Review of Spring 2009 Anime

Winter 2009 review
Spring 2009 list

Huh? Anime like "Library War", "Kure-nai", "Strike Witches" was Spring/Summer 2008 anime? Already? It seem that these were out not too long ago. Oh, and "Welcome to the NHK" (Summer 2006) too? Time sure flies...

Anyways, here's a write-up of what I had seen through for the Spring 2009 anime. If it's a 11-13 episode series, it would be the entire thing, but if it's scheduled to have more, I would cover what I have already seen. Since I have dropped all the Winter 2009 anime, including "Sora Kake Girl", I won't be reviewing any of those.

  • Eden of the East (東のエデン): Though the character design does not have the features from a typical anime, the great storyline and the details of places (like Whashinton DC) and objects makes up for it. The shocker about it was that the series ended as a cliffhanger with 2 movies scheduled in end-2009 and early-2010. Reminds me of: Code Geass as that was also an original not based on media like manga or visual/light novel.
  • K-On! (けいおん!): Everyone's favorite anime! The light music club of an all-girls' school! It's hard to say in words, but it already looks good on the analog broadcast, but fantastic on the HD widescreen version. (Wonder what the Blu-Ray would look like) I have never seen an anime like this for quite a while. The only other anime I could think of that has characters perform any song as part of the anime itself (not as background music) was Marcross Frontier or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I had taken a look at the 4-koma manga it was based on, and found that the anime version is expanded and flows between each scene nicely. The awkwardness I found is that Azusa, who is introduced mid-way, is added as an extra character in the OP when playing with the band, but missing in the other scenes. The timeline seemed fast-paced when compared to other anime. The craze from K-On seem to drive up sales of musical instruments and other things relating to the anime. (Seems that the Toradora craze not too long ago has faded out.) Too bad it ended at 13 episodes, but that's where the manga ends. Reminds me of: Toradora for character development, Death Note for progress in storyline, Marcross Frontier for the songs, Clannad for character design (except the eyes), Lucky Star for being based on a 4-koma manga. Noticed that most KyoAni anime design of places seem to be based in places around the Kansai region.
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱): At first, it seemed like a repeat of the Spring 2006 anime, but it was aired in chronological order, and some new episodes (with new OP & ED for them) added in-between. The new episodes are based on the light novel in chronological order along with the older episodes. The most of the first 12-14 episodes, however, consists most of what was already aired in 2006. Looking at the timeline, it seems that most of the new episodes would happen later on. Reminds me of: Hidamari Sketch for the episode order, Toradora for being based on a light novel.
  • Hayate the Combat Buttler 2nd season (ハヤテのごとく!!): Picked up where the 52-episode Spring 2007 anime (read: ended in March 2008) left off. Since the production was done by JC Staff instead of Synergy SP, changes in character design were noticeable. Not sure if this is good or bad, but the first season seemed that there are too many filters and it's storyline seem to head downhill from the first episode. I don't know about Synergy SP, but JC Staff also produces great anime like Shakugan no Shana, Toradora, To Aru Majutsu no Index, and also Hatsukoi Limited described below.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST): This is a remake of the original series. In terms of amount of action, I would say that it's the same level as Code Geass and Eden of the East, where it's near impossible to look away and not miss important things.
  • Hatsukoi Limited (初恋限定。): Hmm, I don't know what to say. It's great, but focusing on various characters for each episode, but somehow know each other, seems like something is missing. Some of the voice actors did K-On too and it seems that the same people who did Toradora were involved with this too with dull colours, something's-wrong-but-I-don't-know-what character design, and not to mention that the credits has the exact same font as Toradora!.
  • Natsu no Arashi (夏のあらし!): The storyline itself is not bad, but the production studio, SHAFT, has added in too much references. They would work on "Negima!?" and "Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei", but not here... Their OP and ED they had done is actually quite nice. Oh, I noticed that this is the first production by them since "Negima!?" that looks sharp in HD. Character design is inherited from the manga, but they look... um... odd. Anyways, hope they don't mess the upcomming "Bakemonogatari", as the trailer animation reminds me of "Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei" OP.

Also, here's a review of other anime I had watched, but dropped or did not paid attention to:

  • Pandora Hearts (パンドラハーツ): This happened to fill in the time gap between "Eden of the East" and "K-On!", and is on the same channel as the lattter. Never really paid attention as to what was going on as it was never my interest to watch this in the first place. If it weren't for those weird costumes and hairstyles, I might watch it too. And what's with the depressing colours?
  • Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~: I don't remember why I stopped watching this, but I know it had something to do with fighting scenes that are too long in the first episode or something.
  • Tears to Tiara (ティアーズ・トゥ・ティアラ): Happened to watch this out of boredom. Comments for the character design is the same as Pandora Hearts above. I could have sword that the character design was completely different when this anime was first announced.
  • Shangri-La (シャングリ・ラ): This is one of the few I have watched several episodes in, but dropped. I think the episode I dropped at was after the 3 weird men (with one making weird sound effects). Did not drop because of them, but more of how slow it is to progress the storyline. And what's with those 2 transsexuals?
  • Saki (咲-Saki-): It's a majhong-themed game. I don't understand how to play that game, so watching it is like entering a battlefield and not know what you are fighting against. Because of this and the Chinese names of the terms, I stopped watching it before I get my head fried trying to get what is going on.

I will be writing Summer 2009 anime soon, but seeing that I would be away from home for quite a while, and the limited time when I'm able to, I would try to limit on what to watch. Not to mention those 3 anime carried over from the Spring season. Also, I won't be doing as much as what I did for the Winter 2009 list with all those images, links, and timings on each TV station: I'm not in the mood for that.

29 June 2009: Hmm, on second thought, maybe I will not do it. I will still do the review of the recently-ended season and list upcoming anime on the main and anime blogs though.


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