Between Four Shows That Look Alike, Saint Seiya Omega Has the Worst Traits

Casshern Sins, Heartcatch Precure, and Yumekui Merry all come to mind when I look at Saint Seiya Omega, and not in a good way. I like Casshern and Heartcatch, but the things I like about them aren’t present here; instead, what I hate about Casshern and Merry are what I see.

Two names are important to analyzing these shows: Umakoshi Yoshihiko, who did character designs and animation directing for Casshern Sins, Heartcatch Precure, and Saint Seiya Omega; and Yamauchi Shigeyasu, who directed Casshern and Yumekui Merry. Another person of mention is Hatano Morio, the director of Saint Seiya Omega, who also directed a few episodes of Heartcatch Precure.

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Suite Precure♪ and the Perfect Way To End A Dramatic Scene

This is a general post on the first three episodes of Suite Precure; the other part of the title I’ll save for the end. (Edit: Fuck it, using subheaders.) I’m enjoying it a good deal so far and finding that besides the character designs, the series is no weaker than its predecessor, Heartcatch Precure. (That’s not to knock the designs, but Heartcatch had some of my favorites.) Much like Heartcatch, Suite has shown a surprising level of writing depth, and actually has a more mature air about it as well, with the girls even looking older than the average mahou shoujo protagonistas.

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2010 Anime Review

God Tier

So Ra No Wo To

Some of the most gorgeous art this side of Yoshitoshi ABe; characters who’re instantly endearing and have a natural chemistry; an engaging central narrative that pushes it one step farther than shows of its like—Sora no Woto wasn’t only great, but surprising. I loved it from the first episode, but it constantly found new ways for me to love it—for the art and animation, the impressively developed characters, engrossing world, fantastic directing, and consistently interesting episodic plots—tied together by an even-more-interesting dramatic plot. What makes Sora no Woto my favorite anime of 2010 is that there are so many aspects which I adore, and which have kept me rewatching the episodes, finding new things to say or to think about them. It’s a show that nags at the back of my mind, asking me to watch it again and find the next gem of knowledge or interpretation that’ll make me love it even more. This is the kind of show I’ll still be blogging about years down the line, and I love that, because it’s so much fun to blog.

Posts I did on this anime: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Eps 4 and 5, Episode 6, On Talent

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st

Never has the tale of a girl winning the friendship of her rival looked so god damn good! The Nanoha movie is special not just for being amazing, but for being amazing in replacement of a shitty series, and creating a magnificent springboard into the second season, which it rivals in brilliance (perhaps surpassing it by way of production quality). This film is wildly fun to watch and easily rewatchable, not to mention a perfect excuse to introduce my friends to the wonder of mahou shoujo anime. I love the genre, and Nanoha takes everything that makes it great and writes it for an adult audience without losing any of the magic. The final scene is one of the best emotional climaxes in anime, even if it was already done in the original show. What the original doesn’t have, however, is one of the best aerial dogfights I’ve seen.

Posts I did on this anime: Recommendation

K-On!!

The dialog and seiyuu performances in this series almost transcend anime as I know it. I can’t think of any pair of characters whose interactions are as entertaining as those that Satou Satomi and Toyosaki Aki create in Ritsu and Yui respectively. I single them out for their godliness, but that’s not to mistakenly forget that the other actors and their characters are all superb as well. Kyoto Animation continues to prove that they’re amongst the best production studios in TV anime. No other studio has the sheer attention to detail that they do, nor the general brilliance in directing. K-On is always entertaining, and at times even profoundly emotional. It has an unmistakable stage presence not unlike its own characters, which is no-doubt intentional. Add to that some excellent openings and endings, which are vitally important, because while a weak opening or ending can rarely hurt an anime, a strong one can make it all the more legendary. The only thing holding me at bay with K-On is that not every episode is equally brilliant. There are definitive god-tier episodes, great ones, a slew of average ones, and a couple of rather poor ones. The great outweighs the merely good, though, and rewatches should prove vital to the series’ strength.

Posts I did on this anime: Eps 1-6, Episode 7, Episode 20

Strike Witches 2

I couldn’t have prepared myself for how much awesomeness would come from season 2 of Strike Witches. I enjoyed the first series a lot, even if I never thought of it as something special, so I was expecting the same kind of laid-back enjoyment from this. Instead, I got a show that constantly kicked ass from start to finish and left me begging for more. The only thing that could’ve been better about Strike Witches 2 is that it could’ve been longer. Besides that, every episode had a crowning moment of awesome for one of its characters, and all of those characters etched their names into my heart. From a special attack that rivals the awesomeness of a super robot move to one of the most ingenious action scenes of the year, I was always impressed. Episodes flew by and made me look forward to watching them again, which I’ll be doing sooner rather than later with the uncensored blu-ray rips coming out. This is the best kind of popcorn entertainment, and something I want to show my friends.

Posts I did on this anime: Moments

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The Perils of Passionate Pressure Pushing – Heartcatch Precure 16

The funny thing about passion is that it can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, when you feel passionate about something, it gives you drive and purpose and, in many ways, a reason to live. However, passion also causes a lot of stress, in a good or a bad way depending on how you take it. It’s good that you feel pressure to improve yourself to meet your own standards, but it can also cause you to become disappointed in yourself if you feel that you aren’t living up to your own lofty expectations.

Passion is a journey. It’s a pursuit of something that will never truly be obtained as long as the passion lives. Fulfillment lies within passion and it’s progression towards your impossible dream. Someone with a true passion will never be satisfied with how far they’ve come – always pushing to improve themselves – but they can achieve fulfillment from the feeling that they are sill progressing and still chasing that goal.

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14 Shows With Kickass Character Designs

In a visual storytelling medium such as animation, character design is incredibly important, especially in this modern era where character goods make up a huge part of the anime market. Viewers have to be able to connect with a character design on some level in order to be able to connect with the character on some level. Many people let characters design largely factor into their willingness to watch a series, and I can’t say that I’m different – only that I’m very open to a wide variety of designs that will not limit my viewing too much. That said, even I have things that I find hard to watch when the designs repulse me enough (mostly graphically violent 80s and 90s OVAs), and of course, if I adore the designs in a show, it can do a lot to enhance my viewing experience. This post is about the shows that do this for me.

It is not, however, a post about individual character designs that I like. Indeed, there are a lot of shows that produce a single object of my adoration, or perhaps even a handful, but who do not extend this visual pleasure to the rest of the cast. One thing about the anime being produced today in the name of selling character goods is that most shows try and appeal to a broad range of people. For instance, while I love the designs of Lynette, Sanya, and Hartmann from Strike Witches, I am not as much a fan of the other designs, as they don’t hit into my ‘strike [witches] zone’. Even in a case like Bakemonogatari where I love most of the designs, I am still turned off by enough characters that I cannot truly say that I ‘love the character designs in Bakemonogatari.’ Therefor, I present this as a list of my favorite shows wherein I loved the designs of the entire cast.

Shana is one of my favorite designs, but I don't care for most of the other characters in the series.

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The Complications of Self-Honesty: Heartcatch Precure 15

(For the most part, this post is readable without having seen episode 15.)

For most of us, being honest to ourselves is not always easy. This is especially true if living up to our own expectations requires even the smallest amount of lifestyle change. Ultimately, I think that self-honesty is the biggest hurdle that all of us have to jump. I believe that in order to truly be happy, one must be able to think that they are living up to what they want to be. Among many other anime, the leading focus of Heartcatch Precure’s episodic adventures is teaching people to achieve that self-honesty and realize that in order to satisfy themselves, they must make the change that they want to see. However, as simple as that sounds, self-honesty is a complex animal. It’s not quite so clear-cut as ‘doing what you want.’

Because sometimes it’s hard to know what you want, and harder still to know how to get it (or to convince yourself that you can go through with making the change.) A lot of us want many different things, and it takes a lot of ‘soul-searching’ to figure out which feelings are genuine, and how to even balance them all. I take myself for example (as always~): I am a man of many aspirations. I would love to become a director, a writer, an artist, a singer, a martial artist, and an expert at Parkour. Hell, I’ve had flights of fancy between being a chef, a train-hopping hobo, and a gangster. However, I cannot be all of those things at once, and I must truly ask ‘what path will satisfy me?’ If I become a chef, will I be okay with letting the director boat sink? This question is put in front of Itsuki Myoudouin in episode 15, but the answer to that question is still less simple than meets the eye.

Aside: If I was a cute, fashionable little blue-haired girl, I would so wear those glasses <3

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Getting a Little More With Heartcatch Precure!

Maybe I just haven’t seen enough mahou shoujo anime and wouldn’t know, but the first two episodes of Heartcatch Precure impressed me with something that I don’t see much in these sorts of anime, and if it’s true that the mahou shoujo genre has a lot of it, then maybe the genre itself is impressive this way. I’m sure someone will let me know in the comments~. Now, these episodes impressed me in a lot of ways that are general to the show – some of my favorite character designs ever, energetic directing, splendid animation (especially during fights~), a balls-tighteningly awesome opening scene, grandiose metal-inspired music, and girls who are just too damn cute – but we’re leaving all that aside for now. I want to talk about the interesting way that this show treats it’s two main characters as individuals.

I may not have seen a great amount of mahou shoujo anime, but I’ve at least seen some, and I’ve also seen a lot of similar shounen anime that utilize the same kind of monster-of-the-week formula that mahou shoujo usually does. What I usually see in MOTW shows is that if there is a character who the protagonist has to fight (be it directly or through bad guys controlling them), then their purpose in the episode is usually to show the main character something about themselves, or conversely, for the main character to show them something about themselves.

Aside: This moment instantly reminded me of FLCL and Haruhara Haruka

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