What’s worth watching? What’s best giving a miss? If you’re making your way through any anime series then please leave your suggestions in the comments below.
In the meantime; here’s a catch up on the latest batch of anime I’ve been watching. Consider these status reports or micro reviews.
Strike the Blood
Strike the Blood’s enjoyed a ramp up in plot, action and delivery. Some of the tension that’s been brewing has spilled over – and it’s all for the good.
We know how serious things can get. Our little gang of super powered college students better had not drop the ball.
Episode 9 begins raising the stakes even higher and then flips into character development mode. I suppose it makes sense after the battle of previous episodes. What’s more important is that the classic harem building has edged back and is making more sense. The girls represent factions. They’re the anchors to the various mechanisms that are driving events forward. This means we’ve events that are going forward and a cast that’s pre-engaged. Except for the art room scene, of course, that was just fan service.
In some ways the plot is getting more interesting as different supernatural powers are getting involved. It’s hard to pay attention to any of that, though.
Episode 12 is laden with fan service and the whole swapping magic as a proxy for swapping bodily fluids ramps up a level. There’s a whole beach scene which would sound like pr0n if you turned the contrast to black and it pretty much looks like a sandy romp too. I’ve nothing against romps, I watch anime, but let’s not make it so silly. How much of this episode’s plot was twisted just to allow the scene?
I still harbour lots of hope for Campione. I like the core idea. I do have access to lot of other choices of things to watch though so this series needs to dig deep and get compelling pretty soon.
Sword Art Online
Episodes 10 to 14
I’m still giving Sword Art Online top marks but I’m also going to claim a great big “told you so” on the growing romance between the two leads. I hope that it’s all important foreshadowing for future events and drama.
The last few episodes are full of surprising jumps. They’re not so much plot twists as much as skipping to the end. Villains are revealed. The plot moves at such speed you’ll be surprised.
You could end Sword Art Online at episode 14. In fact, in terms of DVDs and blu-rays the second disc does end here. Stopping the whole series at 14 would make for a bitter sweet ending. The fact that there’s another disc, part 3, is incredibly interesting. Where on earth can they go from here? I’m not sure but am looking forward to finding out.
Episodes 95 to 100
Aaah bliss; One Piece is just silly fun. Having had a go at Campione! for getting too silly I think it’s important to say that One Piece does silly better and more appropriately. Crazy adventures, crazy people and crazy stories are what this anime is all about.
The rule holds. I simply can’t sit down and watch this for extended periods of time. Instead, I highly recommend putting One Piece on when you’re shuffling around the living room, wanting to watch something in bed or want to look up from a book.
Dragon Ball GT
Episode 35 of Dragon Ball GT is the first episode of part 2. Although the characters, story and style is so very different from One Piece I find myself treating DBGT in a similar way; this is an anime that can play happily on the TV and let you know when you need to pay attention. The rest of the time you can multi task.
There’s more than one story arc in GT and as we progress through the episodes we move characters on in their development too. In Dragon Ball terms this means bigger bads and even more power. Half the fun is working out exactly how the next significant power-up is going to be achieved.
The Irregular Reconnaissance column contains a mix of anime titles I’ve streamed legally or watched from DVD and blu-ray. Some titles have been provided for free and for review.