Guess who’s back?
Y’know, this season in football… no, no in manga publishing, although I guess Tokyopop does sort of have something worked out with Rightstuf for a couple of titles. Anyway, credit goes to good ol’ Baka-Raptor for the image.
…yeah, I just wanted an excuse to use that image, although Peyton Manning is back this season, and my home team did beat him earlier, and CBS did try to convince everyone to slash him with Tom Brady. But, I said, “No thanks, bros.” because, really, do we need that?
Lot of new shows this week, most of which I’ve already covered, as well as a smattering of others I’ve been working through for a while now (Mouretsu Space Pirate, Phi Brain, etc.). I’ve also done that thing where I add in more shows without having finished some others I’m nearly done with. Oops.
Like I said, have done posts for most of the new shows I’ve watched, but here’s my ranking on them currently, in case you’re curious:
- K/From the New World
- Zetsuen no Tempest
- Kamisama Kiss
I mistyped the last one as “Mobster-kun” originally, which I think would’ve been a more interesting show. Hopefully there’s a BL of it out there somewhere – always been a total fucking sucker for yakuza BL.
Without further ado…
From the New World, ep. 1
I hemmed and hawed a bit about where to place this on my list – I liked it quite a bit, but I liked it in a much different way than I liked K or Tempest. I liked K and Tempest because they were stupid and made me grin, whereas I felt drawn into From the New World’s world and story. I love horror, so I enjoyed the horror edge that the demonic cat brought to the proceedings, as well as the sinister air hanging over everything. The disappearance of Reiko at the end was stupidly obvious from about half-way through the episode, and I will quibble with the decision to have a weaker, shyer female character be the tragic plot device, but the rest of it was solid enough that I can overlook it.
Phi Brain, eps. 20 – 23
Bros, this show remains easily one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever watched – and I’ve watched a lot of stupid shows. We’ve gone into full-fledged rival versus rival territory with the defection of Gammon to the POG, and he seems to have lost a bit of his hammier aspects, which is disappointing. The only thing I can say that I like about Rook Banjo Crossfield is his name, which sounds like someone kidnapped a Sunrise writer and forced them to come up with good character names. I really hate his hair, though, and this is quite frankly what I hold against him – it looks like a white tennis ball. Of course, most of the character designs here have been unattractive, so I guess I can’t claim inconsistence at work.
And, you know, for all the assurances by folks that Phi Brain would be BL-tastic, the true emergence of Gammon and Rook as potential slash options for Kaito has left me fairly cold, since I find neither pairing alluring in the slightest. With Cubic as the third option for BL at the moment, looks like the hitter whiffed here. Here’s hoping more screentime for Baron and Jin, as I find the BL potential there a lot more promising. But, hey, maybe its just me hating on the teenagers again.
Mouretsu Space Pirates, eps. 15 – 17
WOOOOOO YURIIIIII and oh my word, what good yuri it was! I wish the show had telegraphed it a little more prior, but Jenny running up the stairs and diving into Lynn’s arms…! Oh, I was so, so thrilled. And I loved that when they decide to cool it a bit, it isn’t that, zomg, lesbians, dangerous for young ladies, its that all the other girls are getting too kyaaaaaa about it.
I’ll admit, though, that otherwise… well, I don’t dislike the show, but I find myself liking it a lot less than I want to. There are a lot of good elements here – the heroine is a competent girl who is in the process of learning her job not because she’s too stupid to get it right away, but because it isn’t something that anyone would get right away without training, the fanservice is very minimal, the cast is varied and likeable… but I feel left a bit cold by it, as the empty, boring stretches ruin the momentum that has built up from time to time. It all feels pretty energetic at the moment, as the girls are poised to whisk Jenny to safety across the galaxy, but I can’t help but wonder when the next stop will pop up. Here’s hoping that the final stretch doesn’t have any.
Kaitou Saint Tail, eps. 1 – 6
Once upon a time, I had a friend who was following the Saint Tail manga, as published by Mixx under their “Chix Comix” imprint, issue by issue. No, not volume by volume, but issue by issue. Although I watched quite a few of her DVDs and read some of her manga, I never touched Saint Tail – I considered it a sort of sub-standard Sailor Moon wannabe, so I had no interest in it whatsoever.
After re-branding themselves as Tokyopop, the Saint Tail anime appeared on the market in the U.S., although it never sold particularly well, wrapping up in a three “volume” extra-sized edition that bundled the remaining episodes into one release. Although the show had been dubbed to that point, the dub was dropped for this final set, and some folks grumbled quite a bit. Not very many did, though, and the show quietly slipped out of the marketplace, much like with another of TP’s shoujo manga/anime releases, Marmalade Boy.
But, enough about the show’s history in this country – what about the actual show?
Saint Tail pre-dates the better-known phantom thief magical girl Kamkikaze Kaitou Jeanne by a few years, but given the latter’s slightly higher profile, it bears mentioning that its quite similar to it. However, Saint Tail has more in common with D.N.Angel, as Saint Tail is not committing acts of thievery in order to oppose an overarching evil. As such, the rivalry between herself and her would-be captor Asuka, Jr. is at the forefront, whereas in KKJ the thief/cop rivalry plays second fiddle to defeating evil and the rivalry between the thieves of the piece.
So far, St. Tail is a cute, light show, even if logic frequently flies out the window in these episodes and the premises are often fairly stupid (people with weird art-related problems come to see a nun-in-training to solve their problems? a fourteen year old boy is given a special medal that allows him to access any crime scene or police area?). The important thing is that neither the lapses in logic or the moments of idiocy are enough to toss the train off the tracks. There characters are a big help here, as Meimi, our titular St. Tail, hails from the smart wing of the shoujo heroine school, and her friend Seira does the cute and helpful thing while managing to avoid being too cloying. Potential romantic rival Rina may get irritating fast, with her constant shouting, but I’m hoping that she calms down a bit going forward.
Anyway, having not managed to enjoy this sort of magical girl show in literally years, I am thrilled with St. Tail so far.