Ongoing Investigations: Case #196

narutaki I have started watching Fullmetal Alchemist (eps. 1-14), the first series by Bones. I had actually seen about 20 or so episodes a couple of years back, but I’m starting again from the beginning. It is a show from a period of anime where I was a little out of the circle so it has been on the “to watch” list for a while.

I was really impressed that the first scene is so dark and intense and gets right down to business to show the heart of the series. It has an ominous feeling from the get-go. In general, I’m was appreciative of the weighty questions the show brings into the story from the outset dealing with morality, ethics, politics, and religion. It has its silly moments here and there, but it doesn’t shy away from all of these topics which makes me even more impressed that the series was as popular as it was.

I also really like that there is a bit of an investigation bent to the series, at least here in the beginning. The mysteries of Al and Ed’s father as well as that of the Philosopher’s Stone and the military plus many others keep me speculating every time we get another tidbit of information.

I’m nearing where I stopped before, which really had nothing to do with the show being bad, so I’ll be curious to see if they series changes a lot past that point.

P.S. Mustang is the best.


As the season is wrapping up it is a great time to talk about some series that just finished.

My Little Monster just ended its 13 episode run. It was definitely a cute little shojo series with a distinctly energetic vibe. It was always a refreshing treat every week. Sadly you could tell it was also a series based on an ongoing series.

The funny thing is that the first episode left me this distinct impression that the last episode was going to be the conclusion of some majorly important story arc filled with tears and confrontations. If you were waiting the whole series for that you were going to be very disappointed.  The penultimate episode takes place around new years and has a very transitional feeling. Nothing is definitively resolved. Unrequited loves mainly remain unreciprocated and strange relationships  are still quite unusual and somewhat poorly defined. But there is a feeling that things are changing and that the status quo will not remain that way for long.

That also means if you were hoping for an anime original ending you were just out of luck. The last episode even felt more like an extra episode OVA than a finale. There is a little bit of a personal  revelation from Shizuku but realistically that awareness could have happened at any point in the last 3 episodes without missing a beat.

I may be in the minority but with the fact that manga is much more prevalent in English I am far more accepting of a “go read the manga now” ending to an anime. So really I just saw My Little Monster as a great way to introduce me to a quirky shojo series that will hopefully make a great read if it is ever licensed.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

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Making the Midnight Run

With the news that Toonami would be rising from the dead, the internet had a lot of opinions about it. Since this has come back as the more mature late-night offerings on Adult Swim, what it will accomplish as far as new watchers is a bit different than the original Toonami. Still everyone’s got suggestions for the shows to add to the anime block and we are no exception.

I already said a few thoughts about the new Toonami block over at the Organization Anti-Social Geniuses. That said it is always fun to play fantasy programming director. You get to pick shows without having to deal with the real world hassles of corporate politics and licensing nightmares. I am sure if I was actually in charge of the new Toonami block I might not be able to get some (if not all) of these shows for various serious and/or silly reasons. But that is not the point of this exercise. The point it to have fun and pick some shows that just might work if they could only get a TV shot in the U.S.

Tiger & Bunny

Tiger & Bunny seems like a no-brainer to me. It was one of those shows last year that many us said immediately, “this needs to be on TV.”

It has flashy action and I think the riff on reality TV would go over well. The melodrama is paired with a healthy dose of humor without one undermining the other. A colorful cast and the odd couple rapport between Tiger and Bunny rounds it all out. And it is already in the dub process.

With superhero movies being big at the moment, Tiger & Bunny would fit right in.

Astro Fighter Sunred

Back when Astro Fighter Sunred first came out I can’t remember how many people said that it would make a perfect fit on Cartoon Network. It has a very Adult Swim style of humor (and they good kind like Venture Brothers not 12 oz. Mouse) while still retaining a distinctly anime feel that sets it apart. Power Rangers has been an institution long enough that the basic premise is familiar enough to anyone watching but the humor other than that is broad enough to attract a general audience. The animation is hardly the second coming of Akira but it is not the type of show that needs that slick look. As long as the dub Americanized the show enough to be accessible but kept the spirit intact it actually could be a very strong moderate hit if it were lucky.

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S.W.A.T. Reviews: Spring 2012 Pt. 5

The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful. Here are 7 more from the new season:

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Listen – Episode 1 of Natsuiro Kiseki from Sunrise with the opening “Non stop road” by Sphere.

Listen – Episode 1 of Kids on the Slope from MAPPA and Tezuka Productions with the opening “Sakamichi no Melody” by YUKI and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Eureka Seven: AO from Bones with the ending “Stand by me” by Stereopony.

Listen – Episode 1 of Tsuritama from A-1 Pictures with the opening “Tsurezure Monochrome” by FUJIFABRIC and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Jormungand from  White Fox with the opening “Borderland” by Mami Kawada and is streaming on Funimation.

Listen – Episode 1 of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia from SILVER LINK with the opening “CHOIR JAIL” by Konomi Suzuki and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Ginga e Kickoff!! from TYO Animations with the opening “Across my world” by knotlamp.