort, full of their own unique intricacies.  Tatakau Shisho takes this idea to a whole new level; whenever a person dies, he or she returns in the form of a stone tablet, a “book” of a sort.  Unlike the books that I grew up reading, which can only be so detailed on the skills of the author, the “Book(s) of Bantorra” are people, not representations of people.  And much like these very real tome manifestations of human lives, this anime encompasses a wide array of desires, fears, dreams, and failures.

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2011 Spring Season Final Impressions

This season review discusses: AnoHana, A-Channel, Dog Days, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Deadman Wonderland, GOSICK, The World God Only Knows 2, Maria Holic Alive, and Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox.

This may possibly have been my busiest viewing season ever, totaling at 9 from this Spring 2011 season, and an additional 4 still ongoing shows.  The higher number of viewed anime also resulted in a wider variety of genre than I usually watch at once.  Forced to watch episodes one at time on a weekly basis, I found handling this many shows more manageable than I had previously thought it would be, most likely because of the different flavors each anime provided.  From dramas like AnoHana, mystery thrillers like GOSICK, satiric comedies like TWGOK2 and Maria Holic Alive, and fantastical fan service like Sengoku Otome, my table was covered with a number of savory dishes.  Though many of them followed through on their initial bursts of flavors, a sad number of them finished with not so pleasant aftertastes.

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