Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anime — Summer Season '08

Most of what I'm watching carries over from last time. Himitsu, Crystal Blaze, and alas, Zettai Karen Children have fallen foul of disintegrating or bored fansub groups; and the rest are being slowed by summer holidays, and second-season effect.

Chi's Sweet Home remains acutely observed, while (clockwise from top-left) Allison and Lillia has passed the baton onto the next generation (with Lillia -- and probably her VA's voice -- being the first anime girl in a while to really make me think "Phwoar!"), The Daughter of Twenty Faces remains excellent pulp adventure, Wagaya no Oinari-sama is being much better, with its take on creatures from folklore operating in modern-day Japan, than it had any right to be. And Real Drive is turning out to be Aria in the Shell.

And though I've not exactly dropped Golgo 13, the fact that every episode is much the same as every other leaves it at the end of the line.

The new season is a mixed bag.

Top left is Strike Witches -- and I can imagine the pitch for this one:

Creative Team Lead: We're thinking of a WWII fighter pilot series, but the aces are all replaced by hot teenage girls, who fly with these magic thigh-boot things like the tails of their respective aircraft. Of course having to be ready to scramble means that they go around without skirts or trousers.

Exec: Interesting concept. Please tell me more.

Creative Team Lead: We'll do meticulous period detail for supporting characters, locations and equipment; but so that we don't end up getting nuked again, we'll have alien invaders arriving in Central Europe, so it's everybody allied against them.

Exec: I meant "Please tell me more about the no skirts or trousers".

Next is Birdy the Mighty : Decode, a remake of an old OVA, involving a superpowered extraterrestrial law enforcer following her quarry to Earth -- and the schoolboy who ends up sharing a body with her. Following on is Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto : Natsu no Sora -- a country witch from Hokkaido goes to Tokyo for the final training for her mage license; pretty near-photorealistic backgrounds, quiet understated magic, and yes, there's a romance brewing. Finally and weakest, Telepathy Girl Ran, where a schoolgirl realises that she has psychic powers -- and so far (3 eps in) has burned through a lot of the possible plot lines, until it seems like it will reduce to just "the power of friendship". We shall see how things go.


Just a few hours after posting this, out came the next episode of Zettai Karen Children, from 2 different groups. Happy!

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