Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Quick Review of 2014 and 2015 Thus Far

Yup. Was gone again. Yup. Same excuses. Here is a little what happened.

Honestly, anime took a bit of a back seat in the past year. I think for people that have hobbies, this will happen sometimes. I hit the video gaming scene much more than anime, getting more into collecting, importing games, and looking for some rare, fun games to play. I don't know what happened, but I lost some interest in anime. Maybe it was because of some lack luster seasons. I'm looking at my hummingbird feed (Someone needs to fix those scrobblers *insert disappointed emoticon here*) and not much is registered on it. I know I definitely watched some things, but it has been a pretty quiet year.

Last spring I went to the Anime Central convention which is easily the biggest one I've ever been to. I went with some friends and it was a great time. I saw a ton of interesting things, went to some actual industry panels, and also got to check out the awesomeness that is Mitsuwa, a Japanese grocery store with a food court and other smaller stores inside. If you ever get a chance to go near one, you should do so!

I recently got a PS Vita. Why is that special, you ask? Because of the wealth of JRPGs on the system. I have not been big into the genre, but there are some titles that did pique my interest. I finally got to experience Persona 4 which a lot of people have raved about. You can now count me in for people that are excited for Persona 5 coming out this year.

My weekly group has also continued to meet which has been a positive note in my life. We have moved more towards gaming more than anime, but its a lot of fun hanging with people that have the same interests as myself in a local scope. 

Shameless self promotion

We recently started a website and forum, so if you or someone you know lives in the southwest portion of Missouri, in or near the Springfield area, please come visit us at our site or talk with us on our forum.

End shameless self promotion

This year so far has been a quiet one. I did start collecting some trading cards based on anime series so...that's a thing. My figure collection is growing, which is again a thing.

I've not been abusing Crunchyroll enough, but I'm hoping to change that since there is really nothing I care to watch on TV nowadays. Assuming I get the gumption to, I'll make a post of the series I've watched so far for this spring. Its up to...I think 7 or 8 series, some I'm sure I'll end up dropping, but that is more than what I watched the past few seasons. I also found a couple from the last couple of years worth watching as well, so things are looking up.

I'm not going to claim to be making a return to blogging. That will blow up in my face. I have plans to update the freaking banner again and hopefully do a Spring 2015 roundup post. Plans. Please forgive me (T.T)

Finally, how freaking cool is it that we're getting 3 cours of the second Durarara series. 24-ish more episodes to go. So glad it is getting the sequel is aptly deserves.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring 2014 Season Spotlights

Watching new anime as a simulcast is much like a mixed bag.  If you haven't read the manga or light novel of a series, you may not realize what is in store for you.  I, being the awesome dude that I am, don't read that much, so that leaves me being blindsided by series I thought I would enjoy not being as good and series I expected to be mediocre actually earns my interests more.  So I wanted to jot down my thoughts on various series I have seen from this season so far and whether I will be watching more.

Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara(If Her Flag Breaks)

Maybe a tiny person thought she was Everest?
The first new series I checked out was If Her Flag Breaks which I expected to be something in the style of The World God Only Knows and My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy (Seriously, couldn't shorten the title a tiny bit there?) and in all actuality...that is how this series is shaping up so far.  However, unlike other series that I will be getting to that tires the genre it is going for, so far this series has captured my attention, though I am not sure if it will be something I will watch through the end or not.  The series is about a boy names Sota Hotate Hatate that has an uncanny ability to see "flags" appear above the heads of people at certain times.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a flag is usually an event that can trigger the flow of a game, usually meant for visual novels.  So if girl A starts to talk to you about her past, a "friendship" flag may appear which is determined by your actions.  If it is a success, she becomes your friend. If not, an angel will appear and rip off your head with the spinal cord attached. Tru fax.  Hatate can sense these flags in real life including ones for friendship, romance, and death. A girl named Nanami Bladefield, a real-life princess of an impoverished country notices Hatate's weird behavior and finds out his secret.  He does not sense any flags on here, no friendship, no romance, and no death.  He tells her that when people get close to him, then horrible fates will befall them.  Akane Mahogasawa is the first we see him interact with him that has some serious flag action.  Despite his attempts to break all of her friendship flags, she just keeps growing new ones.  I won't spoil any further, but there is also a twist at the end that I didn't expect which makes me intrigued about what will happen next.  Unfortunately, this series definitely reeks of the harem persuasion, especially with the ending of the first episode, and while all harems aren't bad, few have been done well.  Despite that, I can't wait to see the next few episodes.

Magica Wars

Yeah, purple crowds confuse me too
Oh Gainax, how I love what you do sometimes.  Unfortunately, I can't really comment much on what I've seen because this series only has 4 minute episodes and only one has been out as of this writing.  Magica Wars is a series where the prefectures of Japan are personified with Magical Girls. So think Hetalia, but with more action, more women, and way more localized Japanese stereotypes...I would imagine.  That being said, a quarter of the episode was the intro theme song.  If this is in all the episodes, then we're talking more like 3 minute episodes.  At least with Tonari no Seki Kun (which is still airing and still kicking it, in my opinion) the intro is much shorter, to accommodate with the shorter air time.  Maybe it is a one time thing, which sucks since this was our intro to the series.  Although honestly, that is my lone complaint thus far.  The animation is fantastic and stylish and the episode went from action to comedy effortlessly.  I look forward to more.

No Game No Life

Konata 2.0
With most series, I try to do the "three episode test", meaning I give the series three episodes before I decide whether I will keep watching.  Three chances to draw me in.  In the case of No Game No Life, I may not even make it to three episodes.  Like I mentioned on If Her Flag Breaks, you can tell what No Game No Life is trying to tap in to.  We get it, Sword Art Online was a great experience and was the king of anime for a season.  When companies see success with the genre, they try to go with something similar.  Remember when Haruhi Suzumiya was the big kid on the block?  What happened after that?  There was a rise in school-based comedy and series focusing on moe.  Since Sword Art Online and Accel World was a hit, others have tried to follow like Log Horizon and No Game No Life.  I'm simply not convinced that this will be a series worth investing my time.  The series is about Sora and Shiro, a brother and sister that are major gamers and basically have no life.  Seriously, every negative stereotype of gamers are highlighted in the first third of the episode.  Tired of this sucky life, they are swept into a world where everything is determined by games.  World borders, disputes over cattle, people arguing over the finale of How I Met Your Mother, all conflicts are settled with games.  Since the gaming wunderkinds are in this world, they just rock at everything, making Sora a horribly cocky, unlikable protagonist.  Oh, and you have to keep reminding yourself that Shiro is only 11, despite the adult tones, references to her breasts, panty shots, and that kind of stuff.  Actually, after writing that, I'm pretty certain I'm going to just drop this series,  It isn't worth my time, or really anyone else's.  If you want a good series about gamers in a fantasy world, check out any of the other series I mentioned in here.

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior

I hope kohai will notice me!
What happens when you have two boys and three girls share a dormitory?  Why slice-of-life hilarity of course!  The series with the name that should be shorter is about Usa, a regular high schooler that just wants a quiet, normal life while stalking a girl he has the hots for at first glance.  When he arrives at the complex, he finds out that said girl, Ritsu Kawai, lives there, he realizes that he can have a chance to date her.  In addition to him, a masochist named Shirosaki, a bitter, raunchy lady named Nishikino, and a hidden demonic girl named Watanabe also live on the premises, as well as the elderly landlord Sumiko.  Everyone has a distinct personality, but I have this feeling that the series is probably going to delve deeper into their characters.  How much you want to bet that most of these weirdos has some kind of heartbreaking past?  It just feels like a cookie cutter series so far which isn't the worst thing in the world, I'm just not sure how it is going to stick out with the other multitudes of romantic slice-of-life comedies out there.

The World is Still Beautiful

Every time I hear Nike, I think "Just Do It" 
I had no idea what to expect from this one, but after seeing the reviewers of the interwebs praising it highly, I figured that I would give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. The series centers around a young princess named Nike, who has control over wind and rain.  She is being sent to a place called the Sun Kingdom to be taken as a bride to the king, Livius, who also is very young.  Nike tries to get Livius to see the beauty of the world which will enable her to bring the rain to the Sun Kingdom which hasn't seen a shower in decades.  Livius, despite being young, is a pretty bitter and lifeless person that has had the weight of the kingdom on his shoulders, so he is a great antithesis to Nike.  The series is animated well, has a fantastic soundtrack, and tells a compelling story of a princess that is trying to get a cynical boy to see that the world is still beautiful.  See what I did there?  Hey, I never said I was original!

One Week Friends

Kaori's a crepe-er
Reading the description of the series, I knew how this series was going to present itself and that it is probably going to be one of those series that is going to be all about the feels.  That pretty much hits the nail on the head.  One Week Friends is about a boy named Yuki and a girl named Kaori and the budding friendship between the two, or so it would seem.  Kaori suffers from a mental condition after a car accident that causes her to forget about any pleasant memories or friends every Monday.  So the first episode is already pretty heart breaking to see.  Yuki is obsessed with making Kaori his friend, and while she starts off with her defenses up, she eventually warms up to him and the two share some nice conversations together.  She becomes distant again and he asks her why, and she tells him about her condition.  When Monday rolls around Yuki strikes up a conversation with her and she responds with cold, expression-less eyes that indicates that she did, in fact, forget about last week.  It has a pretty tragic feel to it, though Yuki decides that no matter what, he is going to figure out how they can be friends, even if it means asking her to he his friend every week.  It is a touching story that has promise, but also is moving.  I can see this series getting pretty tragic, though we'll have to wait and see about that.  I was excited about this series before it aired, and the first episode has me wanting more.

That concludes my Spring 2014 roundup thus far.  I haven't seen many other series that catches my attention, and I may not end up watching all of these the entire way through, but at least I found more potential with this season than I did with the winter season.  These series, minus No Game No Life, plus Tonari no Seki Kun, means that my spring will be full of all kinds of interesting stories, and given that I'm down to about two series I still watch on TV currently, it isn't a moment too soon.

What are you watching this spring?  Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hummingbird - Another Anime Management Site

The other day I was introduced to a site called Hummingbird.  Like MyAnimeList, it is a place where you can review series you've seen, find recommendations, and discuss anime with other users.  It has a small user base, but so far I've been impressed with the user experience as far as the site and app are concerned.  I don't know if it will catch on or not, but I've enjoyed it.  You can also supposedly find more series geared to your tastes based on what you've seen and rated, so for someone like me that is a major plus.  Also, if you have used MyAnimeList for a while and don't feel like re-entering that information, Hummingbird tells you how to download your series from MyAnimeList and upload it to their site.  It will automatically add the series you marked on there which is really convenient.

I added an account as well as a non-comprehensive list of series I've seen as well as my thoughts on a majority of them.  You can view it and add me there.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Animezing Blog Is Back! For Today! + Anime I've Been Watching

I'll admit it, I suck.  Updating a blog, unlike a few years ago, is almost a tedious task for me given my current job and schedule.  I was honestly planning an audio blog type thing for here and as usual plans fell through.  I have the equipment, just not the time.  I am not going to promise anything.  No regular schedule, no promises of another entry, nothing like that.  I'll update when I can.  I hope it is more frequent than...*looks at previous entry*...about once a year, so here's to that!

The past year has been a tough one on me as far as anime is concerned.  Honestly, I'm wondering if I am slowly losing interest in the hobby.  Don't get me wrong, I love what I've seen and still think some series can rival that of American television, but my intake has slowed down significantly.  This has been partly due to, again, my busy schedule, where I barely have time for regular television let alone extra things like anime.  Last year was probably my slowest year as far as watching and obtaining new titles, though if the start of this year is any indication, I'm on a rebound.  The con circuit has also been a bit tiresome.  I still enjoy my conventions, just not the way I used to.  Also, due to some schedule changes, I may be going to fewer this year, but we'll see.  The plan right now is Visioncon in late February, which isn't a full on anime con, but has a neato anime department that I'll actually be helping out with this year, possibly Naka-kon (best con I went to last year), and if things work out, ACEN. 

One thing that has helped is a local anime club that started in my area this past fall.  I'll have to post about it later.

Rats. There I go promising future post things again.

So that has been 2013 in review.  One thing that happened was that I got a year subscription to both Crunchyroll and Funimation Elite.  I'll talk more about Funimation Elite down the road (Another future post allusion.  CRAP!), but I have been watching quite a bit on Crunchyroll.  Some may have noticed that I usually prefer dubbed to subbed anime.  This is mainly because of my lack of wanting to read actual text while watching moving pictures, but also I can multitask when I hear English explain things for me.  The transition to subbed anime hasn't been perfect, but I can handle it for what Crunchyroll offers, which is plenty of simulcasts of current series in Japan.  I've actually been impressed with the service and have been following what series I can and catching up with others.  Here is a short list of what I have been watching:

Golden Time

Am I being creepy enough yet?

As I'm about to mention in another preview, I don't like to watch series based on who wrote or direct it.  Just because the person that wrote Sgt. Frog wrote another series does not mean the next one will be as good or better.  Each series stands on its own legs.  That being said, the writer that brought us Toradora has given us Golden Time.  This is a romantic comedy drama mix that is about two people in love.  The girl is a crazy stalker and the boy lost his memory and used to love another girl that goes to the same college.  Yeah, yay, love triangles and all that garbage.  The series has actually gotten to the point where I don't root for any of the characters (except 2D Kun) or particular couples (Other than rooting against Linda...she is too socially idiotic and that's coming from ME).  It is just interesting seeing them interact with one another.  It isn't the best series I've seen, not even the best in the past couple of years, but I still set time to catch each episode as it comes out.  So for whatever reason, this series has me hooked.  If I had to guess why, it would be because of the characters and development of their personalities probably.  Definitely worth a check out!

Attack on Titan

I think this is the best representative pic of the series
Yes, the series people will not shut up about.  Honestly, I have not watched the whole series yet, only the first half...and the recap episode.  I will say this, I get why the series is as popular as it is, and I can see why it is so hyped.  The story is impressive, but I think my expectation for it was too high.  You see, the bad thing about hyping the series is when people like me get around to watching it, they leave a little disappointed.  It honestly feels more like a flavor of the season kind of show and the popularity for it will wane just like it has for series before it, like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Spice and Wolf.  I could be wrong and it may be the next big series like Fullmetal Alchemist or One Piece, but I weirdly doubt that.  As for my current opinion of the series, I like it, I just don't love it.  It is merely fine.  I LOVE the first opening like any breathing entity should, I really liked the art style with the black outlines for characters, but the story and atmosphere just hasn't done it for me.  This is another series where I don't like most of the characters, but that's fine.  I prefer the mythology of the Titans, but the series focuses more on humanity trying to survive and the douchebags soldiers that defend them  I call the series a mix of Spiderman, Fullmetal Alchemist, and zombie apocalypse.  I'll eventually get to the second half, just not right now.

 Non Non Biyori

Definitely not a mascot character
Where do I begin?  Ok, maybe I have no right to judge this series just yet since I've only seen one episode, but I just don't get it.  I'll try my best to give it the benefit of the doubt but so far it is one of the worst series I've seen the past couple of years.  Not to paint with a broad brush, but the series is balls-tastically boring.  I spent most of the episode watching the timer, wondering when it would end.  The series focuses on four girls that live in the sparsely populated country, to the point where they and a nondescript male are the only ones at the local school.  They are all in different grades, they walk through the country, quiet happens....and....they talk.  Honestly, this series so far seems like the supermodel of anime.  It looks shiny and pretty, but it lacks substance.  The episode was sprinkled with forgettable jokes, and layered with quiet contemplation.  I get that maybe they are trying to convey a quiet countryside, but I live in the middle of nowhere.  It is boring here.  It was boring watching this.  I'll try it again when I recover from my experience, but it isn't looking good at all.

Engaged to the Unidentified

Hey, I was wondering if you have directions to the emo convention?
So far I have enjoyed this series.  Much like Golden Time, it isn't spectacular in any stretch of the imagination, but at least it tries to be entertaining, and it actually is at times.  The series follows a girl who just turns 16, and the same day a boy and his sister move into her house, the former being picked as her future husband by her deceased grandfather.  He basically has no presence.  I don't mean that in a "he is a ghoooooost" kind of way, but in a "wow, I totally forgot he was there" kind of way.  He sits in the background, no one notices him, not even his fiance, and the few moments he does do something, it is hilariously awkward.  His sister clearly steals the show by being the bratty "I will not let my big brother marry this wench!" stereotype.  It has all be done before, but that isn't a bad thing.  The first episode got my attention, and now I await more.  Hilarious, cute, and slice of life in parts which for me is pretty much a slam dunk.

Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time 

This isn't even my final form!
Evidently there is a trend in anime to have shorter series.  Instead of the traditional half hour series, more are adapting a more Hetalia-like approach and offering episodes of less than 10 minutes of length.  While I'm not fond of the trend, if there was going to be an argument for this, Tonari no Seki-kun would be a good argument for it.  The series is simple.  It is about Seki, a boy that likes to waste time during class lectures with odd hobbies and his foil, Yokoi.  She seems to be the only one that notices that he is not paying attention and ends up distracting her with his exploits.  The first two episodes have been good, with one about falling dominoes and the other about Shogi turning into a samurai period piece.  The series so far has a defined pattern.  Seki starts with a regular object or hobby, it goes out of proportion, Yokoi notices and either gets in trouble from the teacher or gets sucked in to Seki's nonsense.  The series doesn't seem like it will go much beyond that, but it is the simplicity of the set up that I enjoy.  You know where it will end up, you just end up enjoying the journey more.  This probably wouldn't work as a full fledged series as three of these in a row would be tiresome, so the 7 minute episodes are actually perfect for what it offers.  I look forward to more in the weeks to come.

Hozuki no Reitetsu

He isn't staring at an aquarium.  Trust me on this.
This has been the surprise of the season so far.  The series is essentially about a demon supervisor that works in Japanese hell.  You see, there are different kinds of hell, some specific to Europe, some to animal torturers, and some for perverts.  Hozuki, the supervisor, is a dead-pan, unimpressed, unable to have his jimmies rustled kind of demon, and he has to put up with all the characters in hell, including the King Enma who seems like a demonic King Dedede.  The series is probably not for newbies to anime or Japanese culture, but it still manages to get laughs out, if you are in to the deadpan kind of humor.  The first half of the first episode involves Peach boy and his animal companions.  Do you not know who Peach boy is?  Well, the humor may be lost on you some.  Did you know that Ayer's rock is referred to as the bellybutton of the Earth?  That is how demons describe it.  Hozuki may end up being one of the toughest characters to come out in a while.  Satan, the European hell leader give Japanese hell a visit, planning on overruling it when he gets a chance, is completely scared witless by Hozuki just because of his collected nature and the fact that he mispelled Santa as Satan in his recipe.  Satan runs away yelling for God to save him.  That is the kind of power Hozuki has.  He made Satan himself screaming for God's help.  That alone makes this series worth watching for a while.

The emo convention is right here!

That is it for now.  I'm also hoping to catch Watamote and see if I can stand that series or not.  It is next on my list.

So that has been the past couple of months for me.  It feels great to be back in to the hobby like this again.  I hope there will be more to report on in the near future.  As for now, this is my lot, and I'm fine with that.  What recent series have you been watching?

There, I think that oughta do it for the year.

The Allengator

Monday, January 21, 2013

Plans for 2013

Believe it or not, I'm typing this entry up over a number of days.With 2012 gone and 2013 beginning, this means that we should evaluate our lives and take stock in things we need to improve on and do those things to make ourselves better people. At least that is what most people do. I don't fall into the category of people who do New Years resolutions or anything to that effect. Life is a continual improvement process and we should take every opportunity and not just because the calendar happens to roll around to another year.That being said, one thing I do is I think about things I am going to look forward to this year. Last year was filled with some surprises, like me deciding to break out of my shell and visit honest to goodness anime cons, even outside my home state. Another surprise was a convention happening locally (I'll need to blog about it....yeah...). So I can never guess what will happen in a year, but I do know some things I will be participating in. So without further adieu, here are my plans, both in RL and anime I plan to watch.

I started this entry in January...sad :(

- Going to at least a couple of cons this year. I am planning on going back to Tokyo in Tulsa, and one other one at least. I'll be skipping Arkansas Anime Festival this year because a different con, one that isn't exclusive to anime, is going on and it may be my one chance to meet some actors, so that will be going on instead.

- I have a huge backlog of anime to watch, including A Certain Magical Index, A Certain Scientific Railgun, C - Control, and...ugh...K-ON!! Also, Digimon series 2 and 3 are being released this year.

- As far as new stuff, I'm going to watch Sword Art Online and Maoyu. Others may be worth watching. Who knows?

- I'm planning on getting a figure this year. We'll see how that goes.

And those are just a summary of my plans this year. It may not sound like much to the typical anime fan, but given my other interests and free time, this will keep me busy for a while.

Also, I want to talk about the future of this blog. Obviously I'm having a bad time updating this guy. The main reason is because I got out of practice, lack of free time, and I hate typing after work. So things will be slightly different from here on out. Until I have better motivation to update this thing with words I type, I'm going to use words I say. That's right, I'm going to start uploading audio files to this blog! I used to do this on my old blog, so I'm going to need some time to relearn how to talk on my computer and also find a better audio player. I'm hoping, not promising, that this will allow me to update this blog more often. I can't tell you when this will start, but keep an eye on this blog over the next month for updates!

So that's it, my plans fo 2013. I hope you are planning an awesome year as well. See you guys later!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How Visiual Novel Anime Series Affected My View of Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate wasn't as good as people said it was.

Controversial way to begin this blog post, but I stand by that statement.  Disclaimer: This is my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.  You don't have to agree or disagree with it.  While I was disappointed, I do think that Steins;Gate is one of the better series I've seen in the past year which says something, so don't take this as a OMG, HE THINKS STEINS;GATE IS THE WORST!!!! HE MUST DIE!!!!!  It is a good series.  I just feel it isn't as phenomenal as people make it out to be.

The main reason I didn't enjoy this series as much probably has to do with other visual novel series I have seen over the years.  To anyone who hasn't seen or watched any of these, you should probably stop reading here, partially for potential spoilers, partially because you will have absolutely no idea what I am talking about.

Gosh, their eyes ARE far apart...
When I think of visual novel series, I, like most people, think of Key visual novel anime.  They have brought us such classics like Air, Kanon, and Clannad. Whenever you talk about series based off of games, these are typically the ones that come to mind for most fans of anime.  Kanon was the first one I watched and at the time, I thought it was a masterpiece.  Since then I've been exposed to more series and tropes, and while I still think it is a pretty good series, I wouldn't go as far as to say it is a masterpiece.  My feelings for these series, though, isn't what this article is about.

After watching both Kanon and most of Clannad (I still can't watch it past the "everyone is depressed and dies saga.  Yes, I know it turns out alright, but man...waaaaaay too much emotion going on there.), I found that the series seem to be formulaic, meaning that the characters, plot setup, and feel of the series began to get predictable.

Again with the eyes. Once you see it, you can't unsee it.
Sadly, over time, this started to bleed over into other series as well.  There have been some questionable series, like Happy Lesson, where after seeing a couple of episodes, I knew where this was going to go.  Ai Kora was also a bit ruined because each girl had a specific body part and eventually had her own storyline.  Every time a series comes around that is harem-esque, I have to ask myself, "Is this a visual novel series?".  I think I have this wiring in my brain that tried to logically figure out series before the episodes actually happen.  Sometimes I would be surprised, sometimes it would end up ruining a series for me.  Unfortunately, that happened to Steins;Gate for me.

I greatly enjoyed the first half of the series.  It had a great blend of science fiction, action, suspense, nerd humor, and conspiracy theory in it.  Episode twelve, where the series was split up for American release, ended on a cliffhanger that had me wanting more.  Sure, it wasn't the best I've ever seen, but for what it was, it was good.

Eyes aren't as bad here. Man, I need to focus on something else.
I kept myself unspoiled of the plot, but began to conjecture when the second half of the series was on its way to my home.  I started to think about the characters.  The main character is a self-proclaimed mad scientist.  A girl who is ditsy, but kind always hangs around.  A girl who is initially cold, but warms up joined the group.  Some dude that is into hacking that had little to no relation to the girls was there too.  A time jumper, male wanting to change genders, girl who communicates mainly through text messages, cafe  Why does this sound familiar?  Why are there so many women?  Why is there just the main character and his friend who is a perv, but seems disjointed from the story...

That's when it hit me. This sounded fairly close to Clannad, in a few ways.  All the women seem to be connected to the time device, all were somehow affected by the messages...I began to wonder.  Then I got the second half and while it was good, it sadly confirmed my fear.  In order to get a good ending to the series, each of the original messages needed to be negated.  How is this accomplished?  Through each girl/confused male getting her/his own storyline!!!!

Though the series tried to throw a few curve balls, I couldn't help but feel like this was, though not Key or a romance story, a visual novel series.  It started off so good.  A lot of excellent potential.  In the end, it was thrown away to predictable storylines, plot, and sadly, a diminished experience for me.  Again, the series is good, it just was more transparent with the plot device than I hoped.

Yes, I know there are differences between Key series and Steins;Gate.  Romance isn't the motivating factor, the main male character isn't as two dimensional as the others, it had a good ending.  The problem came when the plot unfolded, and I correctly predicted several "twists" without knowing the plot in advance.  It is like playing the New Super Mario Bros Games.  Formulaic.  Predictable.  Diminished experience.

So that is why I feel Steins;Gate isn't the megaton series most say it is.  Again, it is very good, and I encourage anyone to check it out.  I'm just saying because of my nature, the experience was ruined for me.  I was hoping for more original setups and advances in plot.  That is my honest opinion, and please remember it is just an opinion.  A few other things bothered me about this series as well, but that was the main contributor to my disillusionment of the series.  Keep an open mind, and form your own thoughts.  That is today's lesson.

Now on to The World God Only Knows.  Going from series that was supposed to be original to one that makes fun of series based off of dating sims.  I'm in the perfect mood for that.

A Long Awaited Return to the Anime-zing Funtime Blog

I won't waste time with excuses or personal messages on here. This is a blog about anime, manga, and Japanese culture and will keep it as such. True, I put my personal spin and opinions on it, but this is, by definition, a single topic blog. I'm not planning on moving to Tumblr anytime soon. Too weird for me to catch on yet.

First off, Anime Vacation is happening! It is just a week away and I am seriously stoked to see the event. Several great guests are lined up including Samurai Dan (He's been at every convention I've gone to, not that I'm complaining. Really entertaining guest!), Greggo and his game shows that I saw at Motaku, Samantha Inoue-Harte, whom I've seen at Visioncon a few years ago, and last but not least on this particular list, Carrie Savage! I'm still majorly concerned about attendance, but my hope is that is goes well. I should be there barring medical or personal emergencies.

As far as my viewership of anime, I haven't been watching as much with broadcast TV taking up what time I have. I do plan on watching plenty during the winter hiatus of those shows, so I'll have more to talk about. I've watched the recently released Digimon Season 1 set and Steins;Gate. I have talked about my history of anime, so watching the series was just me scratching that nostalgic thing called childhood. Steins;Gate I'm honestly conflicted about. I feel compelled to write a review on it. Maybe in the future, assuming world lines are jumped to and fro.

My wallet is also hurting because of the deals I've gotten on anime. I've bought a lot of series I would not have gotten had it been for the sales. I actually blind bought a little series called Read or Die. I've heard a lot of great things about it, and hopefully I am not let down.

I'm also getting a plethora of series I pre-ordered from several months ago. I'm really excited to watch Shakugan no Shana II and The World God Only Knows. I'm hoping to watch the latter this week and the former over my holiday time off. I have a huge backlog of sets to watch. Hopefully I can get them in soon!

I hope to see some of you at Vacation Anime this weekend! Will be posting again in the future that hopefully isn't Dystopian.