Half-way, two-thirds-way, out of the way.
In a nutshell: Yumeiro Patissiere continues to be enjoyable if somewhat predictable, UraBoku continues to be pretty underwhelming if occasionally showing off some impressive animation.
In longer format:
That Team Ichigo finished second in the Grand Prix was extremely predictable. That they still get to go to Paris wasn’t as predictable, but still wasn’t really shocking. What I was surprised about was that they are going to Paris to… compete in another tournament! And the winners of that? They get to study in Paris for two years!
This is actually pretty confusing – after all, only two Japanese teams are competing… so all the other folks already study in Paris. My only guess is that they get to go study in Japan for two years if they win, although I don’t know why they’d want to – Japan to me doesn’t say ‘Land of High-class Desserts’, and it seems like all the kids in Japan really dream of doing is studying in France, a place with ‘real’ pastry chefs. Oh well; I’m sure it won’t matter since I’m sure one of the Japan teams is going to win it all, probably Ichigo’s team.
I’d actually been wondering what the final thirteen episodes were going to be since the Grand Prix was over. I also wondered if the ratings hadn’t been so hot and what was going to happen was that the show would end at episode thirty-nine, as strange a total as that would be (although not at all unprecedented – Revolutionary Girl Utena had thirty-nine total, and Gundam X got shortened to thirty-nine). I’m not really used to shoujo having much in the way of tournament stuff; only other ones I can think of off the top of my head is Angelic Layer and the vaguely similar Kitchen Princess.
YP also continues to make me reallllly realllllly want to run out to a bakery and gorge myself on everything…
I have less to say about UraBoku. Supposedly episode twelve was awesome, but I just laughed a lot during it because there was so much stupid going on. For instance, one character’s shirt rips – but only from just below the collar to just about the bottom hem. Uh, ok. The only thing I can say I really like about UraBoku now is that the same art/animation team as worked on Nabari no Ou is working on it, which I knew just from looking at it – stand the characters from the two shows next to each other, and they could easily be from the same show. The backgrounds are different in terms of color saturation, though.
Anyway, what I really want to mention is how the eyes are done, because its really cool-looking. Basically, if someone’s eyes get that glowing look to them, they are either a. not human, or b. engaged in battle. This same effect was used in Nabari no Ou, and it really adds to the otherworldliness of some of the non-human characters.
And, finally for this post, I’m lighting out for the territory. Or, rather, I have to go shoot some… plastic bad guys. See you in a month.
P.S. I also just bought tickets to an anime con in Ireland for August – sweet!