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Nisemonogatari Episode 01 – Review~nya

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And here’s a show that we’ve all been waiting for, Nisemonogatari (偽物語).

Nisemonogatari is a direct sequel to the legendary troll anime studio Shaft‘s blockbuster hit and money cow Bakemonogatari from 2009, originally a light novel series by Nisioisin. Just as Bakemonogatari, this new show is also directed by Akiyuki Shinbo also known for the slap in face hit, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, among many others. The title Nisemonogatari is a portmanteau of Nisemono (swindler, charlatan, impostor or the more physical fake, knockoff, counterfeit) and Monogatari (story, tale.) Few fansub groups thus translate the title as “Impostory,” which I feel is rather appropriate since the fakes being referred to the title are the fire sisters Karen and Tsukihi (and the antagonists) but as is usual for Nisioisin, there could be further wordplay involved.

Before I continue here are a few notes to consider:

1) I will not re-explain the entire Bakemonogatari series.  The show itself does not baby the audience and I will not do so myself.  This is a direct sequel.  Please only read and follow the show after having watched all 15 episodes of Bakemonogatari as it will be worth your time and you will thank me with gifts of gold and myrrh.

2) Entire main cast excluding characters that will not reappear for this show have not changed or have not changed significant therefore the list will be brief.

3) I will not go into detail about personalities of individual characters except new antagonist(s) and the fire sisters Karen and Tsukihi.

Thanks, so… shall we start?

[Gratuitous Height Chart for the Curious]

Introducing the usual recurring cast though only half of the two new lead protagonists had voice role in this episode:

As newer characters are introduced, I will introduce the new cast members as they appear.

Main Cast-

Hiroshi Kamiya as Koyomi Araragi (big bro, lead character from Bakemonogatari, vampire)

Eri Kitamura as Karen Araragi (lil sis, main lead character, half of fire sisters, alias: Karen Bee)

Yuka Iguchi as Tsukihi Araragi (lil’er sis, main lead character, half of fire sisters, alias: Tsukihi Phoenix)

Secondary Cast-

Chiwa Saitou as Hitagi Senjougahara (Koyomi’s girlfriend, sadist, alias: Hitagi Crab)

Emiri Katou as Mayoi Hachikuji (wandering ghost, anti-lolicon, alias: Mayoi Snail/Mayoi MaiMai)

Miyuki Sawashiro as Suruga Kanbaru (Hitagi’s kouhai, overly sexualizes self, alias: Suruga Monkey)

Kana Hanazawa as Nadeko Sengoku (Tsukihi’s childhood friend, has youthful crush on Koyomi, alias: Nadeko Snake)

Yui Horie as Tsubasa Hanekawa (model student, unrequited love for Koyomi semi-resolved at end of Bakemonogatari, alias: Tsubasa Cat)

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With that out of the way, we start the show.

The events of Nisemonogatari takes place about a month after the end of Bakemonogatari. As is typical of sequels, the show starts at a questionable location where inexplicably Koyomi Araragi is tied up at the abandoned cram school which used to be home to the protagonist’s “friends,” Meme and Shinobu Oshino who have left the area and Araragi, at the end of Bakemonogatari. We find out that he was actually kidnapped by Hitagi Senjougahara for what is assumed to be for his protection (and or for Hitagi’s sick pleasures?). Though we don’t know exactly how many days he’d been there but he guesses that it’s been a day or two.

From there we flashback to the morning of the day of the kidnapping, July 29th. It’s summer vacation and Tsubasa Hanekawa who, along with Senjougahara, frequently tutors Araragi with his school work calls in to cancel their tutoring session. Bored at home, Araragi wanders into a conversation with his younger sister Tsukihi Araragi who is lazily watching television. After many witty remarks and eye candy camera shots later, Araragi decides to call Nadeko Sengoku and tells her he’s thinkning of visitng her that day. Nadeko in an obvious show of desparation and nervous wreck welcomes his potential visit. Koyomi then heads for Nadeko’s house after being told by Tsukihi that she is probabaly not welcomed despite Nadeko being Tsukihi’s childhood friend. And since Koyomi, being a man, does not understand the situation he’s getting himself into.

Araragi, on his way to Nadeko’s house, runs into Mayoi Hachikuji. After a bit of kurfuffle that ensues from their encounter, Koyomi and Mayoi enter into a long discussion that ranges from hesitating to tell Koyomi’s sisters about him turning to a vampire to how inserting “courage” to any deplorable act can turn them into something admirable. As is expected from Shaft, the scenes are a quick back and forth between the characters and their extremely fast dialogue along with eye candy worthy experimental architecture. In the end, Mayoi and Koyomi part ways with Mayoi leaving Koyomi with a philosophical perspective on the consequences or burdens that could be placed on the sisters for having Koyomi tell them about his secret.

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This show will be hard to screw up as Bakemonogatari has been extremely successful and by keeping to the same formula, it will most likely reap the same fruit as before. However, this being Shaft they will most likely dazzle with us with something. The story is already well done in the sense that it is coming directly from the light novels. How the rest of the show will be presented would all be guesses so I am guessing that the show like its predecessor will be full of fast and witty dialogue filled with excellent character development and mindbending twists. Anything more than that would be a plus. For those of you who might not have liked Bakemonogatari, unfortunately, this show will most likely have the same issues, such as rapid screen changes every couple of seconds and random buildings and characters doing awkward poses.

For now, I am desperately hoping that Shaft and the director Akiyuki Shinbo will inject more creativity into an already creative show. After all, expectation this high can only be satiated and countered with blow-your-mind delivery.

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High School DXD Episode 1

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Kujou-san: Welcome back, friends, and Happy New Year. Lots of new shows to kick off 2012, and one of the first reviews for Omoshirosou(!)’s sophomore year is production team TNK’s brand-spanking new High School DXD (ハイスクールDXD). Both mutsulini and I will be reviewing this series jointly, so you can look forward to both our input on this series as it progresses this season. Featuring OP “Trip -innocent of D-” by Larval Stage Planning, and ED “STUDYXSTUDY” by StylipS, the show is one of Yanagisawa Tetsuya’s (Sora no Otoshimono: Tokei-jikake no Angeloid) first projects as director.

 

んでくれないかな?” Could you… die for me?

Not exactly romantic, though that is the very phrase Hyoudou Issei hears from his supposed girlfriend Amano Yuma just before she kills him. Only minutes before, he’d been relishing the intoxicating experience of his first date ever. But what should have been a rose-colored evening of sweet, adolescent bliss takes a deadly turn as Yuma suddenly, unceremoniously impales him through the abdomen, leaving him to die in a state of confused agony.

 

But before we get to that, we should backtrack a bit. Oppai-obsessed Issei-kun (the increasingly ubiquitous Kaji Yuuki) is a second-year koukousei with a healthy libido and not all that much else going for him. He and his like-minded, good-for-nothing friends can usually be found somewhere on campus, cursing their inexperience and lusting after virtually any girl within a five-mile radius. However, he’s somehow gained the attention of the school goddess, Rias Gremory (Hikasa Youko), who chairs Komaou Academy’s Occult Research Club.

—–

Mutsulini: Welcome back gentle anime lovers, Mutsulini reporting in for Omoshirosou(!)’s first joint post.

Now that Kujou-san has over the events of the show’s very first episode so I will briefly enter into a brief analysis of Issei, our protagonist, and finish off the episode.

Issei is one of those protagonists who is typified by complete moral depravity and sexual ineptitude. He and his two inept goons do nothing but watch ecchi anime and wish to someday endeavor in sexual conquest which would be denied even with a prostitute. Below is a scene depicting the three recreating the scene, intentionally or unintentionally, from Porky’s sans the insertion but it ends up looking more like they’re entertaining themselves in brotherhood of sexual desperation outside of the girls’ changing room.

 

This show quickly devolves into a parade of emasculation through the main character going nuts over the thicket of watermelon sized breasts and divining winds that always lift the skirts up to the desired position to which grants visible access of the nether realms. Of course, I could be saying that about lot of other shows but dehumanizing Issei, the so-called libido driven teenager who is nothing but a fantasizing dimwit, has high entertainment value unto itself. After all, as Kujou-san mentioned, this is a boy who failed at getting to first base, by being killed.

Fortunately, to my pleasure, this episode’s highlight comes from the repeated killing of this ill-begotten boy who probably deserves nothing less than the gory assaults he endures only to be revived twice by the dominatrix-in-waiting Rias who happens to sport the largest pair of breasts in the show. After his second death, Rias reappears to claim ownership to Issei’s body as he again drifts into eternal slumber.  The episode ends with Issei waking up naked next to an also naked Rias. As expected of a testasterone driven manly man, Issei immediately huddles to the corner of his room in fetal position.

Look forward to our review of episode 2 of High School DxD~

Senki Zesshou Symphogear Episode 01 – El Review

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Hello everyone, after being convinced by Kujou-san on how informative this episodic reviewing thing can be, I was converted and decided to do ongoing show reviews.  For this season I will be doing Senki Zesshou Symphogear and Nisemonogatari.

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Having only read a brief synopsis of the show prior to the first viewing, I had little to no expectation for this show. To be quite frank, I only decided to review this show after learning that Nana Mizuki was in it and no other real reason. So, thanks Kujou-san.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear (戦姫絶唱シンフォギア) is an original anime produced by a relatively rookie studio Encourage Films and co-produced by Satelight slated to run 13 episodes with Nana Mizuki performing the opening theme Synchrogazer and Ayahi Takagaki performing the ending theme Meteor Light.

Before I begin, let me briefly list the “apparent” main cast members as you will all soon find that this concept of main character is just that, a concept.

Surprisingly, the show features an impressive cast but as Kujou-san and I discussed, so did Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. In Senki Zesshou Symphogear (which can be literally translated as Battle Maiden Excellent Symphogear,) Aoi Yuuki (Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Mina Tepes from Dance in the Vampire Bund) stars as Hibiki Tachibana, Yuka Iguchi (Index from To Aru Majutsu no Index and Tsukihi Araragi from Bakemonogatari series) as Hibiki’s roommate and friend Miku Kohinata,) veteran Minami Takayama (Conan Edogawa from Case Closed series and former member of Two-Mix most notably having done the theme songs for Gundam Wing series) as idol duo Zwei Wing member Kanade Amou, and, of course, Nana Mizuki(refer to my previous post) as the other half of Zwei Wing, Tsubasa Kazanari.

Show starts. Main character is dead. Thank you for watching. The End.

The show opens up with Miku going to visit Hibiki’s grave… One way you know that a show is going the right way is seeing that as soon as the show starts one of the main character is already dead. But, in the midst of crumbled and shelled out buildings, we transition to two years in the past where apparently Hibiki is still alive attending a concert featuring Zwei Wing’s Kanade and Tsubasa and all the futuristic buildings are shiny and vibrant again.

Though having promised to go with Hibiki, Miku skips out due to family stuff and we get a pleasurable few minutes of Nana Mizuki and Minami Takayama singing voice. Occasionally we get a random flash of a control room looking place where a male character with lion manes (I will go into more details about him in later episodes,) discusses with another in the room about how excellent the concert is going while staring at a glowing relic that seems to have lasers pointed at it.

However, peace is disturbed when the folks in this control room seemingly located beneath the stadium realizes that all is not excellent and the relic causes a violent explosion which is followed by an onslaught of extremely badly designed foreign beings attacking the people at the stadium. And for some odd reason the crowd already knows what they are and calls them, Noise. These Noise of varying shapes and sizes with some flying would envelop its victims in the stadium then turn the victim and itself into black ash. It does not look too pleasant, rather, it looks gruesome and cruel as the people are screaming up to the point where they dry up and turn to powder. One young woman repeatedly screeches that she does not want to die as she turns to powder shakes me with an odd fear despite the horrid monster designed apparently (assumedly) by a five year old.

Most Excellent Monster Design curtesy of an unnamed five year old.

My fears soon subsided when the two members of Zwei Wing, to no viewers’ surprise, turned out to be power suited super heroes who slowly but surely takes off into action.

When you fight, you show what moves you’re doing in giant banners covering the entire screen, cause you’ll just end up dying in a cruel way.

How would power suited idol duo fight monsters? Well, 1) you get giant swords, which they have, and 2) you sing while you slash and thrash. That’s right folks, they LITERALLY sing while they slash and thrash at the monsters. All goes decently well despite being weakened by the large number of Noise but the duo persevere, that is, until Hibiki who idiotically as main characters are wont to do stumbles near the fight then gets pierced right in the chest by a piece of straying debris. Kanade, then runs to her and tells her to stay alive then just settles the matter herself by singing a song in what seems to be in Old Norse or some non-German germanic language which apparently kills her and kills all the Noise. The scene ends with Hibiki witnessing Kanade in Tsubasa’s arms as Kanade is slowly ripped apart in silhouette.

Then comes Hibiki’s miraculous recovery and her at school with Miku again and running into Tsubasa who is also a student at the same school. Of course, no one knows what happened at the stadium except Hibiki and Tsubasa so Hibiki desperately wants to speak to her but fails to do so.

Later we’re shown a brief scene where the military mindnumbingly shoots straight through these Noise monsters with no effect until Tsubasa shows up and drops down from a helicopter WHILE singing and singlehandedly defeats Noise while the yet again completely inept anime military men watch on.

Next we’re bestowed with the epic climax of the episode. Hibiki goes to a convenient store only to discover black ash remnants of humans all over the area. She spots a little child so she chivalrously grabs her and runs to safety while being chased by the artistic aberrations. With a few winding turns and dips into sewage then a long ladder climb to the top of a nearby factory, they are hopelessly trapped with no where else to run. Scene cuts back to the control room with the lion mane man where they detect Gungnir (some sort of energy?) then we get to see one of the best moments of offmodel history since the Transformers days in mid 80s.

Things growing out of or pumping in and out of Hibiki…

This energy transforms Hibiki from the inside out and turns her into a power suited warrior… Alas, witness the scariest image known to man of the supposedly main character who happens to be as innocent as a bunny rabbit. After the final scene we transition into a cinema style credits with the opening theme by Nana Mizuki.

I might be hyping this a bit or bashing it but this show will either be the second best show in the season or THE worst. Stay tuned to see which way it goes.

Fooooooood!!!