Welcome to the season of Spring, in the year of two-thousand-and-twelve!
It's time again for Annotated Anime, the anime recap of the new season that finds its lineup a bit spare, with new shows still on their way to debut and others just done airing. This week your only companions will be The Prince of Tennis, Symphogear, Inu x Boku SS, Moretsu Pirates, OZMA, Gundam AGE, Phi Brain, Amagami SS+, Persona 4, and Kimi no Iru Machi OVA1.
Reinforcements are coming, though, as our writers are busily cranking out their final impressions of the shows that have finished their runs!
In the meantime, you can also enjoy Japanator's first thoughts on the vanguard (Ed. Note: Best class in Mass Effect, by the way) of Spring 2012:
Inu x Boku SS Episode 11
"This feeling that belongs only to me." It made me wonder, when I was reviewing the episode for this recap, just what was Soushi's poem referring to? After thinking on it for a while it can only be one thing: the feeling of moe.
I mean, it's not to cheapen the character development from Inu x Boku Secret Service. I think they've done a great job pairing up Ririchiyo and Soushi, each serving as a foil for the other in their own forms of insincerity. But as a love story I think I might prefer Kagerou's own rousing brand of S&M or Snow Woman's outright lusting over the things of her desire.
But this is fine, too. It's great that the climatic episode got its special treatment, opening with Soushi's monologue of his own past. It's nice to see Kagerou actually being quite the insightful weirdo, foreseeing stuff far enough to make an NTR joke. In some ways he was much more perceptive than Soushi ever was, seeing through Soushi's veneer in their first encounter.
Still, at last, we are served what we were promised once upon a many episode ago. I can't really complain.
[Catch the climax of Inu x Boku SS on Crunchyroll!]
OZMA Episode 2
After an introduction to its world, OZMA takes us to some desert naval warfare. Yup, you heard that right folks, the sands are as vast as the ocean's depths in this world.
OZMA has gotten me interested in its world even more for this week, and I love the concept behind how the pirates' ship can travel under the deserts. It also reminded me of the game known as Skies of Arcadia, if Skies of Arcadia took place in the desert instead of the skies.
There were also some story elements that I am interested to see them go with, and the third episode will probably flesh out this aspect. I am so glad that this series is not going to be biweekly, since they ended it in a way where you want to see more.
If there is one concern at the moment, it would be if the story would be able to fit the format of a six episode. Otherwise, we can hope that there might be a new season in the works. This is all going to depend on how episode three will present itself.
Prince of Tennis II Episode 12
After several months of intense training, all qualifying players detained at Mifune’s rural camp are finally allowed to return to headquarters. As a reward, the guys are given the opportunity to trade their old scruffy work-out clothes for a brand new and very much deserved uniform. It's like a whole new beginning!
With a new stylish wardrobe and improved morale, Echizen and his gang are ready to take on just about any challenge. Fortunately for me, this is the end of the line, Episode 12 will be my very last -- good luck to them. See you next week with Space Bros! I'm not gonna lie, I'm so glad it's over.
[Watch via Crunchyroll]
Amagami SS+ Episode 11 and 12
It's the moment we've all been waiting for, as we finally get to see Morishima-sempai's 'fantastic' episodes! Like most couples their age, they decide to spend a lot of the first episode acting out what it would be like to live together as a couple. You know, the usual kind of stuff. More importantly, it seems Amagami has gone down the Mortal Kombat route of palette-swapping, as Haruka's cousin from some place called England, is identical in appearance to Haruka besides her blonde hair.
There are even more roleplay shenanigans when Juniichi invites her to his house, where his parents and Miya are currently away for a day. There's simply no better way for a young couple such as themselves to use an empty house! They do get into a heated foot wrestle under the kotatsu though, so I guess that counts for something. While in bed (and by that, I mean while Juniichi's in bed and Haruka sleeps on the floor) Haruka reveals that she will be leaving for England after graduation. Oh, the drama!
I think everyone except Juniichi figures that she wasn't staying there, rather that it's a short holiday, but fearing Haruka leaving him for good, he takes desperate measures. This includes hijacking the graduation speech, using it to propose to Haruka and also have her defy the laws of gravity for a short time. Still, snogging your lady in front of the whole school has got to give you a significant boost in gamerscore, right? I'm still finding it weird that Juniichi's parents don't seem to be showing up. You'd think they'd be at the wedding, right?
[Head over to The Anime Network if you want some Amagami SS+ in your life!]
Phi Brain Episode 24
I refuse to write yaoi fanfiction if the show is just doing it anyway.
[You can catch Phi Brain fever on The Anime Network!]
Moretsu Pirates episode 12
Y'know, if I were the princess(es), I'd be pissed at Marika and the butler-guy. Seriously, I'm royalty, how dare they go behind my back, gas me, and bring the ship I was planning to blow up back home with them!
Then again, if Black Rock Shooter has taught me anything, it's that pubescent drama queens are not to be heeded. Everything works out at the end.
It's a bit weird, though. The mcguffin of all the royals being clones and stuff seems a bit sudden (though it was hinted at since the start of the quest), or at least contrived as a simple excuse to have Marika test her captaincy under real-world conditions.
And test it she did, passing with flying colors! That's what we were in for, to see a budding young lady carve out a niche in the world, but not having to grow up in need of hearing The Message about growing up and all that junk. She may not be of majority age yet, but she's damned mature, I'll say that much.
[Mature kids?! Perish the thought on Crunchyroll!]
Symphogear episode 12
Uhhh, what just happened? Why is everyone dead, and then not-dead anymore? The listings say that this show is for 12 episodes, so...is there a second season? If there isn't, WTF is up with this cliffhanger?!
I mean, it's not really a cliffhanger since we all know they'll win, but damn, if this doesn't get a 13th episode, I'm going to be....miffed. Symphogear isn't good enough to get angry over, but it IS enjoyable enough to get miffed over if the ending bites.
And right now, it's biting. Hard.
Kimi no Iru Machi OVA 1
I'm not sure why, but Kimi no Iru Machi is one of the rare shoujo manga that actually blipped my radar. Maybe it's because I read Suzuka from beginning to end (I skipped the anime), and felt so upset that I had to try reading another title from the same creator to see if I'd find anything redeeming. Kimi no Iru Machi was pretty early on in the story by that time, so I caught up in no time. To be honest, it's the same sort of rage-inducing romance, but I definitely felt a tinge of the "nostalgia factor" when I heard this would be adapted to anime.
The story follows Haruto Kirishima in his quest for romance in the confusing world of female inner conflict. One day, Eba Yuzuki shows up at his family home in rural Hiroshima and moves in. She's from Tokyo and they clash at first because of their differences, but eventually he grows fond of her. "What's the problem," you might ask? Well, it's just that he's been in love with his long-time buddy Nanami Kanzaki this entire time, and little miss Eba the home wrecker just came in and interrupted his life as girls often do at totally the wrong time (or right, if you love shoujo).
This first OVA is very beautifully crafted, starting at a point far into the story and giving you context as needed via montages and flashbacks. The animation is decent and fluid with lovely tones and you get a sense for the story without feeling confused at the point when this episode ends, with a cliffhanger: Haruto went to visit Eba in Tokyo a while after she left his little town while on a school trip, and when they finally find each other, he's holding Kanzaki's hand while pretending to be her boyfriend for some other complicated reason. In comes the conflict, and in comes the drama that by this point of the story, you would think might have dissipated. Neither party is really at fault at this point of the story, things are just happening; and they suck. Oh, to be in high school again... (wait, no. I don't want that.)
None of this felt draggy, and I even watched it together with Pedro who hadn't any background for the story but didn't feel lost at all. Kimi no Iru Machi is a refreshingly well performed OVA with great voice talent. Eba is voiced by Megumi Nakajima, who most of you might know as Ranka Lee (Macross Frontier, etc.). Kanzaki is voiced by Saori Hayami who has credits in such titles as OreImo (as Ayase), MS Gundam AGE (as Yuriel) and the recently aired Nisemonogatari. If you're into the genre and are in the mood for an interlude that isn't silly or in-your-face, give it a watch! OVA 2 is set for release in the summer I believe, so I'll be back with another recap then.
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