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Annotated Anime Only Edition: Spring 2011 Week 5

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[Update: It seems that I forgot to add Kristina Pino's recaps to this week's post. That's been corrected. Sorry, Kristina!]

Welcome again to a new edition of Annotated Anime, the anime recap that's just going to leave this header image here for your enjoyment. Awww yeah. More where that came from after the cut.

This week we've got a special recap of the newest episode of OreImo, as well as your usual slate of Hanasaku Iroha, Seikon no Qwaser II, Deadman Wonderland, The World God Only Knows, Maria Holic Alive, My Ordinary Life, [C], Dororon Enma-kun, Steins;Gate, Tiger & Bunny, Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi, Beelzebub, and Blue Exorcist!

All of that anime, all annotated, all for you, dear readers! And fans of AnoHana and Denpa Onna may find themselves somewhat surprised next week, too!

Jeff Chuang

OreImo True End Episode 14

 

My underclassman really is that rotten? It's not as fun as last month's installment when Saori fondled herself in a tease, but perhaps this week's Kuroneko tease is more suitable for the rest of us who likes those more subtle moment in a blunt-as-a-trout comedy. Granted, we're still talking about very obvious cues when Kuroneko confessed her feelings for Kyousuke, but at least it's left to your own interpretation as to what that on-the-bed chat really means.

 

This week, our two fujoshi freshmen in the game research club are tasked to make each a competing proposal for an indie game competition. Sena goes with a simple but fun RPG with some male fanservice courtesy of the club's male members. Ruri on the other hand writes a metric ton of text in story and setting for a visual novel. Even before we got to that point, Kyousuke had proposed making an eroge, simply because the adult visual novel category had fewer contestants. The ensuing hijinks is as close as it gets to "that's what she said" in an anime...

 

Getting to the point, the ordeals of working on such a project forces Kuroneko to eat her pride and ask Sena for help; it was all a trick to get Kuroneko to be more social with her fellow fans. But in the process, OreImo sheds some light on some philosophy behind why and what to make of the vibrant doujin scene in Japan. It reminded me of this article which detailed how two pro mangaka are going at it, so please give that a read if Kuroneko's monologue about why she makes games clicks for you. I suppose that means you will have to get used to winning categories for "kusoge" (lit. trans. "shitty game"), which isn't always a bad thing.

 

OreImo continues to be interesting and thought-provoking without its namesake character. It's hardly a surprise, then, to see a Kuroneko-centric manga being planned. It may be a light novel equivalent of a "kusoge" but it is as shameless as it gets.

 

Hanasaku Iroha Episode 5

 

 

A Minko-centric episode to follow last week's developing love triangle, we see not only what goes on in Minko's head, but a little bit more about everyone else as well. Ultimately, I think it might be a distraction and set up for more fun drama later, but Minko and Ohana did get a bit closer at the end of this week's ordeals.

 

Continuing from last week, Kissuisou reacts to Tohru's absence. Each of the gossiping hostesses (and our new ero writer slash part-timer) brings forth a piece of evidence about how Tohru is now working for the "rival inn" Fukuya. The miscommunication snowballs and it seems only the head chef Ren-san and the management know anything about it. Ohana, as expected, totally goes overboard with the news. She forces Minko to confront her feelings for Tohru, and runs off to Fukuya to try to get Tohru back. 

 

Of course, it all turned out to be nothing; Yuina was having a joy ride on Tohru's bike, and Tohru was just helping out Fukuya for a single day as one of their kitchen hand was sick. What you and I get was a nice flashback to Minko's start at Kissuisou, and how Tohru was a big part of her back story.

 

It came together prettily, if not a bit forced. Even the heron made a token appearance, scaring the heck out of Ohana when she ran to Fukuya. I guess this is par for the course for an HanaIro build-up/filler type episode. We only have to think about why Tohru rubbed Ohana's nose just like how he did Minko's...
[Watch Hanasaku Iroha streaming on Crunchyroll!]

 

Seikon no Qwaser II Episode 3

 

The story finally lightens up at this point. I say finally only because I was expecting this much earlier, in terms of gag characters and jokes. Season one didn't do this until a few episodes later, so maybe this isn't too bad, but I always thought comedy was Qwaser's strongest point.

 

The plot also moves forward briskly. The big reveal here is that Hana works her BFF magic with Tsubasa and managed to get Sasha a "suck," and it turns out that she was free of the artifact. Nice misdirect for the plot! We also got some important back story for her and Miyuki, who are basically season 2 version of Mafuyu and Tomo, except that Tsubasa is much more useful than Tomo.

 

On the other hand, the suspicious teacher reveals himself to be the Qwaser of silicon, and he has taken custody of a bunch of girls, using them as some kind of VR-computer-Qwaser-boob-energy source. The goal for for him is to take control of the Magdalena of Thunder, which allows him to control any kind of electronic information at will. The "hacker" Qwaser confronts Sasha in a proper, real-life battle, but only after he has taken custody of Tsubasa and ran away at the sight of Katja's big entrance.

 

Looking forward to episode 4! If Katja is pared with Mafuyu, we will be in the land of many hijinks next week. That is, if we can get over the very serious-business Hana cliff hanger!

 

Pedro Cortes
Deadman Wonderland Episode 3

 

Whoa, nice to see that Tamaki's slaughter at the Dog Race didn't go unnoticed. Right at the beginning of the episode several big wigs berate him for the über violent event, with the creepy Tamaki brushing their concerns off while playing Cat's Cradle. We also see the Red Man locked deep in the park.

 

Ganta starts out his third day in prison with nowhere near enough cast points to get an antidote candy. Lucky for him, Yoh gives him a piece when he finds out that Ganta is his cellmate. He's also monitoring him for Tamaki, so let's see where that takes us. Tamaki is also shown to have some odd fascination with toys, adding to his severe creep factor. The Red Man escapes, leaving the prison admin in a panic. 

 

Wouldn't you know it, the Red Man decides to pay poor Ganta a visit. The Red bastard hops down and creates a tornado that kills several prionsers and injures the already wounded You. Ganta flips and produces the red energy (which Tamaki calls the Branches of Sin) again, firing a ball of red stuff at the Red Man. Ganta nearly takes off the Red Man's head, but the jerk just pops his head back and smiles and jumps away while Ganta passes out. 

 

Waking up in the prison hospital sometime later, Ganta overhears a couple prisoners talking about the Red Man. It seems that he's locked up in the G-Block, where Ganta swears to find and kill him. Elsewhere, Makina believes that Ganta was behind the attack, surmises that he has a powerful weapon within his body and orders the guards to capture him. Speaking of Ganta, he and Shiro get caught by a prison lockdown and meet up with Yoh somewhere in the labyrinthian prison. Despite Yoh telling them that there is no G-block, Shiro says that she can take them there, but refuses to do so. When Ganta inquires further, the three get interrupted by Makina's security robot. They jump into an air duct, but the persistant bot follows them into the bowels of the prison. Yoh shows off his quick fingers and shuts off the bot before it kills them. 

 

When the three reach G-block, another bot crashes in and attacks them. Shiro shows us her moves and kicks the robot in the face. Awesome as that was, the bot gets up and nearly kills Shiro. The only thing that saves them is a red tendril that slices the security robot in half. Out from the G-block cell walks a prisoner, presumably the Red Man, though I have my doubts.
[Deadman Wonderland streams on Crunchyroll]

 

The World God Only Knows 2 Episode 3 & 4

The mysterious demon from the ED turns out to be Haqua, one of Elsie's former classmates and the Section Chief of the Far East Loose Soul division. The two discuss their soul-collection progress and it's clear that Haqua isn't doing as well as her old school mate. When an emergency call comes into her skull charm, we see the main demon chief tell her about an errant soul heading her way. Haqua heads off in a jealous huff, leaving a confused Elsie.

 

Keima interrupts Haqua's search and sees through the facade she's put up for Elsie. The two search the school to find the trail of the loose soul to no avail. Haqua tells Keima about the loose souls and how their the weakened forms of ancient demons looking to be reborn. Keima takes Haqua to an abandoned theater, where Haqua reveals the obvious; she hasn't managed to catch a single loose soul. While she spills her guts about her inadequacies, Elsie pops in and tells them that she's found the loose soul and that it's gonna take a bit of help wrangling in.

 

The soul knocked out an entire auditorium of students uses the kids to protect itself from Elsie and Haqua's attempts to seal it. After a couple of minutes, the soul bursts out through the ceiling and away from the demons. Haqua heads out alone to deal with the soul, to prove to herself that she is better than Elsie. This opens her up to the loose soul and it possess her, making Elsie and Keima's life all the more difficult. In a nice subversion, Elsie has to fill the emptiness in Haqua's heart. Elsie uses her adorable nature and positive attitude to pull Haqua out of her jag and the two of them work together to seal the baddie. 

 

I was surprised to find that these two episodes were heavily Elsie focused. I believe this is the first one that really delved into the demon world, which I didn't expect them to do. It's nice knowing that there's some sense of urgency to collecting these souls instead of it merely being a romp about. It's nice that WGOK can still go to some neat places.
[The World God Only Knows is available for viewing on Crunchyroll]

 

Marcus Speer
My Ordinary Life Episode 5

I feel completely, utterly (and I'm being very sincere right now) sorry for anyone who has avoided this show because they think it's just a "cute-girls-doing-cute-things" kind of series, because this newest episode of My Ordinary Life is by far one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. No, honestly!

 

There was some doubt in my mind that this episode was going to rather "meh" after seeing Tsuyoshi (that mohawk-dude) staring in the beginning segment...but that soon turned into instant hilarity with the channeling of Bob Hope's spirit through a medium. My God, what a great start. Following this up, Yuko and Mai attempt to play Rock-Paper-Scissors, but no matter how hard Yuko tries to teach her, Mai simply can't give any more shits about anything in life anymore, resulting in Yuko proclaiming that "God is dead!". The other segments include the Professor giving birth, yet another more-depressing-than-actually-funny Helvetica Standard and perhaps the funniest moment of the whole episode: Yuko drawing cool, poorly drawn badass mo' fo's much to Mio's distress, resulting in her drawing a naked picture of her schoolmate crush, Kojiro.

 

I am seriously in love with My Ordinary Life. Aside from watching every episode once by myself, and then together with my girlfriend each week, I would throw down an unfathomable amount of money to watch the entire series a third, fourth and fifth time by owning it on DVD or Blu-Ray whenever the hell I possibly can. Saturdays can't come soon enough anymore, it seems.
[Witness the death of God with simulcasts of My Ordinary Life on Crunchyroll]

 

Maria Holic Alive! Episode 4
Shinbo is now making fun of Shinbo. His stylistic trademarks in this weeks episode of Maria Holic Alive! are the target, and even his precious Magical Girl Madoka isn't spared. The second season of Maria Holic has become self-aware of its mediocrity. 

 

Maybe I'm looking into it too much, but this episode seemed more or less like a satire of the series thus far this season. Either that was its intention, or the series actually has became this piece of crap that it once tried to make fun of. Whatever the issue is, something clicked halfway throughout this episode, not only with me, but with main character Kanako. You see, this week, instead of moving on from the terrible previous episode, we're dragged back in to the horridly unfunny dieting plotline, this time with Kanako on trial for biting house Dorm Leader's (AKA God) dog, Mr. Yonakuni, as shown last week in a one-off segment.

 

However, in the middle of this, Kanako has an epiphany that breaks the fourth wall: she suddenly realizes that she is not an interesting character, and that this second season is not all that good. Whether it was just a small gag that only applies to the current situation, I think of it as kind of symbolic of the season so far. Either these three past episodes in Maria Holic Alive! (episode one was actually extremely well done) have been beyond the spirit of what Maria Holic was back in 2009, or I just simply remember the original series wrong and have mistaken it as "good" these past couple of years.

 

I am literally waiting for Shinbo to jump out of the picture in episode five and say "SURPRISE! These past couple of terrible episodes have been an elaborate joke!", because if this is honestly the effort this series will have from now on, I may not stick around past the next mediocre thing to come out of it. 

 

Also, for some future insurance, you know, in case this is all an elaborate troll on SHAFT's part: I'm not mad at you, Maria Holic, just disappointed.
[Maria Holic Alive streams on The Anime Network Online]

 

Ben Huber
Dororon!! Enma-kun Meeramera episode 04

 

I don't know what happened for most of this episode.

 

I mean, I really don't know. The cute little kitten demon put Harumi to sleep, then one by one caught the rest of the Yokai Patrol. After that? A no-holds-barred onslaught of ridiculous, over-the-top dream gags. Characters growing wings, going naked, changing in all sorts of strange ways. I'm sure some odd fetishes were covered here too. Harumi's asides are still hilarious to me and this episode is no exception.
The battle at the end is adequate, but you're watching this show for the crude humor anyway, aren't you? I like just how honest Dororon!! Enma-kun Meeramera is with itself. It knows what it's here to do, and does it incredibly well. Plus, I'm just glad to have something different from the usual, that also has a good budget. Oh, and lastly, we got introduced to Dororon Enpi, who wears... pretty much nothing. Par for the course!

 

[C] Control episode 03

 

Finally, some explanation this week. There's a few more details about how the world of the Financial District works introduced now.
Most of this information is delivered by Jennifer Satou, who is an Entre in the Financial District, but a bit of a spy. She's investigating the strange dimension itself as well as keeping an eye on Mikuni and Kimimaro. She explains the micro, mezzo and macro-flation attacks, as well as revealing that there's several "hubs" for the Financial District in each major financial center of the world.

 

Kimimaro is also trying to find out more about his parents, and while asking his aunt about them doesn't get him far, he does discover that his father was an Entre until he went bankrupt. He goes to the Financial District to see if he can learn anything else, and bumps into Mikuni. This fellow seems to be relatively good-hearted, but I'm still not sure about his overall intentions. The way Jennifer was speaking, she made it sound like Midas money would have a bad impact when used in the real world.

 

Hopefully [C] will keep on trotting out the details as we go along. Oh, and they used less CGI this episode! Hooray!

 

 

Josh Tolentino

Steins;Gate episodes 4 and 5

It took them quite a while to do so, but the plot is finally beginning to trundle along. That might not be the best sign, given how complicated it might turn out to be. The characters are only now learning what we've all known for ages: that SERN CERN is behind a bunch of time-travel experiments involving the Large Hadron Collider, and that an IBN IBM 5100 Portable (hah!) Computer is the key to decrypting its research.

Exactly what the purpose behind it all is still nebulous (I'll presume that John Titor's predictions have something to do with it), but clearly the fact that Okarin and the gang have apparently invented a more reliable device - namely the Phone Microwave (name subject to change) - clearly puts them in an interesting position, as evidenced by Okarin's most genuinely mad-sounding "Mad Scientist Laugh" to date.

But how are they going to use it, especially to change the world order? For all the exposition that's been bandied about we've seen precious few problems that were actually solved/caused by any sort of time travel, and the incidents of the first two episodes have practically been pushed back into the ether. A rewatch reveals a couple of tantalizing hints, particularly to do with Part-Time Warrior Suzuha Amane. I shan't spoil anything here.

For all that has (and hasn't) happened, the show's done a decent job of filling out the character of Christina The Zombie a bit. While she's been shoved a little roughly into the tsundere pigeonhole, her banter with Okarin keeps her afloat. Also, is there such a thing as Lab Coat Moe yet? Because there should be.

Sadly, poor Mayushii hasn't benefited as much from other females getting attention. If it wasn't for Kana Hanazawa's voice she'd be a pitiful, even grating presence. Then again, whenever I she makes some airheaded comment, all I can think of is Charlotte acting all cute.

See? Infinite Stratos makes everything better!

[Watch Steins;Gate on Crunchyroll]

Tiger & Bunny episodes 4 and 5


This show keeps getting goofier and goofier, and I'm not sure how to think of it. On the one hand, it's kind of funny, but on the other hand it might be skewing a little too "immature" to appeal to the foreign crowd looking for "cartoons for adults".

It's still working out, though. Tiger keeps playing an interesting sort of bumbling father figure, attempting to lecture Blue Rose and Barnaby into submission and having most of it backfire, because his status as a low-end Hero is clearly well-earned. One wonders how he deals with his actual daughter.

We also get some cool looks at Tiger and Bunny's "suit up" sequences, as well as a funny riff on the need for any mecha show to add in some sweet "upgrades" to every hero's look.

[Watch Tiger & Bunny on VizAnime and Hulu]

Hiroko Yamamura

Blue Exorcist Episode 2


The action picks up right from where we last left our hero Rin Okumura and Father Fujimoto, making their way across the ghoul and demon infested streets of Japan. As a fun fact, Rin’s father explains the lack of human ghouls in Japan is due to the way the dead’s remains are handled postmortem.
  
At last! We finally get to see the intro -- which reveals the rest if the cast we’ll be dealing with for this season and we get a look at Rin’s pointy ear look. 
Well, they make it back to the monastery, and soon the local demon population begins descending on them. All hell breaks loose, literally.
For all the strength of the monasteries spiritual barriers and protection, they are no match for a good old truck driven by white haired dude --smashing through the wall like the kool aid man. The monastery moves into action revealing their holy powers. Fire is spat, holy fists are thrown, and we are visited by Turnip Head’s (Howl’s Moving Castle) distant cousin Malkin.
 
We are introduced to the katana Kurikawa, and legendary sword that has Rin’s demon powers stored in the scabbard. If Rin draws the sword his humanity will be lost, and his demonic powers will appear. Teamwork and some nice shot gun actions lead to our team defeating the big bad.
Celebration time? Not really, its time for Rin to lash out at his father. Apparently Satan has been consistently trying to posses Rin’s father, but his mind has been closely guarded. Well, Rin's words were harsh enough for him to loose his control, allowing Satan to enter his body.
Rin’s other father Satan turns out to be quite the jokester, and throughly enjoys maiming the exorcist. Rin watches helpless as his father begin bleeding from every orifice, and begins dying before his eyes. Satan gruesomely breaks off Rin's fathers fingers and uses the blood to begin to open the Ghenna gate to hell.
Ok I admit it, I was initially Bleu Exorcist. This episode was way more focused and on point. I can’t wait to see Rin kick Satan’s ass! What is up with Mephisto Pheles? Was Satan in some kinky three way with Father Fujimoto and RIn's mother? Don’t forget to stick around after the credits.
[Blue Exorcist is streaming on Crunchyroll, VizAnime, and Hulu]

 

Kristina Pino
Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi Episode 4

Man, that Yokozawa is one serious jerk. I can relate to Ritsu in a way, because I absolutely hate being misunderstood. It seems that all Yokozawa does is just make his own decisions about Ritsu and grill him whenever he gets the chance. We sort of found out why, it's just personal.

Ritsu seriously went the extra mile and a half for this manga artist, though. I wonder how often this kind of thing tends to happen. I can definitely understand that editors and authors have to give and take with each other, but would an editor like Ritsu fly all the way out to Hokkaido just to help his author pull through with her manuscript on deadline day? He could have easily just taken something from the back-up like Takano had originally instructed.

This was an interesting episode on the manga front, because he has a long inner debate about his job as an editor and how he's supposed to take care of the author. In this episode, he says that it's not only her fault for getting sick and falling behind, but his for not checking up on her at the right time and letting the schedule go over time. It's something that both of their butts are on the line for, since they would have both failed to deliver. In Ritsu's case, though, it looks like Takano wanted to take the heat. Was that more of a dramatic whim of his own affections for Ritsu? Maybe...and we also got first wind of the fact that Takano's still all messed up from when Ritsu walked out on him.

More on this soon, I expect! And geeze, Ritsu looks adorable when he's angry and blushing. Looks like next time we're meeting the second couple, too. Yay!

[Watch Sekai Ichi on Crunchyroll!]
Beelzebub Episode 15
A beach episode! Well, sort of. It's too bad Hilda and Aoi didn't wear swimsuits, after all. I would have liked to see a shy Aoi in a little swimsuit, or Hilda wearing one and enjoying the beach, since she enjoys so many human things lately.

It looks like everyone's pretty excited for the big Oga and Toujo showdown, myself included! This episode was interesting. It looks like Toujo has a bit of demon in him, too. It'll make for a nice fight to watch, I hope. All the other fights Oga has had have been silly because of how much more powerful he is than most of the others. It was great seeing the guys trying to fix him up with Toujo, too, and seeing everyone show up in general.

Something that did distract me, though, was Hilda dressed Beel in a little swimsuit at the beginning and then he was butt naked the rest of the episode. What was the point of that?

[Watch Beelzebub on Crunchyroll!]

 


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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures


 



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