Monday, November 30, 2009

Sasameki Koto, Episode 7: Boy Girl

Episode 7 of Sasameki Koto brings back the humor to the anime, but does so at the expense of screentime for most of the main characters. I like Akemiya, and I want to say that it's nice to see more of him, but I always feel so bad for him it's hard to enjoy his scenes. I was never much of a fan of embarrassing situation humor- it just makes me too uncomfortable.

I also found Akemiya’s sister to be seriously creepy, which soured me a bit on this episode. The idea of this story was a lot of fun, but she made the execution of it a lot less entertaining. Still, there were plenty of laughs to be had, and I appreciated the brief scenes with Ushio.

I was really hoping that this episode would give us some good story progression, but it sadly felt like more filler. I still really like this anime, but the last few episodes have been a disapointment to me. I hope this anime gets back to being as good as it used to be soon.

Rating: 84/100

If you want to watch this anime for free online, head over to Crunchyroll.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Book of Bantorra, Episodes 7 and 8: A Smile, a Mask, and a Man with a Death Wish and A Pond, Comrades, and a Seashell

armed librarians
My apologies for the ridiculously long post title. I've fallen a bit behind of The Book of Bantorra, and I wanted to get as caught up as I could. It looks like I picked a good set of episodes to watch together too. The Book of Bantorra finally started to find some focus here. I think this may be a turning point in the series for me. I was really surprised at how meaningful a lot of scenes from the past turned out to be.

That's not to say that this anime still isn't confusing- it absolutely is, and I really have to think about stuff after I watch each episode. But for the first time I really felt that the writers of this anime had a clear purpose and direction in mind and weren't just showing scenes aimlessly. There were also some wonderfully done action scenes here, especially in episode 8. The Book of Bantorra is really creative, so it's amazing when they get things right in the fight scene department.

Maybe this marks the point when I'll really be able to like this show as much as I think it deserves to be liked. If future story arcs keep coming together like this one did, I have no doubt I'll be able to appreciate the anime as a whole much more than I currently have. So far, this has been the high point of this series for me. I hope it only gets better from here.

Rating: 90/100


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Seitokai no Ichizon, Episode 8: The Jealous Student Council

Seitokai no Ichizon anime
Seitokai no Ichizon moves closer to its ending with its 8th episode. I freely admit that I've gotten pretty sick of this anime, and I probably should've dropped it earlier in the season. Once I get beyond a certain point, I just feel obligated to finish stuff. However, in spite of that, I did really enjoy parts of this episode.

The scenes between Sugisaki and Elise were both adorable and hilarious, and I think it was some of the most entertaining stuff this anime has done. However, everything in between was peppered with more of the same old, same old. Once more of the characters were involved, I just wanted things to hurry up and finish. It's really a shame, because some of the games played in this episode were so funny. I want to be able to say I enjoyed it overall more than I did.

I've only got 5 episodes left of this one, and I plan to stick it out until things wrap up. If there are scenes like some of the ones in this episode mixed in with the repetitive stuff, I'm sure I'll be just fine. Maybe I'll try and get a few scenes on youtube so that people can enjoy them by themselves.

Rating: 78/100


2nd Annual ANIMAF Awards

Just a heads up- is hosting their 2nd annual ANIMAF Awards, which recognize the best live-action and Japanese animated films of the year. To learn more about them, you can check out the trailer above or head over to their website.


Friday, November 27, 2009

The Sacred Blacksmith, Episode 7: Clan -Family-

After a brief Thanksgiving day break, it's back to anime watching! Sadly, I thought that episode 7 of The Sacred Blacksmith was a weaker one. I thought that some of the scenes with Charlotte were sweet, and things did start to get a bit more interesting towards the end, but overall, more time seemed to be spent discussing Cecily's boobs then went towards actually story. I'm sure she has great boobs and all, but there are other things I'd rather focus on.

The Sacred Blacksmith is generally pretty generic stuff, but it can be entertaining when it wants to be. It's disappointing to see so much time wasted on fanservice when the show is so far in. I really hope I enjoy next week's episode more, and I especially hope to see more of the Aria related stuff too. To me, that scene was the one high point in this episode, and I really hope it gets as much time as certain other things do.

I do like this anime in spite of itself. I'm not sure how it grew on me, but it did. I hope that next week's episode is a bit more fun and adds a little more plot development then this one did.

Rating: 80/100


A Preview of the Winter 2010 Anime Season

Even though it still feels like the Fall 2009 season has just started, the next season of anime is almost upon us. New animes will start airing as early as next month. Here's a quick overview of some of the shows that are coming soon:

Baka to Test to Shokanju

Baka to Test to Shōkanjū:

Literally translated as "Idiot and Test and Summoned Beast", this comedy anime takes place in a school where students are rigidly divided up by test scores. Students at the school can summon creatures, and the students of the lowest class, F, decide to use their creatures to fight back and steal perks from the other classes. You can watch a trailer for the anime here.



Based on the manga of the same name, Chu-Bra!! is about a young girl who decides that she will teach other girls about the merits of underwear by starting an underwear club. Seriously. Minako Kotobuki (Tsumugi Kotobuki from K-ON!) will be voicing the main character.

Dance in the Vampire Bund

Dance in the Vampire Bund:

Dance in the Vampire Bund is an action anime about a vampire princess who wants her people to come out of hiding and have a special district for vampires off the coast of Japan. Unfortunately, many terrorists and extremist vampire factions are trying their hardest to keep her wish from coming true. You can see a trailer for this anime here.




From the creator of Baccano! comes a new series about a boy who transfers to a new school in search of a more exciting life. From urban legends come true to supernatural mysteries to strange gangs, he receives excitement in spades. You can see a preview for this anime here.

Hanamaru Kindergarten

Hanamaru Kindergarten:

Hanamaru Kindergarten is a slice-of-life comedy anime based on the manga of the same name. It takes place in a preschool and features the exploits of the children who attend as well as the budding romance between some of the teachers at the school.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3:

The newest season in the popular fantasy anime series Harukanaru Toki no Naka de will be part of this anime season. The show stars a female character and features a harem of attractive male characters. You can check out this anime's official website here.

Hidamari Sketch 3 stars

Hidamari Sketch × ☆☆☆:

Hidamari Sketch is also getting a third season. This slice-of-life anime is about a young girl who gets accepted to Yamabuki Art High School and moves in an apartment building that is shared by her fellow art students. The show focuses on the lives of the characters as they become closer and better friends and continue to study art.



Katanagatari is a 12 episode series that centers on the head of a martial arts school who is tasked with finding 12 swords created by a legendary swordsmith. He is accompanied by his older sister Nanami. You can watch several previews for this anime here.

Ladies versus Butlers!

Ladies versus Butlers!:

Based on a light novel series, Ladies versus Butlers follows a young male student named Akiharu Hino who enrolls at a servant training academy. Everyone there is training to either be a maid or a butler, and Akiharu finds himself caught in the middle of the school's bickering cliques.

Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile: Finale:

Nodame Cantabile is another show receiving its third season in Winter 2010, and this one is slated to be its last. This romance anime will be set in Paris, and will continue to follow music students Shinichi Chiaki and Nodame.



Ōkamikakushi is a horror anime based on a visual novel. Ryukishi07 of Higurashi and Umineko fame worked on the game, along with Rozen Maiden, Shugo Chara!, and DearS character design team Peach-Pit. The story takes place in a serene village that has a mysterious side during the summer of 1983.

Omamori Himari

Omamori Himari:

Omamori Himari is a harem anime about a high school boy named Yūto Amakawa who is protected by the spirit of a beautiful cat girl named Himari. His family has controlled demons for generations, and now that a charm that protects him no longer works, Himari will serve as his guardian.

Seikon no Qwaser

Seikon no Qwaser:

Seikon no Qwaser is a mature supernatural action anime about the students at a private school called St. Mikhailov Academy. One of the students there is a Qwaser, which means he can manipulate iron. The manga this show is based on is infamous for using breast milk as a major plot device.



So-Ra-No-Wo-To is set in the future in a land that has finally seen a decline in fighting after a long series of wars. The show follows a 15 year old girl named Kanata Kumika who achieves her dream of enlisting in the army and joins a unit of 5 other girls in protecting a fortress. You can watch promo videos for the anime here.

I'll definitely be watching  Durarara!! and Ōkamikakushi. If any other shows sound interesting to you, let me know in a comment. I'll be happy to check them out when they debut.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kobato, Episode 7: Kind Person

I've just finished this week's very enjoyable episode of Kobato. We once again get to know Fujimoto a little better. I now feel like I've got a really good understanding of his character, though I'm sure he has a in-depth background that won't be revealed for a while now. I enjoy any chance to see him actually interacting with Kobato, as I think their opposite personalities make them hilarious to watch together.

I really liked Domoto as well. I found him to be very easy to relate to. He gives me one shot character vibes, but I am frequently wrong about this sort of thing, so hopefully that trend will continue. And although we didn't get much Ioryogi compared to last week, he still managed to get in some killer lines. His comments near the end of the episode had me ready to fall out of my chair.

This episode even managed to move along the main storyline involving the nursery while throwing in some fanservice for CLAMP fans at the same time. What can't this anime do? I look forward to continuing to watch and love Kobato in the weeks to come.

Rating: 96/100


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nyan Koi!, Episode 7: Wait Until It's Getting Dark

nyan koi blog
Onto episode 7 of Nyan Koi! This episode takes us out of the shows normal setting and lets us see the characters on a school field trip to Kyoto. Things are definitely back to focusing on the comedy aspect over moving the story along, although there was still some story progression here. Full advantage of the change in locale was taken, and we got to have fun with plenty new cats, as well as a great moment with a cat back home.

The cat based humor is what really sparked my interest in this anime, and it's out in full force here. From cat marital spats to cat cell phone conversations, anyone who was interested in this series for similar reasons should enjoy this episode. It does feel like they're dragging out the relationship aspect of the show a little too much at this point, but I understand they're going for a big finish. It just seems like things between Junpei and Kaede have moved backwards from where they were in episode 5, and that's mildly frustrating.

I'm still enjoying this show a lot, and I'll be sad to see it end. At this point, I'm not sure how Junpei will complete his curse in time, but I imagine that he'll find a way, even some good deeds have to happen off camera. As long as there are still plenty of cute kitties and great humor, I'll stay a fan of this anime.

Rating: 86/100


Monday, November 23, 2009

Kimi ni Todoke, Episode 7: Saturday Night

kimi ni todoke kazehaya
 Episode 7 of Kimi ni Todoke was almost perfect. After all the misunderstandings and drama, the show has gone back to its slice of life feel, and it shines like never before. This is without a doubt the best episode of the show so far.

Strangely, while the show's writing was better than ever, the character art looked the weirdest it ever has. At times, Chizuru's lips looked so weird that it was hard to concentrate on what was going on. Still, this anime is full of great characters, and there were great moments for all of them throughout the episode. I hope we see more of Sawako's parents as the show progresses too. The bit with her mother and father had me cracking up.

I'm sure that things will eventually return to the same melodrama as before, and that's disapointing. Still, I'd gladly sit through any number of episodes like that for another one like this. I hope this anime gets a chance to work its slice of life magic again soon.

Rating: 98/100


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sasameki Koto, Episode 6: A Night Together

Sasameki Koto
Sasameki Koto continues on to episode 6.  This episode sees some plot notes from early in the show coming back, while still keeping the new characters as part of the plot. In spite of several sweet moments, I thought that this one one of the weaker episodes this anime has seen.

My biggest problem with this episode was that it didn't feel like much of anything happened, or at least not 20 minutes worth of stuff. It wasn't very well paced and it felt like things were dragging at times. There wasn't as much good comedy in this episode either. The stuff at Sumika's house felt very odd to me, like it belonged in another anime. I did enjoy Ushio here, though. She's becoming a more and more likable character for me. I hope she finds happiness before the series end.

I'm not really worried about Sasameki Koto. I wasn't crazy about this episode, but I'm confident things will be as entertaining as ever come next week. The previews make it look like it's going to have a lot happening and move the plot along a fair bit. I'll just write this one off as filler.

Rating: 84/100

If you want to watch this anime for free online, head over to Crunchyroll.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seitokai no Ichizon, Episode 7: The Forward-Moving Student Council

Seitokai no Ichizon Mafuyu
Onto episode 7 of Seitokai no Ichizon! This week's episode actually breaks up the mold a little when they send the student council members on a summer trip. Most of the humor is the same old, same old, but there are a few new and fun things here for those of you who've grown tired of this show.

I was pretty bored with the episode at the beginning, but as it progressed I feel it got away from the joke recycling and into something genuinely funny and different. I also have to commend this anime on making their fanservice feel more hilarious then over-the-top. I still feel like this is a pretty mediocre show overall, but that's something they've done well.

I'm now more than half-way through this anime, and I'm feeling a bit relieved. I'm glad this episode mixed things up a bit, but this show is still getting progressively harder and harder to blog. Still, this one got me to laugh, especially near the end, and that's saying something.

Rating: 78/100


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Book of Bantorra, Episode 6: Thunder, a Monster, and a Girl's Punch

book of bantorra blog
The Book of Bantorra's 6th episode continues to surprise. When you watch a lot of anime, or even a fair bit of television, it can be easy to predict most shows. There are still twists and turns, but it's often not too hard to see at least a little bit of what's coming. This doesn't hold true for The Book of Bantorra in the slightest. I can't see what's coming at all, and I don't think anyone could've predicted what this episode would focus on, especially in the first half.

Maybe because of that it's still really hard for me to figure out how I feel about this anime. We're 6 episodes in and I don't feel like there's any sort of major plot line going on, nor do I feel like we're going to get one soon. This is a challenging series and I definitely wouldn't recommend it for anyone in the mood to just relax and have fun. I did love the stuff involving Noloty, though not quite as much as I enjoyed the Mirepoc stuff the week before.

This anime is really something different, that's for sure. If you're sick of series riddled with cliches, and you don't mind spending time trying to connect the dots, this might really be a show you'll enjoy. At this point I think the only way I'll be able to decide how I feel about this show is after a fair bit of time, but I'll do my best to rate it all the same.

Rating: 84/100

If you'd like to watch this anime free online, click here.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Sacred Blacksmith, Episode 6: Imperial Daughter -Princess-

sacred blacksmith 6

The Sacred Blacksmith's 6th episode starts off with a bang. When I began this one I thought for a minute that I might have missed an episode because it opens right in the middle of some action. I'm certainly not going to complain about numerous action scenes, although the show did feel like it was falling back into RPG mode for a minute there.

It's pretty incredible how capable Cecily's managed to become in just a few episodes. I wish that we could see more of her training and things like that, but since this is such a short anime it makes sense that that's the sort of thing they'd cut. I figured we were due for a slew of new characters based on the opening credits for this show, so I wasn't surprised at all the new faces. I hope we have enough time to get to know them a little bit before this anime comes to an end.

This episode didn't quite have the build-up that other action driven stories like the one in episode 4 did, but it still had some great moments. This one did end on a very odd note, but maybe I'm just more used to shounen animes like Bleach and stuff like that. I definitely wouldn't have seen the ending as strange if I was watching a comedy anime. Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of what this show has to offer in the next few weeks. I hope I continue to enjoy it as much as I am.

Rating: 86/100


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kobato, Episode 6: Small Hide-And-Seek

kobato anime
What is probably my favorite anime of this season continues on! Episode 6 of Kobato managed to feature the all of the things I love about the show while adding in something completely different at the same time. It also continued the main story involving the nursery.

I have to admit, I was caught completely off guard by the Ioryogi storyline. It makes sense that he's a deeper character than meets the eye, but I wasn't expecting it. It looks like we'll get to see a lot more of stuff like that in the future, and I'm really looking forward to it. It really spiced up the episode, since, enjoyable as it was, Kobato's storyline was more of the same. It still got me to tear up, and Fujimoto's scenes were really nice. I'd love to see him get his own major storyline in an episode soon.

I don't think CLAMP has ever done an anime I didn't love. Clearly Kobato's no exception. My lone complaint at the end of each week is that I wish it was longer. I'm really going to miss this one when it ends.

Rating: 95/100


Darker Than Black II, Episodes 5 and 6: Gunpowder Smoke Drifting Away, Life Drifting Away and The Smell is Sweet, the Heart is Bitter

darker than black suou
My apologies for the ridiculously long post title. I've finally been able to sit down and get all caught up on Darker Than Black II. Since episodes 5 and 6 are where I really fell in love with this anime's first season, I was pretty psyched to watch these two. It didn't quite live up to the awesomeness that was November 11's introduction, but it was throughly entertaining nonetheless.

These episodes still dealt with dark subject matter, of course, but they didn't have the ugliness of the last one. They did a great job giving several characters really humanizing scenes, even ones that I haven't considered to be major players. There was also plenty of intrigue and some callback to the events of last season. Though I've always been a fan of the music on this show, I really need to add how impressed I was with how well it set the mood in these episodes, 5 especially. I wish more animes would use music this well.

They've really set things up for some great episodes here. I hope that the show continues to live up to my high expectations. I also want to remind people once again that there are scenes after the show's credits that they probably won't want to miss, especially the last one.

Rating: 91/100


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kimi ni Todoke, Episode 6: Friends

anime friends
As I thought it would be, the newest episode of the anime Kimi ni Todoke, Friends, was a great one. Not only does it wrap up a plot that I wasn't much of a fan of, but it brings the show back to all of the things I loved about it. Once again, all the major characters got their moment in the sun, and even Pin managed to squeeze in a great scene. I find all the the main characters of this anime to be really likable, and I'm really pleased with how well the show seems to be able to focus on all of them most of the time.

Now that the big dramatics are over, I hope Kimi ni Todoke goes back to focusing on the simpler things for a while. This anime really shines when focusing on small moments. I get so much entertainment just watching how characters react to some things, especially Ryuu. I'm sure melodrama will be a part of this show again sooner or later, but I'd like to enjoy more stuff like this and get a little more character development in between now and then.

This was probably my favorite episode of Kimi ni Todoke today, and I think the show is only going to get better. The previews for next week's episode, Saturday Night, look wonderful. I can't wait to watch it.

Rating: 92/100


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nyan Koi! Episodes 5 and 6: Times Square and Milk & Vitamins & Sugar & Spice

nyan koi
In my quest to get caught up on all the animes I've fallen behind on, I've gone ahead and doubled up on a review for the most recent episodes of Nyan Koi. In episode 5 of the anime, we finally get to see Junpei spending some time with Kaede again, and in episode 6, things pick up directly where the last episode leaves off. We're also introduced to some more of the characters from the anime's opening.

I was really surprised by how much they moved the plot along in these episodes, but I guess I shouldn't be. Nyan Koi! isn't an anime like Bleach or Inyuyasha- it has a clear end in sight, and it's not all that far off. Because "Times Square" was so character driven, it didn't have as many comedy moments as I've become accustomed to from the show, but I didn't mind at all. Besides, the next episode more than made up for it. I think the diary scene may be the hardest I've laughed at this show yet.

Nyan Koi! continues to be a strong and consistent comedy anime. I know I can count on being entertained whenever I sit down with this one. I hope the show continues to develop the main characters more and more so that I can enjoy the ending that much more when it comes.

Rating: 89/100


New Layout

The Masked Ndi's Anime Blog has a new, Kobato themed layout. What do you think of it? Leave a comment or contact me with your feedback.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sasameki Koto Episode 5: Friends

sasameki koto
I'm continuing my catch-up on this week's anime with Sasameki Koto Episode 6. This episode continues the new plotline introduced in the last episode, and also continues to up the ante for comedy. The show is progressively getting funnier and funnier, but is still retaining the drama and sweetness that it's had from the start.

I haven't been the biggest fan of Ushio up to this point, but I really grew to like her in this episode. There's a lot more to her character than what the anime has showed so far, and I really liked what I saw. If she continues to be this likable I might just start rooting for her and Sumika to get together after all.

Sasameki Koto is really turning into the sort of anime that anyone could enjoy. If you have a friend that you've been trying to get into yuri shows, and they haven't been sold on them yet, try getting them to watch a few episodes of this one. Hopefully the show will continue on this path so that it's something I can recommend often.

Rating: 88/100


The Book of Bantorra, Episode 5: A Betrayal, a Cup, and a Meandering Path

book of bantorra
Onto Episode 5 of The Book of Bantorra! The newest episode of the series has changed up the OP a bit with some new scenes and provides some great insight into the show's characters. I loved the scenes with Mirapoc and I hope she continues to get a lot of screen time. It's really easy to get into her scenes, and they even managed to squeeze some great comedy into them.

The shocker from the last episode appears to have stuck, and this episode squeezes in a few new shocks as well. Anime tends to get called predictable a lot, but I don't think that's a label anyone's going to stick on The Book of Bantorra. I can see how the way the show constantly fluctuates makes this show less accessible, but I can't see it as a bad thing, even though I've struggled with getting into this anime.

I feel a lot more intrigued by the story arc the show is focusing on now, and I hope that those feelings last. I really do believe that this anime is the sort that will grow on me after rewatching it a few times. I'm still not sure how I'd feel about recommending The Book of Bantorra, but it's definitely shaping up to be one of the better shows of this anime season.

Rating: 87/100

If you'd like to watch this episode for free online, you can do so here.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seitokai no Ichizon, Episodes 5 and 6: The Intermission Student Council and The Helping Student Council

Seitokai no Ichizon
I've managed to fall a bit behind on Seitokai no Ichizon, so I went ahead and powered through the last two one after another. Episode 5 is the show's requisite swimsuit episode, while episode 6 features the student council actually doing some student council work. It manages to be much of the same regardless of this.

I'm really growing bored with this show. Both episodes had some really great references, episode 6 in particular, but so many of the other jokes repeat over and over and over again. After a while, Sugisaki proclaiming his desire for a harem stops being funny and starts becoming irritating.

Now that I'm pretty much half way through the show, I see no reason to stop it, but this definitely isn't going to be one I recommend. I do hope that they do something totally wild and different for the ending. In spite of the show's repetitiveness I can completely see them pulling something like that off. It would definitely help to keep the show's remainder interesting.

Rating: 75/100


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kobato, Episode 5: Hotaru's Promise

kobato Fujimoto
At long last, I've been able to see Kobato's 5th episode. I got lucky and got to get the 4th episode a bit early last time around, so it feel like ages since I've been able to watch this show. It's been hard to fight the urge to pick up the manga so that I could get my Kobato fix. This episode was worth the wait, though.

Kobato's weekly healing storyline was beautiful, and it was wonderfully told. The art used in this episode was absolutely exquisite. I also really enjoyed seeing the main storyline move along some. I like the slow build to a better relationship between Kobato and Fujimoto- it's more my speed then big dramatics. While I've really enjoyed the plot of each week's episode, I'm eager to see the main storyline take a bigger role. I'm sure there's going to be some good stuff here.

Every week it seems like I fall more in love with this show. This is exactly the sort of thing I like to watch, and I'm so glad to have a CLAMP anime to enjoy this season. Look out for a new Kobato inspired layout to take over this blog sometime soon.

Rating: 96/100


Monday, November 9, 2009

Kimi ni Todoke, Episode 5: Determination

kimi ni todoke
Kimi ni Todoke is now on episode 5, and it continues the storyline from the last few episodes. Kazehaya, Yoshida, Yano, and even Ryū all got some good screentime in this one, and it didn't feel like anyone of the major characters neglected because of it. I especially enjoyed the Ryū stuff. I hope we see him do more in the future.

This episode felt a little too short to me, as if 5 minutes or so had gotten chopped off. I actually went ahead and checked to make sure this one was a long as all the others because it felt so cropped to me. I suppose it's better to feel like to didn't get enough of an episode than to feel like you got too much, but I wish I could've seen a little more before things ended. At least the cliffhanger has me excited for this week's episode.

Even though I haven't been thrilled with this plotline, I still really enjoy this show and the characters. Next week's episode, Friends, looks like it'll be a great one, and once this story wraps up I think I'll appreciate the new episodes even more. I know I've been a bit hard on this show lately, but it's only because I like it so much. I can't wait to start raving about it again.

Rating: 88/100


Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Sacred Blacksmith, Episode 5: Bond -Together-

sacred blacksmith lisa
In this week's episode of The Sacred Blackmith, Bond -Together-, we get to spend some time with the always adorable Lisa. This episode didn't move along the plot like the last two have- in fact, it almost felt like filler- but I enjoyed it all the same. The Sacred Blacksmith has officially won me over.

I really wished that we could've gotten a little action in this episode, but I really liked that they continued to develop the characters. I've been intrigued by Lisa since early on in the show, and I hope we have enough time to learn more about her. I was also impressed with how well a little dose of horror was injected into an episode that was otherwise quite sweet. The imagery during Luke's explanation to Cecily was nightmare inducing.

I'm sure The Sacred Blacksmith will be back to its normal routine in episode 6, but I really didn't mind the deviation. I'm so pleased with how much this anime has managed to grow on me. That doesn't happen too often. If you haven't checked out The Sacred Blacksmith yet, I implore you not to give up at the beginning. It may start out weak, but it picks up fast.

Rating: 85/100


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Darker Than Black II, Episode 4: The Ark Rocks on the Lake

I'm now almost caught up with Darker Than Black II. I'll try and review episode 5 soon so that this won't be behind at all for those who care about that sort of thing. It's hard to discuss the plot of Darker Than Black II at all at this point without spoilers, so I can't do much of a summary this time around.

Season two of Darker Than Black has been pitch perfect up to this point, but for me, this episode faltered a bit. I still enjoyed it- a so so episode of Darker Than Black is still worlds better than a lot of anime out there- but it just couldn't compare with earlier episodes of the season. This series has always been dark, but I felt like this episode took the darkness into a seriously unpleasant territory. It often felt weird to watch.

The first season of this show really started to get good around the episode 5-6 mark, so I have high hopes for the next episode of this show. Darker Than Black II already feels like it's light years away from the first episode, so I'm really curious about what direction they'll take things in from here. I really hope we start getting some answers soon.

Rating: 90/100


Friday, November 6, 2009

Sasameki Koto, Episode 4: 4+1

sasameki koto
I'm now officially one third of the way through Sasameki Koto. In the fourth episode, 4+1, we get to see a little more of some of the characters introduced in the last episode. Introducing them made for some great comedy, and I hope we see a lot more of them. An injection of humor is just what this show needs to appeal to more than just yuri fans.

In spite of all the laughs this episode had to offer, I felt really bad for some of the characters. I really hope that both Sumika and Akemiya are happy by the end of the show, no matter how things wrap up. Both of them have had to go through a lot in the episodes of the anime that I've seen so far, and I expect they still have a bit of suffering left before the show is over.

Hopefully Sasameki Koto will continue to churn out episodes like this one so that it can have a wider appeal. Obviously there are plenty of people who'll come check out any yuri anime, but it'll be nice if they can stick around for the comedy. Things are really shaping up nicely, and I have high hopes for the rest of the show.

If you want to watch this episode of Sasameki Koto online, head here.

Rating: 88/100


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Book of Bantorra, Episode 4: The Setting Sun, Shiron, and Colio

the book of bantorra
I've just finished the fourth episode of The Book of Bantorra. There are a lot of things that can be said about the series, but I don't think anyone can say that it has no surprises. This blog is a spoiler-free zone, so I won't say anything about it here, but those of you who haven't seen this one yet are in for a treat.

This episode definitely had the best action sequences of the series so far. The Book of Bantorra has had some good action scenes before, but nothing on the level of this. This episode also had some really touching scenes, and overall I feel like this anime is steadily improving.

I still don't feel like I like Book of Bantorra as much as I should. I've said before that I just can't get as into it as I should and come up with various reasons as to why that might be. When I still feel that way after an episode as good as this, I'm starting to think it might just be me. I'll still happily watch this one for the action sequences alone, and hope that one of these days I'll like this show as much as I feel as though I should.

Rating: 85/100

If you'd like to watch this episode of The Book of Bantorra online, you can do so here.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nyan Koi!, Episode 4: Beautiful Person

nyan koi
I've finally managed to get to episode 4 of Nyan Koi! I generally try and hold out so that I can watch subs from the same group for each episode of a show, but I didn't want to wait any longer to blog this one. In this episode, Junpei thinks that he may have a competitor for the affections of Kaede.

For the first time, the episode's best comedy didn't come from the cats. I would've missed the great cat stuff I've become accustomed to, but I was laughing too hard at all the other stuff to notice. This was probably the anime's funniest episode to date. I'm also really starting to appreciate how different Nyan Koi! is as far as harem shows go. It's such a tired genre, but I really feel like there's doing a lot that's new and different with it.

Nyan Koi! continues to be the best comedy show of the season. I'm a little concerned about what will happen with the main plot of the show since Junpei hasn't helped too many cats in the first four episodes, but there's always room for a second season if the show needs it. I'd definitely check it out.

Rating 88/100


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Seitokai no Ichizon, Episode 4: The Creative Student Council

Seitokai no Ichizon
I've now reached Seitokai no Ichizon's fourth episode. While a lot of the show is still pretty repetitive, I thought this episode was a big step up from last week's. The plot of the episode is perfect for the style of the humor the show uses, and it was fun seeing a lot of the stuff it had to offer. I didn't laugh out loud as much as I had with some earlier episodes, but I still think this was a stronger episode overall.

I still don't feel like this is really my sort of show. I do enjoy the referential humor, but this anime has so much of the same in each episode. It's hard to stay interested even though I think this was probably the best episode of the series to date. I almost wish I'd seen this one first.

This show only has 13 episodes total, but 9 more episodes feels like a lot to me given the style of this show. I feel like maybe this one would've been better as a 3 episode OVA. I hope they manage to find a few more ideas like this one for the anime, as they make a perfect match.

Rating: 80/100


Monday, November 2, 2009

Kimi ni Todoke, Episode 4: Rumor

Kimi ni Todoke is now on episode 4, and as I suspected, they're going with a plot line I'm not particularly fond of. Kimi ni Todoke is a very well written show, and they're handling it much better than many other places I've seen this storyline used in, addressing my major complaints with it. However, it's still not something I really like to watch, although I understand why other people get sucked in by this type of story.

I didn't think this was a bad episode by any means and I was very involved in it from beginning to end, but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I have previous episodes. This is totally a personal taste thing and not the fault of the anime. As I said, they're handling things really well and all the major characters are being written impressively. This episode also had some of the weirdest facial art and the best backgrounds I've ever seen on the show. It was a weird mix of everything I like and dislike about the way Kimi ni Todoke is drawn.

I hope that they wrap up this plot soon and I can go back to enjoying Kimi ni Todoke as much as I was. However, it's still an excellent show, and if you're really into watching stuff with personal drama, this episode is going to be a great one for you. If like me, you preferred the show for its slice of life feel, hopefully the show will go back to that soon. It's still great regardless.

Rating: 87/100


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Sacred Blacksmith, Episode 4: Vow -Promise-

the sacred blacksmith
I'm now officially a third of the way through The Sacred Blacksmith, and it continues to improve. I was concerned that last week's episode was just a fluke, but the better Cecily becomes as a character, the better the show's gets. Even the action scenes are much improved, which I believe was something I complained about during the show's first episode.

This one did have a fair bit of pure anime fanservice, but I didn't mind it so much. Maybe it's because it came from likable characters, or maybe it's just because it made sense in the context of the show, but I didn't find it at all irritating. I'm also growing to like a lot of Cecily's fellow knights. Going by the OP, quite a few more characters should be showing up in the next few episodes, and I hope I enjoy them as well.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the next episode of The Sacred Blacksmith's next episode, which honestly shocks me. This show has improved so much so quickly. It's honestly pretty incredible. I'm really glad that I didn't drop it before I got to see how entertaining it can be.

Rating: 89/100


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