Summer 2014 has just begin

Well, I watched my first shows of the new season. So far, two shows look enjoyable to me, out of seven. Those being Tokyo Ghoul and Rail Wars.

Of the others, Glasslip is on too slow burning of a fuse. I think that the viewer should be able to make some connection to a show’s premise in the first episode. This show could have taken place anywhere. There appears to be a lot of history between the characters which might be natural in such a setting but it’s painful to watch if it’s not done well. There are too many pained expressions that only the other characters understand. Not off to a great start but that could easily change after another episode or two. Looks nice.

The second biggest show of the season must be Sword Art Online II. First episode was dreadful. Asuna looked nice. Didn’t get to see Suguha. The bulk of the show seemed to be a truly tedious discussion between Kirito and some nameless fellow that mostly consisted of lines like, “I’m leaving!”, “No, please stay!”, “I’m really leaving this time!”, “No, please stay. Have some cake.”

The biggest show of the season would have to be the remake of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal, which appears to have a 26 episode run planned. On MAL’s site, they indicate that it will air two Saturday’s a month, which is a little different. One would think that they would do that with 24 episodes but… whatever makes them happy. As an aside, MAL fails in that they actually don’t have the main character on the front page (as only four names make the front page).

One of the stories around the show is that they brought back Mitsuishi Kotono, the original seiyuu to reprise her role as Usagi, but none of the other members of the cast; Seems weird. Unfortunately for me, I can’t help but feel that they would have done better with a new seiyuu in the title role. I have watched but a handful of the original series so I might be completely imagining this but she seems to be voicing the role in exactly the same way, including what is to me, a painfully irritating voice whenever Usagi gets flustered. The show has modern visuals and modern audio but is it otherwise going to rest entirely on its laurels?

Oh yeah, I forgot about this but I have to say that I was underwhelmed by the transformation sequence.

Tokyo Ghoul is tense and dangerous and filled with anxiety. I have no clue what the full story will be but the show’s creators delivered a great first episode and I can’t wait for more.

Rail Wars looks like it should be a fun show.

Ratings:
Sailor Moon Crystal – 2
Sword Art Online II – 2
Rail Wars – 4
Glasslip – 2
Tokyo Ghoul – 4
Bakumatsu Rock – 1
Argevollen – 1

Mahouka – 3

Rating meaning:
4 – Enjoyable and look forward to the next episode
3 – Decent
2 – Bearable at current level but needs to improve
1 – Hopeless

Back into neutral

Well, the build-up that I’d made is gone now. Over the past three months, I’ve only been able to find one anime to buy, Haganai Next. There hasn’t been very much released that I’m interested in and what there is, is too expensive in my opinion.

Or, it’s only released on DVD and not Blu-Ray. The latest example of this is Funimation’s release of Red Data Girl, which I’d buy if it was on BD. After seeing the DVDs on HMV’s shelf, I went to their website to see if the BDs weren’t just at another store. They weren’t on their site either. So on a whim, I checked Funimation.com. Alas, they’ve only released the DVD version.

Thinking about this, I decided to look up a couple of other shows that I see only in DVD format, to see if the problem is at the retail level or distribution level.

Railgun is only available on DVD, as is Seiken no Blacksmith. I just noticed that there is a combination BD/DVD of Kore wa Zombie that was released this spring, but I didn’t see it last time I was in the store.

This is a mess.

Not just yet…

Well after my recent experience in anime retail, I waited a few weeks before returning to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t, literally. I didn’t see any new shows, nor any new pricing. It’s irksome since there are even a handful of OVAs that I’d pick up if I were buying something major.

On a whim today, I visited a different location and saw something that surprised me. They had a box of Jellyfish Princess, or Kuragehime… on Blu-Ray, for all of $30. Pretty stunning I thought. Since I arrived at the store at about five minutes before closing, I couldn’t see what else they might have but at a glance there wasn’t anything else new. But, I don’t really care. This is a fun show and the price was better than right.

Experiment nearing its end

For the past year and a bit, I’ve been buying a fair amount of anime — at least a season a month. To maintain that pace, I’m bought up until May now with my recent purchase of HOTD.

But I’m not sure I’m going to be able to maintain this. The prices seem to be going up significantly.

The second season of Clannad was something like $25, which is priced to sell (although I still haven’t watched it). I didn’t buy the first season since I didn’t see myself watching it much. It was still a good deal at $50 but I’d already bought three shows that week so I passed on it.

That same package now sells for $100. I guess you could argue that it’s reasonable for a two-cour show but if I didn’t jump on it at $50, why would I at $100?

There are a couple of other shows that I wouldn’t mind owning that have recently come available. Nyan Koi had been on the shelf as a DVD for a few months and suddenly it was there in BD — but for $85. I think I’ve already mentioned that Infinite Stratos was about $65 when I first saw it and now, it’s also $85. The first season of Fate Stay Night is also there for $85 per cour (but not Fate Zero).

While there are a handful of shows for which I’d pay this, e.g. I paid that for Girls und Panzer last month, and I’d pay that for Haruhi or Bakemonogatari if they ever landed on the shelves, but I don’t think it’s a reasonable default price for more mundane shows.

I raised the pricing issue with one of the clerks there. He advised that things were what they were and only if there were a big discrepancy between their pricing and say, Amazon’s, would they react. They were about to close so I left with my one purchase. But later on, I checked the pricing at Amazon. It is significantly lower at $62 and $48 for the two shows I mentioned. These are reasonable prices. I could have bought a season of something else for the same overall price. I’d even pay what Jinrui cost ($67). I ventured back a few days later but they wouldn’t discuss pricing at all.

If most of the newly released shows are going to cost this much, then I don’t know why I’d even visit the store. There are already too few releases and if all of these rare shows are considered premium, then it’s only going to be depressing to visit the store.

Growing Collection

The last two months have been pretty good as far as collecting has gone. I’ve scored a few shows that I never expected to find.

For a year now, beginning in October 2012, I’ve been trying to buy something every month. At this moment, I’m good through February.

What I have found recently, have been copies of Air, Ai Yori Aoshi, Kannazuki no Miko, Witch Hunter Robin, Elfen Lied, and just last week, Haganai, sometimes known as Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. I never really expected to get any of these really but especially not KnM, WHR or EL. Getting Haganai was a bonus.

As a sideline, I also picked up the first volumes of Haganai and Mayo Chiki. Haven’t read them yet, and may never but….

Weird Season

Spring 2013 is looking a little bit strange. Apparently, with about two exceptions, all shows this season are broadcast on the weekend.

These include OreImo2, Azazel, Photokano, Yahari ore, Date A Live, Hyakka Ryouran, Leviathan, Railgun2, Gargantia, Nyaruko-san, and the mermaid show. Not that I’ve watched them all but it seems like the only early/mid-week shows are Red Data girl and Maou-sama.

Does this mean that I’m going to watch strange and never before seen shows that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while? Or that I might do something else with my time. Dunno the answer yet.

Update: Sunday night and apparently the run of episodes is over again. The last show of the weekend block being Nyaruko which was over by afternoon.

In or Out

Last weekend, I was checking to see if there were any movies worth watching in any of the nearby theatres.

Wow, did I do a double-take when I saw this.

MadokaMagica-130x193

So, I reminded myself to check it out if nothing came up today. I wandered over to the Cineplex only to discover that it was sold out. Fortunately, they’d come up with a second show. It means a late night but the missed show did allow me to grab some dinner — some yakisoba at a nearby fast-food place.

Madoka Magica was a jaw-dropping show when it came out. I hope this comes across in the movie. If it does, I’m going to have to come back on the 20th.

Update: The movie was great. And I did return on the 20th for part two and sat behind Madoka and Mami.

Update 2: Alas, I missed the third movie when it was released before Christmas. Don’t think it’s coming back either.