Princess Comet (Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-san)

(43 episodes)

What’s it about ?
In the Triangle Nebula (which seems to be in charge of monitoring all inhabited planets) should start the ritual ball where the Prince of Tambourine choses between the Princesses of Harmonica and Castanet… except he’s gone missing. Young Princess Comet of Harmonica is sent to Earth to look for him, but her quest doesn’t start very well…

This is the remake of a 60s live-action series. No, really.


Princess Comet, our 12-year-old protagonist. She really doesn’t care about all the formalities of her rank, but planet Earth looked AWESOME from afar, so she’s totally onboard for her mission. She’s got some magic star powers, but they’re honestly quite lame so far.

Rababou, her pet-thingy, is supposed to help and guide her, but he manages to get lost within minutes of landing on Earth. Oh, dear…

Her family : her father the king sleeps through half his seen, while her mother the queen is generically regal. There’s also an old chancelor-type dude who just can’t help droning on and on with exposition. (Comet being bored beyond tears by him is one of the most fun scenes of this episode.)

We’re also introduced to rival Princess Meteor from Castanet, although she doesn’t get to really do anything yet.

Production Values

Perfectly okay for this kind of thing. The character designs remind me of Heartcatch Precure, and there are worse standards to adhere to.

Overall Impression

Is this series supposed to be so depressing ?

In a refreshing swerve, when Comet shows up on Earth with no money and nobody to guide her, the shopkeepers refuse to give her any food for free, and she ends up sleeping in a park. Which is welcome, considering how boring the episode had been up to then. One might wonder what her parents were thinking when sending her there, though.

Now, there’s obviously some light at the end of the tunnel, as she eventually meets the mother of two twins she befriended earlier, with the implication that Comet’s going to find a roof to sleep under next episode. Presumably, wacky hijinks will be starting soon… but it’s still a bizarrely sad start for a series.

Not that I mean that the series is really worth getting out of your way to watch (I don’t think it’s even entirely subbed). It’s a kids’ show with some weird quirks, and that’s it.

 How many magical girl series end their first episode with their heroine starving on a bench under the rain ?

How many magical girl series end their first episode with their heroine starving on a bench under the rain ?

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001 – Page 3.

Angelic Layer

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

In the future, the latest Serious Business fad is a combat through hi-tech dolls sport called “Angelic Layer”. Cue start of your standard battle series. But since we’re adapting a CLAMP manga, all the fighters (and their dolls) seem to be female.


Misaki, our 12-year-old ingenue protagonist, fresh off the countryside and new to the whole thing. It’s heavily implied that her long-estranged mother (whom she hasn’t seen since kindergarten) is the current Angelic Layer champion. She was brought up by her grandparents, but has come to Tokyo to live with…

Shoko, her aunt. But don’t call her that, or she’ll agressively point out she’s still in her twenties. It’s obvious she doesn’t approve of her sister’s behaviour regarding Misaki.

There’s a quirky scientist dude (introducing himself as “Icchan”) stalking Misaki at the train station, and helping her buy her own Angelic Layer doll (you can apparently buy them at your local mart). He’s kinda creepy, to be honest, although the charitable view is that he’s betting on her to be a future champion (he knows about her mother). He does get hauled off by the cops halfway through the episode, as a store clerk did find him quite creepy too.

The OP and ED sequences suggest that Misaki is going to make some friends at her school and start going into tournaments, but we’re not there yet.

Production Values

It’s a Bones series, so it was bound to look at least good (although this is one of their lesser efforts). I’ve always found their work polished but a bit artistically sterile, and they certainly seem to overpower the CLAMP influence here.

Overall Impression

It’s a battle anime. It’d have a hard time convincing me to continue watching it on any day.

Now, it does quite a lot to sell me on Misaki as a character, and her broken family background does hold some interest. The creepy scientist at least makes the exposition a bit less clunky than usual, and there’s a genuine sense of wonder about the whole Angelic Layer system. It certainly sounds like a fun toy.

But, at the end of the day, it’s a battle anime. Certainly above average, but it’s obvious the series will continue into the obligatory tournaments, with our underdog prodigy quickly moving up the ranks (thanks to her deep connection with her doll) until a cathartic reunion battle with her mother. I feel like I’ve already watched the whole series, and thus I can’t bring myself to really care.

Still, points for trying.

 Misaki fascinated by her new toy.
Misaki fascinated by her new toy.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001.

Winter 2011 capsules

A few words on the first episode of the second season of Kimi ni Todoke… Well, it’s actually “Episode 0”, for an obvious reason : it’s a recap of the first season.

Now, there was a truly awful recap episode in the middle of the first season, bringing nothing new to the table and saddled with a tedious and downright bizarre Greek chorus. But this is different : after all, it’s been nearly a year since I watched all this, so I don’t mind the plot refresher.

And moreover, the whole thing is from the point of view of Ume “Kurumi” Kurumizawa, Sawako’s unlucky bitchy rival for Kazehaya’s affections. While I don’t think we learn anything new here, it’s a nice change from Sawako’s viewpoint. And I admit I loved the gag around Kurumi’s Death Note.

On the other hand, there is the slight issue that Kurumi’s such an egotist that we barely get any insight into any of the other characters… and moreover, it completely skips the whole Chizuru/Ryuu thing, in which she had no involvement. But presumably all this is going to be covered in the series proper if needed.

The new OP & ED are nothing to write home about, and certainly less epic than the originals. I did get a chuckle out of the implication of Ayane/Pin in the OP, though.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 4.

I’m not going to do a full review of the Supernatural – The Animation series of OVAs, but here are my thoughts on the first episode : it’s perfectly okay, but I’m not sure I’m going to keep watching. You can really see the “standard American TV series” setup (two brothers on a road trip investigating weird stuff in a new location each episode). The two leads have good chemistry, it’s got a decent sense of style, and it’s pretty good at what it does (paranormal thriller). On the other hand, the open-endedness of the premise (it adapts “the first two seasons of the TV show”, plus various original stuff) makes it clear there’ll be no real resolution in those OVAs.

Still, if I was more interested in the genre, I’d probably give it more of a chance, but I’m already watching too much stuff.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 28.


I’m horribly late as is on most of this stuff, so I’ll keep it brief.

Hen Zemi #1 (of 2) (“Abnormal Physiology Seminar”) is a prelude (or whatever) to a full TV series airing next spring. The premise is that a normal college girl attends a special course about “sexual perversion” (for credit, I presume), and gets tons of ludicrously embarrassing assignments from it. And that’s without going into the six other weirdoes attending the class or the very creepy teacher supervising it.

It’s actually better than it sounds – the fanservice could be much worse, Kana Hanazawa is as adorable as ever as the lead, and I’m all for a series that doesn’t demonize bizarre sexual quirks as long as they’re consensual (in other words, it’s miles better than MM!).

The problem is that it’s “nearly funny”, which doesn’t quite cut it. I did smile here and there, but that’s it. It may yet improve, so I’ll try getting the other OVA (out within a couple of weeks) and keep an open mind for the TV series, but I’m not too optimistic.

Mirai Nikki (“Future Diary”) is a 9-minute-long trailer testing waters for a potential future series. The gimmick is that our high school protagonist finds on his cell phone a detailed diary of his next 90 days (given by enigmatic paranormal entities). Various other people were given the same thing, and the whole thing is a game, won by the last person standing.

On these grounds, I’m sold. It’s an interesting premise, the atmosphere is built appropriately (it definitely feels very creepy), and I loved how dysfunctionally the relationship with the obligatory love-interest-with-a-diary-too started off. This reminds me of the best aspects of Death Note, although it’s different enough to be its own thing.

Yuri Seijin Naoko-san (“Lesbian Citizen Naoko-san”) is a 6-minute-long adaptation of a gag manga about… I’m not sure, actually. An sarcastic alien maid stalking a high-school girl and sniffing the skirts of any passing girl because she claims that’s the only way to get good reception from the stars. Also, she can randomly summon trains in the middle of a little street.

This is a very baffling short indeed. The key thing, though, is that it’s not funny at all, and that’s what kills it for me.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu: Matsuri #1 (of 2) is a bridge OVA before a proper second season next summer. It’s basically the same as ever, with a “cultural festival” backdrop to riff on the usual recurring jokes. It’s good fun, and I loved the multiple endings, but don’t bother with this unless you watched and liked the first season.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 29.

Wandering Son (Hourou Musuko)

Disclaimer : I’ve read the manga.

What’s it about ?

A boy who’d rather be a girl. A girl who’d rather be a boy. But the onset of puberty might ruin it all…


Suichi Nitori, our main character. He’s been experimenting with dressing as a girl for years, and by now he’s wandering in the streets alone in full drag. He describes himself as “wishy-washy”, and that’s pretty accurate.

Yoshino Takatsuki, his accomplice in crossdressing. They used to go on “dates” in the city (with her as a boy and him as a girl), but things have been awkward ever since he confessed to her and she refused.

Chizuru Sarashina, a bold girl who shows up in a male uniform for the first day of middle school just for the heck of it. She immediately becomes a role model for Yoshino.

Saori Chiba, a very jealous girl who has a thing for Suichi. Also an avid church-goer.

Maho Nitori, Suichi’s sister. Has started a modelling career, and is thus a bit annoyed that he’s using her best clothes when she’s not looking. But she’s not that hostile to his hobby. (Heck, they both started modelling together, although he has since dropped out.)

And TONS of other characters, like Suichi’s bespectacled sidekick, his and Yoshino’s adult transsexual friend, Maho’s model friend who has a thing for Suichi… But they barely get to do anything in this episode.

Production Values

It looks very pretty, with a gorgeous-looking watercolor look that extends to the characters. The classical score completes the “artsy” tone.

The OP is very bizarre : a fancy CG type for the credits over shots of the school… but it’s completely empty, devoid of any human beings. Are they planning to fill it with characters as the series goes ? The song’s nothing special. Meanwhile, the ED has a nice moody song that contrasts with minimalistic animation.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. What were they thinking ?

If you’re feeling completely lost, like you’re joining this series halfway through… Well, you’re not entirely wrong, considering this adapts the start of Volume FIVE of the manga. As a result, there’s heaps of backstory alluded to, and major story beats are told rather than shown. Also, tons of supporting characters are barely introduced. I can’t help but wonder what somebody completely new to the series would understand of it.

But on the other hand, this episode does try to fit in lots of awkward exposition, to the detriment of its actual story. This is supposed to be Chizuru’s big entrance, and it feels like a complete afterthought. Urgh. It’s only in the second half that it starts finding its footing, when Suichi’s moody wandering through the city finally gets the space it needs to breathe (and I loved the wonderfully awkward end to the episode).

I’m sure that once this series gets a bit more underway, it will become much better. The source material is remarkable, after all. But the sudden jump midway into the story is sure to alienate most non-fans, which ain’t good for a series with such a difficult subject matter. I really can’t understand it : why not relate Suichi & Yoshino’s relationship from the start ? This is just baffling.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 16.

Level E

What’s it about ?

An average high school student’s routine is suddenly disturbed when a self-proclaimed alien crashes into his pad.


Yukitaka Tutsui, our protagonist. Fresh coming to this country town because he’s been scouted by the baseball team of the local high school, and it’s as good an excuse as any to start living on his own. Very annoyed by this freeloader who just. won’t. go. away.

The alien doesn’t actually get a name in this episode, but I’m told he’s called “Prince”. Which is appropriate, considering he looks like a blonde long-haired bishonen. He’s partly amnesiac and a bit in a bind since the local scientists are investigating his crashed spaceship. Seems like a master of offscreen teleportation (you know, the kind where you lock him outside and the next moment he’s just behind you). Despite his deadpan annoyingness, he’s showed to have a heart near the end of the episode – he gets injured rescueing a kitten from car traffic !

Miho Edogawa, the pretty girl next door, who just happens to be the daughter of the chief scientist investigating the alien spacecraft, of course.

Production Values

This looks really good, with some slick animation and pretty scenery porn backgrounds. The OP is awesome, with a fun little rock number, a very nice use of colors, and some good comedic timing. On the other hand, the ED’s crap.

Overall Impression


On the one hand, there’s a lot to like – some good jokes with impeccable comedic timing, nice production values. But it feels like it should be more, if you see what I mean ? Some of the jokes feel repetitive, and it feels a bit slow as a result. It needs more meat.

I feel like I should like it more, somehow.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 12.


What’s it about ?

The Demon Lord is too busy playing videogames and attending random parties to eradicate mankind, so he sends his infant son to do it in his place. The baby attaches himself to a brash high school delinquent. Hijinks ensue.


Oga, our protagonist. A top dog in his high school filled with delinquents, despite being only a freshman. The classic Jerk With A Heart Of Gold (c). Prone to semi-delusional epic narration. Having the same voice actor as TTGL‘s Kamina does wonders for his personality.

Beelzebub, the baby demon. You don’t want to make him cry, considering he zaps whoever’s around when that happens.

Furuichi, Oga’s sidekick. The poor dude’s chief role is to complain about the ludicrousness of the plot and get screwed over repeatedly by Oga.

Hildegarde, Beelzebub’s demon caretaker. After some over-the-top fighting to try and take Beelzebub back, she acknowledges that he’s attached himself to Oga and sticks around to supervise his upbringing as the scourge of mankind. Will not take “no” for an answer. Wonderfully deadpan. (… most of the time…)

Production Values

This looks perfectly alright for a gag series. Oga’s constant stream of scary faces has great comedic timing, and I like the occasional thicker lines around the characters. On the other hand, the soundtrack is terrible canned cheese.

The OP’s a joke that could get on my nerves after a while, and the ED’s just forgettable.

Overall Impression

This… is actually pretty funny. I was worried a bit at the beginning, as Beelzebub zapping punks was getting old after ten minutes, but it starts clicking after Hildegarde shows up. The banter between the three leads is delightful.

Now, with that said, do I see myself following this for 50+ episodes ? I fear the joke might stale after a while, and there’s a risk it’d devolve into generic fighting shonen crap. I’ll give it some more episodes, though.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 11.

Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!

(Approximative translation : “I’m totally not in love with my brother, okay ?!“)

What’s it about ?

Incest bait. Lots of it.


Nao, our protagonist. She’s head over heels her brother, but she plays hard to get : she teases him a lot with “innocent” innuendo, then pulls out at the last moment while calling him a pervert for even thinking about it. Two thirds of the way through the episode, she learns she was adopted ; while this kills her fantasies of “forbidden love”, it does open some possibilities…

Shuusuke, the brother. Let’s just say that his hormones are in perfect working order, and leave it as that. He’s got an impressive porn collection, by the way.

The parents are very generic : Mom is concerned, while Dad is trying to snatch Shuusuke’s BDSM magazines for future perusal.

Nao has a couple of bland friends that are mostly rolling their eyes at her transparent behaviour.

The OP/ED and next episode preview suggest that two more girls are going to compete for Shuusuke’s attention. First off is his long-lost twin-tailed childhood friend…

Production Values

Wow, this looks horrible. I’m usually fairly tolerant of non-standard artstyles, but those elongated limbs are deep into uncanny valley and make everyone look like they’re anorexic. The animation is quite limited, too.

OP & ED are chirpy crap. Urgh.

Overall Impression

Well, I think we reached the nadir of the season. I reached my “please gods, let it stop already !” threshold before the opening credits, but I endured until the end of the episode for your sake. This is terrible on every level, and it sickens me that there’s an audience for this crap.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 10.


What’s it about ?

The future. The world is at war with alien creatures called “Novas”, whose powerful “Freezing” fields prevent conventional warfare. The only thing that can get close enough to them is a “Pandora”, a magically empowered girl sensorily paired with a “Limiter” younger guy. The series starts in the middle of a “Carnivale”, a battle-royale training exercise/exam at the Pandora/Limiter academy.

Also, boobies and panty shots. Lots of them.


Bridgette L. Satellizer, the current top Pandora at the academy. Very, very badass (she dispatches #3, #4 & #5 while barely breaking a sweat, and before that wins a 1-against-11 fight). Not exuding much personality, and voiced by Mamiko Noto, of all people.

Kazuya Aoi, a new male freshman at the academy. Spends much of his screentime angsting about his dead sister, an elite Pandora who died heroically 4 years ago. Or did she ? When he stumbles onto Bridgette, he’s convinced she’s his sister. And thus dives head first into her chest, because that’s what brothers do. While the Carnivale’s still going, which obviously distracts her and causes her defeat at the hands of #2. (Well, it’s slightly ambiguous in the cliffhanger, but the next-episode-preview suggests that’s the result.)

Lana Linchen, a ditzy female freshman, whose chief role is to get exposition delivered to by her teacher (who fought alongside Kazuya’s sister way back when).

Production Values

For some reason the version I watched is at a 4:3 ratio, which is presumably a mistake (there are various shots that are clearly truncated).

Overall, it looks okay, although the action scenes don’t flow that well. And the character designs are very generic.

While the OP has a decent moody song, it looks very cheap, with tons of static shots and scenes recycled from the actual series (including Bridgette’s transformation sequence, which we saw in detail two minutes ago in the pre-credits sequence). The ED song is pretty bad, and playing to candid shots of the various girls. Urgh.

And wait, this is a daytime show ? (Seriously, the information I can find says it airs at 9:30am on Saturdays.) But… we actually see naked tits at one point ! WTF ?

Overall Impression

Well, the good news is that it’s better than Infinite Stratos. It managed to make me give a toss about the plot and the world-building, there’s an urgency and stakes to the fights (there’s some technobabble about how Pandoras can regenerate from near-fatal injuries and amputated limbs, but the hospital manager “would really like to have this Carnivale with zero casualties”, so it ain’t a sure thing), and if you like some fanservice and gore there’s plenty of it. And it obviously does have some ambition.

On the other hand… Well, it’s still a fanservice-fuelled “panty fighter” series, and you can really hear the plot gears grinding as the premise is forced into a harem setup towards the end. Also, the non-linear storytelling is sometimes a bit disorientating, between the Carnivale, the lesson scene, Kazuya’s subplot and the flashback to his sister’s last stand.

I’m really not sure about this one. There’s a somewhat decent story that compels me to watch another episode to check whether it’s going anywhere, but I fear it’s going to be smothered by the fanservice and the harem hijinks. I’m fearing a new Daimao, here.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 9.

Dream Eater Merry (Yumekui Merry)

What’s it about ?

Our protagonist has been plagued by bizarre nightmares where he’s assaulted by cats for years… until today, when a bizarre girl fall on his lap and he finds himself transported in a dream world where the cats’ leader tries to take his body over. The girl rescues him.


Yumeji, our protagonist, has the weird ability of guessing what the person he looks at will dream about the next night. It’s neither very precise or accurate, though. It does work on himself if he looks in the mirror, though (“Sigh, I’m going to have this nightmare again…”).

John Doe, the bad guy. He hails from the dream world and wants to move into the real world, but that can only happen if he takes someone’s body over. Yumeji will do, thanks.

Merry Nightmare, the not-really-human girl, is in the opposite position : she’s amnesiac and wants to go back to the dream world (John Doe implies she must have taken someone over…). Will Yumeji help her, please ?

The supporting cast is rounded up by a few friends of Yumeji’s, including a childhood friend he lives with… for some yet-to-be-disclosed reason…

Production Values

I quite like some of the background work in the dreamworld, and they’re obviously trying for atmosphere. The problem is that it pales in comparison with Madoka, and never manages to reach the same level of creepy. (I blame the colours, too flat and naturalistic.) It’s truly unfortunate that both shows compete in the same season.

The OP is okay stuff, and certainly sets the tone of the show. ED is decent too.

Overall Impression

This, on the other hand, is much better than it sounded at first (a girl falling into a guy’s arm ? seriously ?). Again, it’s all the atmosphere, and it works out pretty well. It’s also nice to have a bad guy whose goals are crystal clear and make complete sense. And it succeeds in suggesting there’s a lot more going on than on face value.

Sure, it’s not as good as Madoka, but I’m sure this can be said about most of this season’s shows. It’s quite enjoyable so far, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes from here.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 6.