Anime Quick-Hit Reviews: Winter 2010 Season Part 8

(Originally published and formatted for Livejournal on 2/12/11)

Anime Quick-Hit Reviews:
Winter 2010 Season Part 8

What this is about: For the sake of completeness and to accurately claim that I have sampled almost every subtitled anime show for all of 2010, I am going backwards several months to check out all the shows from the Winter 2010 Season, which is defined as all shows that debuted between December 21st, 2009 and March 21st, 2010. Rather than post full-length reviews, these are just some “quick hits”. I’ve already checked out the first episodes of every Winter 2010 show, now it’s time to take a look at those that received a passing grade to the second episode:

Hipira the Little Vampire Episode 2

Series Details: 10 five-minute episodes that aired between December 21st and December 25th, 2009.
What It’s About: Hipira visits old geezer’s lab, where’s he’s cranking away at some big contraption, the culmination of his life’s work. At the last moment, a screw comes loose ruining the experiment, but it does produce one little fairy creature named Soul, who follows Hipira around.
My Thoughts on Episode 2: Hipira and his little Sperm pet, oh-boy! Aside from the rather unfortunate physical characteristics of Soul, it’s really just a kiddie show, light-hearted adventures and light-hearted comedy. Nothing wrong with that, of course, just not very interesting.
The Verdict: – Slight thumbs-down. Maybe if I was eight years old, I might think differently.

Katanagatari Episode 2

Series Details: Twelve hour-long episodes released on a monthly basis starting in January 2010.
What It’s About: Shichika follows Togame off the island he’s lived his entire life, and starts their second quest to capture the sword wielded by Ginkaku. Despite his kingdom falling into ruin as the desert swallowed the land, Ginkaku remains to sole guardian of his castle, and it takes all of Shichika’s cunning and Togame’s wit to survive.
My Thoughts on Episode 2: Yeah, it’s a really wordy show, with tons of dialogue and exposition, such as when Togame and Shichika spend endless minutes walking through the desert trying to come up with the perfect “catch phrase”. But that’s okay, because it is *well* written and interesting, the give-and-take between the unlikely duo is as captivating as the action sequences themselves. Moreover, it’s an extremely stylistic show, a feast for the eyes from start to finish.
The Verdict: – Thumbs-up.

Sora no Woto Episode 2

Series Details: Twelve-episode television series that ran from January to March, 2010.
What It’s About: Kanata begins her first full day in the 1121st Platoon, much to the consternation of Kureha, who now worries that Kanata may draw attention away from her. Kureha leads Kanata around the fort, which used to be an old school. They imagine they hear a ghost, but when they go exploring they discover it’s an owl, which they keep as a pet.
My Thoughts on Episode 2: This is the episode that sold the show on me, showing that it’s more than just “K-On joins the army”. There is a fairly dark streak that runs throughout the show, of dire events taking place outside of this little oasis, disaster and tragedy. More of that, and less of the cutesy kid stuff, please.
The Verdict: – Thumbs-up.

Ookami Kakushi Episode 2

Series Details: Twelve episode television series that ran from January to March, 2010.
What It’s About: While Hiroshi is happy to begin his new life in the small town, he is immediately concerned when one of the classmates suddenly “moves away” and no one seems worried. He makes friends with some of the locals, including next-door neighbor Isuzu, and they spend some time learning about the local legends of the town’s wolves.
My Thoughts on Episode 2: Confusing, and ultimately not very impressive. Not interested enough to stick around and figure out what’s really going on.
The Verdict: – Thumbs-down.

Dance in the Vampire Bund Episode 2

Series Details: Twelve-episode television series that ran from January to March 2010.
What It’s About: At school Akira catches Mina watching him. After a brief exchange, she coerces him into serving her for the day. They are suddenly attacked, and Akira remembers his past as a servant to Mina.
My Thoughts on Episode 2: The one thing that I said would get me to drop this show faster than anything else reared its ugly head this episode: Loli Mina. Really, is there any reason that she *has* to appear as a ten-year-old girl? And was it really necessary for her to strip down to her panties and have Akira rub oil all over her, while she teases him about it? Seriously now, that’s just icky. Aside from that, I started to wonder whether I was really watching Bakemonogatari instead, given the uncanny similarity between some of the character expressions, the camera angles and pacing. Sure enough, Akiyuki Shinbo was director on both, and it clearly shows.
The Verdict: – Thumbs-down.

So, what’s up next? Durarara, Hanamaru Kindergarten, Darker than Black: Gaiden, Gundam UC Unicorn, Working, Time of Eve

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