Fall 2010 Anime Guide: A Musical

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

Fiddler on the Roof’s Sunrise, Sunset

Another season of anime has come and another set of season previews is upon us and we both try to find some new shows to watch and learn a few shows to avoid like the plague. This time around we spiced things up with some lyrical thoughts on each show before the main previews. As a reminder, we don’t review ongoing series, sequels, or anything that we are more than likely not going to like.

Iron Man

Nobody wants him
He just stares at the world
Planning his vengeance
That he will soon unfold

hisuiconSadly the Iron Man TV series is exactly the anime I suspected it would be and not the anime I had hoped it would be. A show that basically understands the Iron Man formula that made the movies so successful but is just off enough that it never clicks. It is sadly never mecha enough to be the Japanese Iron Man nor American enough to be the Marvel Iron Man. The show’s greatest sin is that the action scene are so quick that if you turn to talk you might miss them. Also Nanami, the Japanese reporter, seems utterly superfluous at this point and she does not even fulfill the eye candy position like a Bond girl. I never thought it was bad but I was also never gripped as well. I might watch more if it goes streaming but until then I am fine. Speaking of which I still don’t see why they are waiting for 2011 to play in on G4. This should have been simulcast on day one in Japan and the U.S.  I am curious to see how well the sales and ratings will be in the casual market despite the fact that it will be fully fan-subbed before  anyone can see episode 1 on American TV or buy the first DVD.

Oh Iron Man how I looked forward to you. This must have been my great downfall. This show felt weird from the get-go from the pacing to the character designs that seemed right out of 90’s man-ime. The best way to describe the feeling of this show is clunky. Iron Man kept fading to black after every scene, many of which were only a minute or two long, and then ending up not so far from where they already were. The best example is Tony asking the reporter for a ride while standing next to the car. After she says yes, the show fades to black, and then the next scene is them driving along. You couldn’t animate him getting in the car? Iron Man seems underserved both in story and animation so I can’t say I was intrigued enough to watch anymore.

Kuragehime (Jellyfish Princess)

So never judge a book by its cover
Or who you gonna love by your lover
Love put me wise to her love in disguise
She had the body of Venus
Lord imagine my surprise

Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like A Lady

hisuiconIt would be easy to say that Kuragehime is another wonderful noitaminA show that you need to watch and leave it at that but that would be a shame because there is a lot of good things to talk about with this show. It is a show about a house of girl geeks that are well, actually geeky, and not just fetish fuel for the male viewers. The “nuns” of the all female Amamizukan apartment building are amusing and colorful and we see everything from a doll fanatic to a warring states fangirl. Tsukimi seems an awkward but likable and being a jellyfish otaku is definitely an unusual hobby. The stylish Kuranosuke Koibuchi is an interesting wild card added to the mix. I am curious to see where the show is going but I have confidence that it is going in a positive direction. It is further proof that there are some amazing Josei properties that could appeal to an older anime fan market if promoted correctly.

In honesty, I was a little on guard when I started this show. What with a recent slue of otaku series that are a lot more fetish than I’d like to see, I was cautious treading here. My fears quickly dissipated as the cast slowly revealed itself. This story is full of quirky characters, yet quirky in that relatable way even though their particular obsessions are unique, and the feeling of camaraderie was wonderful. Kuragehime is a geeky sitcom but it has a couple of mysteries in its midst and maybe even some romance later. And with a sweet opening, I am incredibly excited for this show.

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NY Anime Festival & Comic Con 2010: Premieres

I was blown away by the amount of premieres and showings announced for NYAF. This was the first convention I have been to in a long time where I spent a good deal of my days actually watching anime. And it was not from a lack of having other things to do. There were things here that literally couldn’t be seen anywhere else not even in Japan yet, like Mardock Scramble, or things that only recently hit Japanese theaters, like Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer, plus all manner of things in between. These were the biggest draws for me this year, and from the crowds that packed in for most of these showings it seems I wasn’t the only one.

hisuiconNYAF was the Cannes Film Festival for anime films this year. I saw part of three anime films you cannot see in English even with less that legitimate means. I have been to some awesome premieres but there were three major coups this year. The Gundam 00 movie and the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya were being shown before they made it to DVD in Japan and we got to see Mardock Scramble before audiences in Japan. Any one of the three would have been amazing but all three in one place was simply breathtaking. Being able to see the first episode of Star Driver and talk to the producer was merely icing on the cake.

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