Winter 2009–2010 and On-going Anime Review

Kimi ni Todoke (24 episodes)

Synopsis: Kuronuma Sawako is nicknamed Sadako due to her resemblance to the girl from the Japanese horror movies “The Ring”. Shunned by her classmates, her life starts to change as she befriends Shōta Kazehaya, a very popular boy in her class.

Kuronuma Sawako’s one wish in life is to make friends. That’s a difficult proposition when everyone who meets her cowers in terror. She admires her classmate, Kazehaya-kun, a popular, easygoing and 100% refreshing guy who is nice with everyone, even with her.(via ANN)

Review: Kimi ni Todoke is an easygoing anime, it doesn’t add much originality to the love story.

It has your basic ingredients for a high-school romance: a popular guy falls in love with a girl who’s not popular at all. The girl, Sawako, is your silent but kind girl, she loves to help others and doesn’t expect anything in return. The guy, Kazehaya, is your popular guy, wherever he goes he gets followed by friends. Whenever he joins an conversation the conversation gets a lot more fun. At first it might seem that Sawako is a really exaggerated character, at least that’s what I thought, but later on it definitely improves. The story might not seem too original, if you are into romance series either anime or soaps you might have seen something like this before. I had the very same feeling but I don’t know what it exactly is that drew me deeper into the story, it just happened and each episode makes me want the next.

The studio that works on this anime is Production I.G., in my opinion a great studio. The art style is about the same as Bokura ga ita, it has a painted feeling rather than drawn which I personally find really well done. It doesn’t ruin the experience or anything but it gives some kind of twist to it, makes it look fresh and colourful. The studio also hired good voice actors and actresses, the voices really suit the characters. Aya Hirano even voices a character in this anime, though I’m not really a fan of her, just thought I’d mention it. The music that is used isn’t fast-paced but really flows with the love story, the opening is really addictive, listened to it for quite a few times. All with all, I consider this the best on-going anime at the moment. Give it a chance and watch the first few episodes, you’ll be wanting more.

During the time of writing there are around 18 of 24 episodes released.

Durarara!! (24 episodes)

Synopsis: Ryuugamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn’t want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called “Dollars.” Nervous from Masaomi’s stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Turbans will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point. (via ANN)

Review: Durarara!! is an anime based on the myth of the Irish Dullahan. The name Dullahan might not ring a bell but The Headless Horseman might. Instead of a headless person riding a horse, it’s a headless person riding a bike. The headless rider is getting paid to do certain jobs which involves all sorts of things. The story is quite original, I’ve never seen anything like this before. I like it when they use European folklore and give it an anime twist. This worked quite well for Tales of Symphonia (even though that’s a game) and Saber. The first few episodes might be confusing as it is telling the story from different perspectives, I had to watch the first four or so to finally get into the story. The art isn’t anything fancy but quite simple, the studio behind it is Brain’s Base. When there are a lot of people walking on the street only the main characters gets drawn the rest are just gray blobs in the form of humans. The background and the grey blobs doesn’t ruin the action but I prefer seeing everything drawn and having much detail. Music and voice-acting-wise, everything seems to be okay, I don’t have any complains about it. The voice acting fits the character.The music isn’t anything of orchestral value but it does add suspense.

There haven’t been many serious series out there this season, take for example the series where a character has to suck on some breasts to get his power. Therefore I definitely recommend you seeing this one, it has a compelling story even though the artwork might not be the best that’s out there. Best original 2009-2010 winter anime so far.

Nodame Cantabile Finale (11 episodes)

Synopsis: The love & music story continues between Noda Megumi, the talented yet distracted (almost childish) piano player, and Chiaki Shinichi, the prodigious, always focused on advancing forward, orchesta director. How love will finally find its way for this two persons. Will it be able to surpass the challenges ahead or will it die prematurely. Paris, the city of light, is the more accurate place to find out how this “love musical” will reach its FINALE. (via ANN)

Review: This is the third season of Nodame Cantabile, I don’t have much to say about this season yet as I’ve only seen one episode, but I’ve seen the past two seasons. The first two seasons were great romance series combined with great classical music. The music aspect of this series is absolutely fantastic, take a concert for example, instead of just skimming through the play they actually dedicate time to it and animate the people playing their instruments. The art during a concert is just brilliant, however the scenery is kept simple. The drawing is good, not the best out there but it doesn’t distract you from what’s going on. The studio behind it is J.C.Staff. The characters are funny and interesting, Chiaki who is a perfectionist gets saddled with Noda who is quite clumsy, this makes a great duo. I hope the storyline will also be good, I’ve mostly based this review on previous seasons and is, therefore, a must watch sequel if you liked the first two seasons.

Ookami Kakushi (12 episodes)

Synopsis: A 15 year old boy, Hiroshi Kuzumi, has recently moved into a new town in the mountains. The town is separated into new and old streets by the river, and many mysterious local cultures still remain. Although confused and enjoying his new life, one person kept her distance from him: class committee member Kushinada Nemuru. In their few encounters she gave him a word of advice: “Stay away from the old streets.” (via Wikipedia)

Review: From the writer and producer behind Umineko and Higurashi comes Ookami Kakushi. It’s once again a horror/mystery anime. The art is done by Peach-Pit who also did the art for Rozen Maiden, the drawing is really good. I’m probably a bit biased but I liked Rozen maiden and Higurashi and that’s why I started watching this, I had great hopes for this anime. So far I’ve only watched the first four episodes and I must say the story is kind of bland, it’s based on werewolves. I had to plough through the first episodes and only the first episode wanted me to watch more. The latter episodes were quite boring, the story didn’t advance much and you were left with more questions than answers. The music and voice-acting are well done, no complaints whatsoever. The characters don’t feel like anything new, I didn’t had the feeling of being drawn into them. I have a mixed feeling about this anime since I really like Higurashi and Rozen maiden and am stubborn to give up on this one. So far the story didn’t seem interesting enough but a good friend said it was getting more interesting after the fifth episode. To my knowledge there are only going to be twelve episodes, and almost half of it isn’t interesting. If you like the studio and the writer Ryukishi07 go give this a watch, if you like neither just skip this series.

Hello fine readers of TheAkiba, I’m planning to become a new author for TheAkiba and instead of just barging in I’ll introduce myself first.

Some things about myself:

I am seventeen years old and reside in the Netherlands, I really like Anime and the Japanese culture. Though, I’m not really an avid manga reader, only own a few but it’s not a notable amount. Not aiming to be an Otaku though, though maybe I might already be one, without me knowing it ;).

I’m from Chinese decent but I’m not great in Chinese, I can speak it a little but I can’t write nor read ( attending Chinese school for that ).

Fluent at Dutch whatsoever and the main reason for doing blog posts is because I want to sharpen my English and also write to a broad public with the same interests, which is Anime of course =D. In contrary with YoU ( the starter of this site ) I don’t travel a lot, but when I do I’ll be sure to give everyone a heads up.

This is my first time doing a post on a blog, ever, so bear with me. Figuring out what each and every button does, so it’ll take some time.

All with all, glad to be here and I hope to meet new friends =)

PS: I hope everything worked out fine, tried to follow the rules as carefully as I could.