Finishing Dawn of the Golden Witch has just made me anticipate Requiem of the Golden Witch even more than I already did. This seemed like a shorter chapter than most but we got some great scenes so all is forgiven. Battler is now the Golden Sorcerer and running the game with Erika Furudo as his opponent. Beatrice is back but she is clearly not the same Beatrice as before. This chapter really centers around George, Jessica, Shannon, and Kanon. I will say the is a decent amount of evidence for the Shannon equals Kanon theory but I have to hope that it’s all a red herring. Otherwise there are some very unobservant members of the Ushiromiya family. In the end we get another suspended game that ends during the second twilight. I am assuming at this point that if we had all the games go to the end it would be much more obvious who the culprit is. As it stands these game are just supposed to be hints that when pieced together with the first four games give us who is behind all the murders on the island. I still think my final denouement stand the test of the 6th game but we shall see. Part of me wonders if I am like Battler and I am just in denial that one of the 17 could be the murderer. Another part of me feels that many of the themes point to me keeping this seemingly blind faith. We shall see what is revealed in the penultimate and ultimate game soon enough. As a side tangent I now wait for the part in every chapter for a part where Beatrice’s demon hooligans make some trouble for someone. Ryukishi07 has done well in making them lovable characters.
I started watching the TV anime adaption of CLAMP’s X (eps. 1-8). After the first couple of episodes that have plenty of action and foreboding, then we start to learn about each of the stars little by little. Kamui is hard to like at first, but his tortured mind is easy to recognize. Sometimes these episodes can feel a little slow, even though they are interesting, they take away a little from the present circumstances of characters that you haven’t quite gotten attached to yet. Lucky for me, I already have a great love for the cast. However, each moment in the present is exacting, telling, and dramatic pulling you in further and further into this complex and twisted story of destiny.
I recently read Zettai Karen Children book 1 though 22 in a crazy marathon of avoiding doing other things. I have very mixed feelings about the series. I like it a lot but I have a hard time recommending it. The humor is very funny, the psychic battles are well done, and the characters are easy to like. The main problem is everything is covered in a thick lolicon vibe which makes it sometimes uncomfortable to read. It is never nearly as bad as Kodomo no Jikan. If Kodomo no Jikan is your house burning down to the ground and everything you own is destroyed then Zettai Karen Children is only a fire that destroys one-quarter of you possessions. While it is clearly not as bad most people would avoid both of them all together. After the first big time skip the manga is far less horrible as at least the girls are post-pubescent but you have to read quite a bit to get there. In the series defense it does have a solid overarching plot about a clairvoyant prophecy and a war between epsers and normals. The plot is constantly being touched on so you never feel it has the wrong amount of prominence but the minor story lines are solid as well. The villainous organizations are also pretty well fleshed out and entertaining as well. I really want to recommend this series but it makes it impossible with Kaoru almost always getting a fan service shot in ever chapter. I suppose you can trick yourself with Carl’s theory on the manga.
I watched some more of Occult Academy (eps. 2-6). We’ve had some more wacky and slightly creepy occult action; there is a nice feeling of slapstick at points in this show. We’ve also learned of the greater plot, the search for Nostradamus’ Key, which the fate of the world rests on. I am happy with the plot and pacing thus far. However, I can’t say the show has lived up to the promise of the first episode thus far. Mostly at the fault of introducing, and then spotlighting, Bunmei way more than anyone could possibly wish. He is certainly important, but Maya stands out as a character and is by far what really brings the show to life, making Bunmei really seem like he should be at the side like the rest of the cast. By episode six, we are no closer to the key but a sort of truce has been reached between Maya and Bunmei that I assume leads us into the next phase of the story. I feel like I am teetering with this show, but six helped so I will continue on.
To go from a series with kids and less than decent intent we go to one with nothing but only the purest of motives. I watched the first 26 episodes of HeartCatch PreCure!. It is a delightful magical girl show that plays to all the strengths of the genre without falling to the clichés as well. Tsubomi and Erika hardly spring from the most original templates but like everything in the show their growth and progress as characters makes them feel fresh and sympathetic. Also Tsubomi and Erika start off as the weakest Pretty Cures but as they progress towards their personal goals of improving themselves they also grow stronger as Pretty Cures. As per the formula people that they know get turned into monsters but most of those people pop up again even after they are saved giving them a feel greater than throw away fodder for being the monster of the week. As the series progresses their friend Itsuki becomes the third Pretty Cure. And you knew she has to be a potential Pretty Cure because all the normal people have regular color hair and Pretty Cure candidates always have neon colored hair. Even when they have not transformed. She has been a martial artist since she was but a babe so she comes in slightly stronger than her friends despite the fact that they have grown since the start of the series but for a legitimate reason. Cure Sunshine gets an Itano circus as her main attack so you know she is powerful. Yuri the fallen former Pretty Cure who acts as an ally and to the girls is clearly going to come back to her full power sometimes later in the series as everything points to this fact so it seems we will have 4 Pretty Cures overall. Overall if you want a solid magical girl show with a fresh visual style and a feel good vibe in the characters and story I cannot recommend HeartCatch PreCure! enough.
Started watching Crest of the Stars (eps. 1-8) with what seems to be turning into “Sci-fi Wednedsays.” I know this series is held in great regard and I often hear it mentioned when speaking with other Legend of the Galactic Heroes fans, so I was pumped to start it. So far, I am really enjoying what I’ve seen. Lafiel is wonderful the moment she steps on screen with her stature and courage, but is grounded by her viewing things very simply. Jinto has a lot to taken in as he starts on his journey with her and I really like the slow familiarity between them that often occurs without them realizing it. I can see that each will really change the other. This space opera has a much more personally feeling to it thus far, but the politics is there as well as some solid space action. As an aside, I am disappointed the series doesn’t have a proper opening sequence.