Sunday, September 6, 2009
To be honest, I didn't expect much from Kannagi when I saw the anime list for Fall 2008. I thought it was another cliche anime where boy meets goddess shit.
When it was released, I only checked it out after I downloaded the third episode and oh boy... the OP! It got me hooked right away. That was the first time anything like that ever happened to me. I mean, I was shamelessly imitating her dance moves for fuck's sake! LOL
After I finished watching the first episode, I know that I was positively addicted to the show and Kannagi quickly becomes one of my favorite female characters (besides Rukia, Haruhi and Shiki). Due to my addiction, I quickly checked out onemanga and was thrill to find that the manga is in publishing.
But lets talk about the manga here. Lets now dive into the world of Kannagi, the animation.
Mikuriya Jin, our protagonist accidentally encounter a goddess called Nagi who has taken a vessel out of a carving he made from a sacred three. The story progresses as Jin helps out Nagi to find out who she really is since she can't remember much about her past as a goddess. There are misadventures and slight romance going on in the process. Kannagi has supernatural and romantic aspects to it but I must say that the comedy is the main driving force of this show that makes it such an enjoyable series. From the subtle reference that only an otaku would understand to the outlandish slap-stick comedy anyone could laugh to, Kannagi is made with a diverse audience in mind.
The protagonist is a completely normal character. He is not self-righteous, he is not an annoying arrogant bastard, he is not brawn-over-brain idiot, he is just... Jin, a pretty damn normal high school male student. That makes him a lot more relatable than most of the losers we usually found in this kind of genre.
If comedy is the driving force of this show, then without Nagi, there would be no show. Sure she is based on archetypes character but her hot, foxy attitude is what makes her so entertaining to watch. To me Nagi in Kannagi is the one who brings life to such a dull premise. Her interactions with Jin makes me glued to the screen. They are definitely the highlights of the show. Nagi and Jin FTW!!
Kannagi has a great cast of supporting characters. Meguru, Zange, Daitetsu, Takako, Shino and Tsugumi, help drive the plots with comedic devices. Even though they do not received a lot of character development, the difference dialect between them shows us plenty of their personalities. I personally not a fan of Zange-chan but only because I am slowly turning gay for Nagi. Not a fan of Tsugumi either because my OTP for this show is obviously Jin and Nagi. She just gets in the way and I hate her for that. Now don't start hating me for that XD
The animation is another strong point of this series. It may not be clear cut state-of-the-art work but its high quality animation that flow seamlessly together makes it great. They also give great details to character animation. They really stands out. Each scenes has many small intricate movements from a flick of hair waving about to the sleeve of a shirt moving according to the wind. This not only brings the characters to live, it also makes the scenes appear to be natural, not stiff and lacking.
I have mentioned the dialect of the characters. It just goes to show that the seiyuu did a good job at adding life and personalities to the characters especially when you don't have much of character development going on. Kudos to Haruka Tomatsu, who is the voice actor for Nagi, who is able to pull off the most unique one-liners resulting in some truly hilarious moments. She also sang both the OP and ED of this series which can be compared to the likes of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, as they both have memorable OP and themes.
Kannagi is not without fault though. The end is rather disappointing and would leave you with more questions than answers but luckily I'm a manga reader so I get to see the continuation of everything.
Overall, I totally enjoyed it. Kannagi has proven its worth as one of the most entertaining show of year 2008. One that should not be missed.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
With the confirmation of the second season in our pocket (see here), I guess it is really time to review the first season of Darker Than Black. It has been almost 2 years since I've seen Darker Than Black, so today i tried to catch up by watching 4 random episodes in order to be able to review the series.
Some titles are misleading, as such is 'Darker than Black'; though the series is graphic throughout, the story is considerably less 'dark' than many other of anime. I cannot really 'genre' it either; there are elements of the supernatural which are used so for 'Darker than Black' to feel very much like a superhero story. It features superpowered people who are real people, their powers come at a real price and not a token moral price as is used in children's comics. The show also has such stereotypical characters, but I can say that these characters do the subject matter justice. The subject matter in question is thoughtful and it fuels very interesting conflicts.
The story unfolds gradually with us getting to know more of the main character's back story from episode to episode. The powers are interesting as is the background of fear and manipulation and the fact that it finishes is one series rather than dragging on to squeeze extra money out of the idea is appealing. The plot is intelligent with no bad or annoying episodes and the ending is surprising and consistent, there is a small bit of comic relief but this is a dark story.
I hadn't watched this anime in years but I can really say that this one dragged me in from the first episode and I didn't regret it.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Another anime I am adding to my top ten list..it's kind of funny that my top ten actually has over 20 and is growing constantly. Denno Coil is what you call an excellent children show although by the end even I was wondering what is going on. Not always a children show, the real storyline is actually very mature. The Denno Coil universe is not incomprehensible but boy was there much thinking and imagining that went into creating those 26 episodes that always seem not enough to explain everything. A lot of questions still hanging in the air.
The whole action takes place 20 years from now where a virtual space coexists with real space and can only be seen using special glasses. Most of the children and some adults use this space mostly for fun and hacking. And although I wouldn't call Dennou Coil funny it did make me laugh. The quality of the animation is its high point with detailed backgrounds and animation of the characters that shows well what they are thinking. It is like a real movie. And once you get into the main plot, you'll never stop watching it. The first part of the anime is mostly episodic with the whole mysterious plot actually exploding by the middle of the series. Even in the end, the true nature of the cyberworld and the Illegals, the viruses in that world, is never 100% explained, and some interpretation is left up to the viewer.
The soundtrack is wonderful. I usually skip the opening and ending themes but I listened and kept humming for 26 times. The sound effects are also beautiful, delivering the exact emotions of suspense and drama at the time they are needed.
The actual tools like glasses and metabugs and kirabugs and other original technology used in the series makes this very fun to watch and the mystery is what kept me questioning its core. However, it does the trick well enough. The computer graphics are superb in creating the cyberspaces and all the technological stuff. Overall, the direction of this anime, how things will be executed and how things will end up is quite unpredictable, and that’s what I likeD about this. You'll laugh, you'll be freaked out and you'll cry in this world of friendship, mystery and pain.