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.