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A week has gone by since the last time I updated my thoughts on the fall anime series, and while my general opinion is still unchanged – “This is the best season in years” – there’s a lot to be said about what’s going on. With most series having two episodes under their belts, let’s jump into it.

I’m Hooked

To Aru Majutsu no Index II – This is mostly based on my love of the books, which admittedly have their flaws, but have kept me reading for months. The new opening song gets special props for making me giggle whenever I think Kawada Mami is singing “No paaaaants!”

The World God Only Knows – Captures the feel of the manga quite well, with the addition of some excellent production quality on the part of Manglobe and the staff. Elcea is like 20 times cuter in the anime than she is in the manga, though I’m still not fully convinced by Shimono Hiro’s portrayal of Keima.

Star Driver – I wish I had maids who sparkled at me when I took my shirt off. It’s from the “Don’t think about it too hard” school of fun, and I’m still in.

MM! – Still a guilty pleasure.

OreImo – It’s a very well-researched look at the social dynamics of otaku, and I appreciate that. Saori “Bajeena” also amuses me, since I know some people like that.

Gave it a chance, and…

Squid Girl – This show made me laugh a few times, but I don’t see myself sticking with it for very long because I’ll get tired of the humor fairly quickly.

Iron Man – Dropped until it airs on G4. I want to see it in English.

Super Robot Wars: The Inspector – Worth sticking to. I may be biased though, since I started playing Alpha 3 recently and have become weak to cheesy robot fun (see: Star Driver).

Otome Youkai Zakuro – Better than I expected, but still not really up my alley. Some old Sakura Taisen fans are clinging to it, though, so maybe after a few more episodes I’ll pick it back up.

No Sir

Soredemo Machi ha Mawatteiru – This one’s actually pretty funny, but I absolutely can’t stand Omigawa Chiaki’s acting. She belches and whines her way through scenes, and it’s just not fun to listen to. Sakurai Takahiro as the old woman deserves props, but I want to take a chopstick to my eardrums every time Omigawa’s character opens her mouth.

Bakuman – Slow. Dull. No.

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt – Some people took a look at this image of Panty and went “God, that’s hawt.” I went “Holy crap, what happened to her left eye?” I will not mock you for liking it, since it’s massive parody in action, but I don’t like it myself.

Motto ToLoveRu + Samurai Girls – Lumped into the same category of “My quality meter is not controlled by my hormonal urges.” I didn’t watch Seikon no Qwaser, I didn’t watch High School of the Dead all the way through, and I won’t watch these for more than a few minutes.

How’re you guys doing with the new season?

Elsea!

Not shown: Gaggles of girls

Shonen Sunday’s website has been updated with some preliminary news about the Kaminomi anime, which is coming later this year. Of note, it reveals the names of the animation studio, director, character designer, and head writer for the anime based on Wakaki Tamiki’s popular manga.

The animation will be handled by Manglobe, whose credits include the unique-looking samurai sagas Sarai-ya Goyou and Samurai Champloo, as well as the eye candy anime Seiken no Blacksmith. Famed writer Kurata Hideyuki will pen the scripts, which is pretty good news – he has such hits as Kannagi and R.O.D. under his belt. Watanabe Akio, an illustrator best known for the Nurse Witch Komugi-chan and Popotan series, will adapt Wakaki’s designs to the screen. The wild card in this announcement is director Takayanagi Shigehito, whose main credit is the third Galaxy Angel series.

With the talent assembled, we can rest easy knowing that this project didn’t just go to the lowest bidder. I’m still hoping that they assemble an all-star cast for this one, because I’m a huge fan of Kaminomi and want the anime to be at least as good as Hayate no Gotoku!

Wakabaaaaaaa T_T

Because if you haven’t, you really should. There are currently six episodes of the hit baseball anime streaming over at Hulu and VizAnime.com, and I highly recommend all of them. Cross Game was one of the best anime of 2009, and it’s a damn shame that more people haven’t watched it. Heck, I think more people should buy the manga when it comes out in omnibus form in English – at a whopping 576 pages, you’ll be able to get a whole lot of Cross Game at once.

Sadly, the Hulu thing means that you won’t be able to watch the show unless you’re in the US, but that’s one of those sad facts of licensing.

You can tell every detail of the show just by looking at this.

Look at this picture, and you know exactly what to expect.

No one was surprised when Enterbrain announced that their popular PS2 romance game Amagami was getting an anime this summer. It was more of an inevitability than a dark horse, based on an age-old formula for creating harmless and profitable anime. Take a popular game full of cute girls, turn it into a harmlessly cute anime with a moderate budget, lie back, and roll around in merchandising money.

A trailer for Amagami SS is now available on the anime’s official website, and it’s everything you think it would be. Kind of cute, mostly harmless, and destined to be really popular with one segment of the population. Oh, and there’s ear-biting. That’s the big hook of this one, or something.

FUNimation starts airing the second half of the noitaminA block tomorrow, and as you can see from the subtitled trailer above, Tatami Galaxy is a huge departure from your average kids’ action fantasy or cute-girl-moe anime. The visuals are freakish and fascinating, the story looks deliciously twisted, and all in all, it looks like it’ll be a whole lot of fun.

Tatami Galaxy starts when a college dropout meets a man claiming to be a god of marriage at a ramen stand. Instead of the late-night snack he was looking for, he instead gets a flashback to his college days, when he and his friend went around destroying other people’s romances. The show looks like it’ll be a dark pleasure, and I’ll be tuning in tomorrow on FUNimation’s video site. Between Tatami Galaxy and The House of Five Leaves, this Spring season may not be a complete loss after all…

Wakabaaaaaaa T_TIf you’ve read any of my writings for an extended period of time, you know that I’m a huge fan of baseball. So it should be no surprise that Viz’s weekend announcement of its upcoming release of Adachi Mitsuru’s Cross Game manga caused me to leap in the air and hoot in joy. I cut my teeth on his classic baseball drama Touch when I was just getting into the hobby, and have been hooked on his youth/sports dramas ever since. Cross Game is one of his strongest efforts yet, with the strongest supporting cast of all his stories and as deep of an emotional current as ever.

Full review after the jump – spoilers ahead! (Review spoiler: I really, really like Cross Game and you should read it)

Read the rest of this entry »

Yep, a star, a nun, and a kappa. All living under a bridge.Nakamura Hikaru got a fairly unique opportunity to announce the cast of the upcoming Arakawa Under the Bridge anime, sneaking the cast announcements into the panels of her manga. Up above you can see that the eccentric lead Nino will be played by Sakamoto Maaya (five bucks says she sings the opening song), while the hapless Riku is played by Kamiya Hiroshi (best known as Zetsubou-sensei).

The real stars are the supporting cast, though, with Sugita Tomokazu (Kyon in Haruhi) playing Star, Koyasu Takehito (who is in everything) playing Sister, and Fujiwara Keiji playing the kappa.

The character designs still don’t look great, but between the immensely strange premise and the animation talents of Shaft, Arakawa Under the Bridge looks like it’s in good shape – as long as Shaft finishes the episodes on time, of course. We’ll see how they do in April.