Anime watched: I do not have much to report. I only watched my simulcasts. But I am posting something in a couple of days.
Anime watched: This week I watched Honey and Clover. In this rewatch I found myself turned off by some aspects of it (mainly Shinobu). But at the end of the day I found myself crying over how emotionally devastating but satisfying the conclusion is. I also had time to rewatch Celestial Method, and I liked it better than the first time.
Anime watched: This week I watched the first Fullmetal Alchemist. I watched it once before years ago, but I had forgotten several things from it. The first nine or ten episodes felt quite tedious to me. Eventually things started to click, and it concluded at a high point. I have had a love-hate relationship with FMA mainly because I prefer Brotherhood. The 2009 series is my favorite Fullmetal Alchemist, but after this rewatch I have renewed respect for the 2003 show. Fullmetal Alchemist is a classic for good reasons.
Anime bought: The second part of Gundam Zeta on BD, Parasyte, part one DVD/BD combo, Celestial Method on BD and the Cowboy Bebop movie on BD.
Anime industry: Funimation's decision to launch a kickstarter campaign to produce a new dub for Escaflowne made news this week. I am cool with small companies crowdfunding anime physical releases but it seems wrong for a big company like Funimation to ask money from fans for a physical release. Even worse is that they are asking money to redub an anime show that is fairly popular.
1. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, episodes 5-8 (Very good) - It is kind of frustrating to already know that one of the main characters is going to eventually die; I have waited for that event to happen for a month. I am still delighted by every minute of this anime, but I am kind of afraid that the remaining episodes might run out of time and not be enough to give this wonderful show a proper and satisfying conclusion.
2. Snow White with the Red Hair, episodes 16-20 (Good) - Even though the material covered in these five episodes was better than the stuff from the previous four episodes, this second half of this show continues to be inferior than the first half. But that is okay because I keep being in love with this anime. But because this show is two cours long, I expect a strong and satisfying conclusion.
3. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, episodes 5-8 (Good) - This show continues to be about characters' interactions and atmosphere. I am enjoying this anime so much that the lack of an actual story does not bother me. My big wish for the rest of the series is that things in the last episode end in a satisfying way because there might not be a second season of this show.
4. ERASED, episodes 5-8 (Good) - After a disappointing episode 5 things have bounced back. It is hard to quantify how good this anime is because the conclusion is going to be crucial to ultimately determine the overall quality of this show. There are some nice emotional rewards, but things remain tense. Still, I am cautiously optimistic that things will work out in the end.
5. Durarara!!x2, episodes 29-32 (Good) - I think it is fair to say that this second season of Durarara!! has displayed the most consistent quality during this stretch of episodes, and the conclusion will probably work out fine. That being said, I am not ready to be completely enthralled and enamored by this show again. I am liking this third arc, but I will make my final judgement in a month.
6. Dimension W, episodes 5-8 (Decent) - After a glimpse for a potential good and intriguing story in its first third, things have not gone too well for this show during this stretch of episodes. There is still potential for good stuff, but the producers are running out of time.
7. Gate, episodes 17-20 (Decent) - This show continues to be the very definition of decent; it is not bad, but it is not quiet good. These episodes offered some interesting elements in the Empire-JSDF conflict, but the execution could have been better. Only a great conclusion can propel this anime to Good.
8. Active Raid, episodes 5-8 (So-so) - I am not even sure what I think about this show. It keeps combining light character antics, otaku tropes and somewhat serious issues, but it has no clear direction yet.
9. Dagashi Kashi, episodes 5-8 (So-so) - By this point it is clear that this show will not have a story. The plus side is that the series is consistent and usually goofy, entertaining, weird and even sweet.
10. Myriad Colors Phantom World, episodes 5-8 (So-so) - These episodes have been better, and its visuals continue to be the highlight, but there is still no story, and the characters are not developed enough.
Anime watched: This week I watched Fushigi Yugi. It is too long, has low quality visuals, but it has some nice emotional moments. It is not a bad anime, but as far as shoujo fantasy anime go, Escaflowne is the gold standard.
Anime bought: Funimation's BD release of Fullmetal Alchemist (standard edition).
Anime watched: This was a relaxing week, but I had time to watch Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches. I liked it more than I expected. The show is an adaptation from what looks to be a fairly long manga, but the producers of the anime smartly only introduced the main characters, included a central romance and wrote a simple premise to wrap it up in 12 mostly satisfying episodes. This is the kind of anime adaptation I want to see more often made.
Anime watched: I first watched my BD's of Tamako Market with the English dub; I was pleased by both the show and the dub. I hope Sentai is able to license the movie. I then watched the BD's of The Woman Called Fujiko Mine; it is a solid show. I also watched Jigen's Gravestone, and I liked it. But the big highlight for me was finally watching Waiting in the Summer on BD after a very long wait. I continue to love and enjoy this show. Sentai's set also includes the OVA, which is a very nice bonus.
Anime bought: Sentai's BD release of Waiting in the Summer.
Anime watched: This week I finally watched my Sunrise/Right Stuf DVD's of Turn A Gundam. It took me about 10 episodes to start seeing a rhythm to the unnecessarily convoluted story. Some of the characters are interesting, but better writing would have helped. The premise continues to be the best part of this show to me. But I had an overall satisfying experience.
1. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, episodes 1-4 (Very good) - I continue to be enthralled by this, so far, great anime. I am a big fan of well developed characters, and this show is foremost concerned with that aspect. It also helps that the production values have been strong. I eagerly await for the next episodes, and I hope they lead to a continuing wonderful and satisfying experience.
2. Snow White with the Red Hair, episodes 13-15 (Good) - The show has kept up with the consistent and strong character writing, and the emotions continue to run high. But I have been kind of disappointed with these three episodes probably because the narrative has not progressed as I expected it. Still, I will have faith in hoping that the show improves.
3. ERASED, episodes 1-4 (Good) - This show is doing a lot of good things in terms of narration and direction, but there is too much tension. I am pleased with having a competent work, but perhaps mysteries with such an emotional weight are not my cup of tea. I will probably continue to be invested and hope for a rewarding experience where the characters earn some happiness.
4. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, episodes 1-4 (Good) - I was already liking the contemplative, leisurely pace of this show, accentuated by pleasing production values. But I wanted something dramatic to happen. And episode 4 delivered with the death of one of the main characters. I hope this event is the catalyst of better things to come for this promising show.
5. Gate, episodes 13-16 (Decent) - After a disappointing episode 15 I was ready to give up on this anime, but episode 16 managed to tie several loose ends. At this point Gate has reached a happy medium between behind the scenes machinations of the people from fantasy land, the issues of the JSDF/Japan and the adventures of Itami and his three girls. I hope for good things to come.
6. Dimension W, episodes 1-4 (Good) - After a decent first episode things did not look that great for this action/adventure, retro style show, but slowly but surely it is becoming better with each episode. The overarching narrative seems intriguing enough, and the main characters (especially the heroine) are likable and coming into their own.
7. Durarara!!x2, episodes 25-28 (Decent) - At this moment my relationship with this second season of Durarara!! is complicated. I have been pleased by some things but also disappointed by others. I am not sure what to expect from this show anymore, but it sure would be nice if the producers end the constant set up and moved towards a conclusion.
8. Dagashi Kashi, episodes 1-4 (Decent) - This show is supposed to be about obsessing over candy, but it is showing glimpses of a more ambitious premise. For the moment I am having a good time with its silliness and weird innocent playfulness.
9. Active Raid, episodes 1-4 (So-so) - I am kind of confused by this show. I expected it to be a silly show, but it seems to want to explore serious issues like national security. I suppose either formula is fine with me, but I need more clarity on its premise and execution.
10. Myriad Colors Phantom World, episodes 1-4 (Not really good) - This show has the bells and whistles typical in a Kyoto Animation production, but it has been very disappointing. The fanservice is attractive and sexy, but there is almost no story and meaningful characterization.
Anime watched: There is not much to report on this week because I finally took a break from watching full series.
Anime bought: Discotek's DVD rerelease of the first Lupin the 3rd series, Funimation's The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (standard edition), Sentai's BD releases of Shirobako, part 1 and Tamako Market, and the BD release of the first half of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam from Sunrise/Right Stuf.