(Very few) Fall 2008 Anime

Many new shows this season, but not many which actually stood out and got me excited. Included below are several of the new opening sequences with some of my brief thoughts about them — more in-depth reviews will come along later.

New Shows:
1. Shikabane Hime (Corpse Princess):

Based on the manga by Yoshiichi Akahito of the same name, Shikabane Hime focuses on a girl who finds herself slightly undead hunting other zombies in order to gain entry into heaven with the help of a group of anti-zombie Buddhist monks. A co-production between GAINAX and Studio Feel, two things immediately drew me to watch this show. The first was that GAINAX was handling (at least some) of the animation production and the second was the image of a girl blowing the crap out of freaky monsters with machine guns. With huge explosions. In a school-girl uniform. Honestly, what else could one want out of a show? All I have seen are promotional videos and the opening….so we have yet to see if there is actually any depth to this show or if it is exactly what you get in the opening. Either way, I’m watching it and I’ll have a review up later.

2. Michiko and Hatchin:

Faaaaaaabulous. One name is all you need to know for this show: Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and the “Baby Blue” short in the Genius Party movie. He isn’t directing this time around but is instead serving as the music director on this new show by Manglobe (animation studio for Samurai Champloo and the overly complicated Ergo Proxy) which is about two girls: Michiko, a “sexy diva” who escapes from an inescapable fortress (at least before she got there) and Hatchin, a young girl fleeing from her foster parents. Aside from Watanabe’s involvement, the story and look of the show sets it completely apart from everything else airing this season. The opening is very much in the theme of Bebop and here’s to hoping that it will just as wild as the promo videos suggest it will be. There will most definitley be a follow-up review on this after I’ve seen the first episode. More guns, more girls. No zombies. Alas….we can’t have everything, can we?

3. Bounen no Xamdou:

This is an odd one. Produced and animated by studio Bones, Bounen no Xamdou (or as I like to call it, “Boning the Xamdou”….haha) was released in the good ‘ol United States over the summer as a PS3 release waaay before it was released in Japan. On the PS3 as well. Now, I don’t have a PS3, so I was slightly irked when I realized how difficult it would be to get my hands on this show (I know, I know, there are torrents everywhere now). Gorgeous animation and a fantastic score by Michiru Oshima of Full Metal Alchemnist and Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S fame…should be perfect right? I’ve seen the first four episodes or so and although it’s most certainly a good show, it still feels like its missing something….perhaps coherent answers for everything that has happened in it so far? Either way, I’m hooked and I’ll be writing about this more later on.

4. Detroit Metal City:

Also hard to squeeze into the fall line up as this is technically an OVA released back over the summer….but the fansubs are coming out now….so I’m gonna call it a fall show. Let me just say….the main character of this show, Krauzer II, actually rapes Tokyo Tower. That’s all you really need to know other than this show is a masterpiece and based on a manga by Kiminori Wakasugi, serialized in Young Animal alongside Berserk. The OVA was relased all at once as a box-set to coincide with the release of the live-action movie in Japan. This is an instant classic and rape has never been so funny. The perfect show for the whole family. Even the old farts will find something to love about this one! WATCH IT.

5. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season:

The only Gundam show I had even the slightest interest in prior to this one was Gundam Wing back when it was airing on Toonami….back when people rode dinosaurs to get to their town meetings. The Newtype covers and promotional videos for 00 looked pretty interesting back before season one started airing so I checked out the first episode. And I was hooked. Season one ended this past spring on a really high note and this season has started with a bang. The first two episodes were brilliant and the 00 Gundam itself is woth watching the show for. This is satisfying my mecha hunger after the end of Code Geass a few weeks ago (more on Lelouch’s wonderful personality later on….) This show is another one which has it all. Expolsions. Giant robots. Dramatic pretty boys. LASER CANNON BATTLES. Hot girls. Something for everyone.

Old Shows:
1. Bleach:

Oh Bleach. How I love you. I’ve been watching this since it first aired in Japan in 2004 and reading the manga since before then (I know, waaaay back in the day, right?) Skipping the filler entirely, this is a faithful adaptiation of the manga which I feel does the source material justice the vast majority of the time. Continuing the story where it left off after Ichigo fought Grimmjow last spring, we get to see the most important part of the story so far: Nel’s transformation. More on this later.

2. Soul Eater:

Sooooo….the video posted above is actually the new ending….because there still hasn’t been a new opening for this show. Not sure why, since they played the full version of PaperMoon by Tommy heavenly6 during episode 28 earlier this week. Which seemed strange. Anyways, the new ending by Diggy-MO’ is both a fantstic song and a great video. Is it just me or is Maka’s skirt extraordinarily shorter in this video than anything else in the show so far? Not sure if I appreciate this.

3. Naruto Shippuuden:

Oh Naruto. How conflicted I feel about you. I still love the original manga and read it faithfully every week….but the anime is something else. The show is great until episode 135….when Sasuke leaves. Then it goes into over 80 episodes of filler and when they do get back to the main story, the episodes are so dragged out it makes me feel like I’m watching Dragonball Z all over again. The New opening by Joe Inoue is the best song they’ve had for the show since “Yura Yura” by Hearts Grow back in fall 2006. The episodes seem better paced now than they have been for the past year or so. I just want to see Shikamaru beat the hell out of Hidan.

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