Wassup Ani-Tayers? Been busy with life, the universe, and everything so I've just been commenting here and there instead of writing up some good anime posts. But fear not, in my posting hiatus I have still been anime-ing! So here's a quick recap of what I've been watching.
Oreimo Season 2: Episodes 1-6
Oreimo is my fanboy anime, so I'm ultra critical about this show. So far we are just a little over a third of the way through this season and it has been quite interesting. A lot of these episodes are more backstory and fleshing out of other characters instead of Kirino and Kyousuke's relationship, and for the most part it has been fantastic to watch. There was one episode that felt dull to me but I understand it's importance to the overall story.
If there's one thing for sure about this season of Oreimo, is that it is more for the fans of the first season. Since so much of this is fleshing out of what has already been established, newcomers to the series may easily get lost. But if you are a fan, know that the series is still just as good as ever.
Hitman Reborn!: Episodes 1-65
My old college roommate recommended this show to me two years ago when we went to AWA. I saw one picture of it, the baby on the cover, and quickly said 'AW HELL NAH!' and continued on with other anime.
Then when I signed up for Crunchy Roll I noticed it was 200 some episodes in and figured I'd give it another go. I'm glad that I did.
Hitman Reborn! is about a boy known as 'Loser Tsuna' who is to become the tenth boss of one of the most powerful Mafia families in Italy, the Vongola. The current Mafia boss sends Reborn, the Hitman Tutor, to turn Tsuna from the biggest joke of the school into primo Mafia boss material.
These episodes can be split into two different arcs. The first twenty five or so episodes introduce us to the characters and the world of the Mafia. New characters join Tsuna's 'family', baby hitmen show up, and his training almost kills him a time or two.
But throughout it there are tons of laughs to be had: baby cow hitmen, a shapeshifting chameleon, and poison cooking abound in this series. It is completely lighthearted and just plain funny to watch sometimes, especially when he gets shot with the Deathperation Shot which makes Tsuna act 'As if his life depended on it!' A side effect though, is that Tsuna rips through all of his clothes and does all of his actions in just his boxers.
Then shit gets all kinds of serious when the Varia show up. The Varia are an elite squad within the Vongola and they think that their leader is better suited to become the next Vongola boss over Tsuna. Thus, Tsuna and his family must fight the Varia for control of the Vongola rings in order to decide who is to become the next leader of the Vongola family.
This second arc brings us all back to the fact that Tsuna is training to be a MOB BOSS. Reborn isn't all smiley and jokes anymore, but serious and somber when it comes to the Varia vs Tsuna and the tournament style fights that occur in the battle for the rings. These are professional hitmen, lives are definitely on the line.
Overall, I enjoyed these first sixty five episodes. The switch from super funny and lighthearted to serious was a bit abrupt but served it's purpose well. All the characters are really fun to watch and how they all see Tsuna as more than just the 'loser' he sometimes sees himself as. It is even shown near the end of the Varia arc when his mother realizes that he somehow matured over the past few months.
My biggest gripe though is the switch back to the goofiness that was the first arc right after the Varia arc. Tsuna is all badass and knows all these cool techniques and just survived one of the biggest fights in his life, all for Reborn to remind him that he is still his tutor and he has a lot to learn. Guess there is no rest for the wicked.
All in all, watch it. It's fun if nothing else.
Code:Breakers: Episodes 1-12
Last but not least we have Code:Breakers. Overall I enjoyed this anime but there are a few things that kept me from fully enjoying it.
The story follows Sakura Sakurakouji and a mysterious boy named Rei Ogami who she witnessed burn a whole bunch of people to death one night and then was enrolled in her school the next day. Turns out Rei is a Code:Breaker, an off the books government agent with special powers that dishes out justice to those that the normal system cannot touch. He is number six of the Code:Breakers and so seen as the baby of the group by the other Code:Breakers. In a way the Code:Breakers are like the Men in Black, they don't technically exist or have a past and try not to have ties to those around them.
Very cool premise, but it does take a while for the main point of the story to fall into place. There is a main baddy that the Code:Breakers must go after, and he is alluded to multiple times beforehand, but he and his motives aren't introduced until about halfway into the series. This personally drove me nuts cause it was painfully obvious to me who was the bad guy and I just felt they were dragging it out for far too long.
But once he is introduced, I do have to say you almost root for the guy and what he is trying to accomplish. The best kind of villains are ones that make you wonder if what they aim to do is actually wrong, and this guy is a prime example of that.
Besides that, a few other gripes are the fact that Sakura is supposedly some type of special human, a 'Rare Kind', that is important to the Code:Breakers, but it is never explained what exactly she is or why she is so important. Also, the animation and character designs are stellar, but sometimes they will do something that stands so far out of the art style that it pulls you away from the immersion. Namely, this bitch:
When one of your main characters is saying "An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth, and Evil for Evil." and then doing this to the people around him:
Having anything goofy looking around is going to stand out like an American in Akihabara.
She just found the 18 and up section...
Aside from those gripes, I did thoroughly enjoy Code:Breakers. It has a well rounded cast of characters, interesting story, and some very pretty animation, especially during the fights. It just finished up in December, and it did allude to a second season, so hopefully we will see it sooner rather than later.
Well all, that's most of the anime I've been up to the past couple of weeks. I did recently introduce some friends to Speed Grapher and started up Blue Exorcist so maybe expect some kind of impressions on those in the coming weeks.
Until then, keep on Anime-ing Anitayers!