Impressions: NANA, Honey and Clover, Tytania and a lot of other ones

So I haven’t been around, but I’ve still been watching a bunch of stuff. I don’t know if I’ll hit it all here, but I’m going to try to get the highlights.

NANA: So I started watching this show because of Paradise Kiss. I still think ParaKiss is an amazing show, despite leaving the side characters in romantic limbo. As far as Nana though, I’m still undecided. On the one hand, the characters are great. Even Hachi, who doesn’t seem to have a clue, is a fascinating character. I’m also a big fan of actions having consequences. But… it’s emotionally draining. I had to stop watching at episode 30 and I’m not sure I want to go back again.

I’m starting to figure out the difference between shoujo romance and shounen romance is the guy never gets the girl in shoujo, or at least she always wants the daring, troubled, loner rather than the kind, caring person. I’m not entirely sure whether this says something about Japan, or if it says something about women, or both.

Honey and Clover: Despite the loose threads, I thought this was one of the more interesting anime I’ve watched in a while. I liked the characters (all of them.) I could have used the plot to move a bit faster. It seemed like the characters stayed at the same points for a long, long time (with the exception of Takemoto) before their storylines started to resolve.

Although, I really liked the first opener. Eventually, I’ll probably write something up about that.

Nodame Cantabile: To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this show. I’m a coming-of-age fan, so both Chiaki’s and Nodame’s character growth through the series really engaged my interest. The pacing for the Paris Chapter was a little off towards the end, but otherwise it flowed well.

But, unlike BECK, for the most part I had to use the audiences’ reactions to judge whether or not people were really getting any better (except for a few parts.)

Black Lagoon: Wow. I really dug this show. Sure it’s occasionally a bit campy, but it’s sure a lot of fun. And it’s nice to have a hero who goes from being a wimp to having some real badass moments. His whole dialogue at the church about the drugs was awesome. I still haven’t finished the last disk though, mostly because I’m not sure if I want to see how it ends.

Tytania: Okay, it’s not LoGH. I’m not entirely convinced it’s trying to be LoGH. It does have enough politics and space battles to keep me engaged in the show, and I like the characters on the Tytania side more than I liked the characters on Rienhard’s side in LoGH. While Fan Hyulick is an interesting character, he doesn’t have same moral conundrums Yang has, which makes him a little less interesting.

All of that said, I’m not sure how in the world they’re going to wrap it up in one season. It seems like they’ve left too many threads loose and tying them up will take too long.

Allison and Lillia: I had a lot of misgivings about this show after the first episode. Hell, I had a lot of misgivings about this show after the first arc. But as the show progressed and the world became developed better and the lies started piling up, it started getting good. Especially after Wil became the soulless super-spy. I really liked how neither Allison nor Wil was perfect and their strengths complimented each other.

I really only have two complaints about the show and they both have to do with the Lillia and Trieze arcs. The first is the characters got short-changed as far as time, which left me feeling like I wanted a clear resolution to their issues at the end of the show. It really could have benefited from one more episode at least. The second was the creators seemed to refuse to let Lillia and Trieze be the HEROES of the show. Where Allison and Wil solved their problems, Lillia and Trieze always needed to be saved by Allison and Wil. I think I yelled at my computer screen a couple times about that.

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10 Comments

  1. This is so cool, you’ve returned. You didn’t like Honey and Clover that much?! ;A;

  2. @ Michael – I liked it. I just wanted it to resolve faster.

    Yeah, I missed the Otakusphere, especially when I wanted to fanboy over a show.

  3. Black Lagoon is like a big ole tribute to all that was awesome in Hollywood-type actioners back in the 90s. It’s over-the-top, balls-to-the-wall bonanza of bullets. Hell, it even pays homage to Chow Yun Fat’s iconic character from all those John Woo movies. the epitome of killing in style. I forget how the first season ends, but season two has a great Yakuza arc to close it out. Can’t wait to see what it has in store for its third season.

  4. Regarding Black Lagoon, never fear, a third season is in the works, and our (anti) heroes shall return again.

  5. I too found Black Lagoon to be most excellent – a ‘switch your brain off and enjoy’ slab of action with great character dynamics. I’ve reached as far as the end of the Second Barrage’s first disc and found the chilling and movin conclusion seemed to hold a mirror up to the series itself and make you question its guilty pleasure morality. *shrugs* whatever, it’s awesome.

    Allison to Lillia left me with a lot of mixed feelings, but if you’re enjoying it more than I did that’s cool. ^_^

  6. @ Martin – Hrm… I didn’t quite catch that from the end of that arc, but that is an interesting point. I don’t always pick up all of the dynamics on the first go around on a show. Usually it takes me a couple of times before I pick up on stuff like that.

    About A&L – It’s kind of funny you say that, although I did read your later post about the series after Author pointed it out, I actually decided to watch the show after remembering an earlier post you did about it. I enjoyed it for what it was, but then again, my expectations aren’t really that high when I start watching a show. And it reminded me of the Hardy Boys (or what Nadia could have been if it hadn’t sucked.)

  7. >>NANA: I’m also a big fan of actions having consequences. But… it’s emotionally draining.

    You could just imagine then what happens in the manga…

    >>Honey and Clover: Despite the loose threads, I thought this was one of the more interesting anime I’ve watched in a while.

    H&C is only interesting but A&L is good? T_T

    Though indeed, at the beginning I thought Allison and Will were a good pair.

    >>Black Lagoon: Wow. I really dug this show.

    Methinks you’re gonna like the second season too. I’m looking forward to what you’ll say about the twins. 😀

  8. @Hayase – Actually I hunted down the lastest scan of the manga for NANA shortly before I put the series down and I was like WTF? Sometimes I think the manga-ka just likes tormenting her characters. It’s like she says, “Oh you. You’re too happy. You must make a difficult life changing decision now.” I mean ParaKiss was great in the sense it was short and it really just dealt with the main relationship. NANA is just painful in a lot of ways.

    On Honey and Clover, well comparing it to A&L is like comparing a decent Michael Chabon book to a pretty good Scooby Doo episode. Honey and Clover’s problem is for the most part and for most of the series the story was at a standstill. Yamada was still pining over Mayama. Mayama was still pining over Riku. Takemoto was sort of pining over Hagu. Morita was trying to deny that he liked Hagu and Hagu was kind of pining over Morita. It wasn’t until the second series they even started to resolve the plot threads.

    Sure it was beautiful, and the characters were well developed, but in a large part – nothing happened.

    Whereas with A&L, stuff happened. Sure it wasn’t a deep and rich story, and it had it’s fair share of holes, but for the most part it resolved itself.

    On Black Lagoon – I’ve watched most of the second season. I liked the twins, I wasn’t a big fan of the set of characters around the twins. I really like the Black Lagoon crew, but I’m not a big fan of most of the supporting characters. That said, the creepy kids get a definite thumbs-up from me. I just wish they’d killed the Russian chick too.

  9. B… b.. b… but CAMERON!

    HONEY AND CLOVER11!

    Anyway, I really didn’t mind nothing happened in H&C. For the most part, in our lives, nothing really happens, anyway.

  10. Honestly, the performances in the Nodame Cantabile anime was pretty meh for me, totally overshadowed by its jdrama counterpart. Now that one, is AWESOME. If you already liked the anime, no doubt, you’ll love it :3


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