Steven’s speculating on a show he’s seen none of again. (Edit: Well, so much for that!) This time it’s the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Not that he could have avoided knowing as much as he does about it, given the insane buzz about. Well, I’m not going to engage in spoilerific stuff, because, frankly, if you’ve seen the show already, you probably have tracked down the translated novels, and know where it goes after the animÃ© series. Funny thing is, I was wondering the same thing. As of the eighth novel, Haruhi’s freshman year is not yet complete, and several hooks have been laid for future adventures. It looks like the series is getting a bit darker, with at least one (maybe several) opposition groups that would like to get rid of Haruhi, who is still clueless as to her abilities (at least in our version of reality.) However, there’s no way the animÃ© can get into revealing Haruhi’s powers to her so long as the novels have not. Any attempt to write an original plot would result in a fan revolt, unless it were made clear up front that the original series author was writing it. Even then, there’d be complaints.. The actual plot of the 2nd series is still a mystery. However, KyoAni is known for being faithful to the source material, so I’m not expecting any surprises. Two more novels are planned, and it remains to be seen whether the author has gone into “milking mode” or if he’s got a destination in mind. I suspect the former.
Kanon (KyoAni’s current effort) is about to end, to be replaced with Lucky Star (half-season) and then the 2nd season of Melancholy. I’ll certainly check out Lucky Star; while it doesn’t sound exceptional, it’s KyoAni, and that’s all I need to know to put it on my fansub list to start. I am also figuring on checking out two other series, plus I’m still following Bakumatsu. I think history may be sliding off the rails, but I’m not sure. At least it’s all the Brits’ fault, nobody’s blaming us for once.
Meanwhile, Code Geass continues merrily along. It’s definately not a great animÃ©, but Sunrise has me hooked; I just want to see where it’s going to go next. Suzuku’s been arrested (again!), we haven’t seen the amnesiac Villetta for a few episodes, Yuffie knows who Zero really is, but unknown to everyone, so does the Emperor! Suzuku knows who Kallen/Karen is, (woot! more fanservice!), everyone thinks C.C. is Zero’s lover, and Earl Lloyd is getting married…. to Millie! (Hello, Earl, she’s still in HIGH SCHOOL! Can you say “underage?”) Nina is presumably still humping tables, and Shirley found what is probably going to be a picture of her and Lulu, which will be interesting, seeing as she’s been geassed not to remember him. Oh and Lulu and Karen just stole a hot prototype mecha. It only took 19 episodes to include the crappy clichÃ© what I thought we’d see in the first! (Edit: actually Nina is getting to meet her hero after kissing some concrete, and Shirley found the diary entries she’d penned after discovering Lulu was Zero.)
I just have this vision of how Sunrise came up with the plot for this show: “Ok everybody, we’ve put slips of paper containing “The Thirty-Six Basic Plots” into this jar, and we’re going to draw ten of them out. The selected plots will all be combined into one story for our upcoming epic ser–WHOOPS!!! Oh damn, I broke the jar! How are we gonna pick just ten, now?.” It’s not fair to call it a trainwreck, because it hasn’t self-destructed into incoherency, but it reminds me of a spinning top, unstable and precessing on its axis just before it falls over. I really don’t know which way it’s going to land.
Busuo Renkin should be ending after the next episode (I think it’s only 24), and I have to admit, although I usually complain that the main characters don’t stop acting like idiots and admit their feelings for one another, I was surprised and a bit unsettled when Tokkiko and Kazuki kissed. I was expecting more denial and stupidity from them, but I shouldn’t have; for their ages, they are surprisingly mature. The writers avoided the clichÃ©, and that fact alone makes me wonder what we’re going to see in the final episode; Kazuki’s choice is obvious, but not the consequences. And that is a good thing. I said it a while back about this series and I’ll repeat it: It doesn’t aim high, but what it does, it does competently.
Still waiting on the final episode of Simoun, but I really don’t expect much at this point. I found out it’s based on a series in a monthly yuri-flavored manga, so the random feel to the last few episodes is probably due to the source material. When you have something as weird as a world in ruins where everyone’s born female and half the population has to change sex, I naturally expect the curtain to be pulled aside at the end and the ultimate questions to be answered. Alas, from the previews, it is not to be. Simoun gets my vote for “Most Disappointing Animé of 2006,” as it had an unusual premise, unique art design, good music, a stellar voice cast and characters that I came to care about. Without some rhyme or reason for the hell they went through, it just seems pointless.
A final couple of wrap up notes: Yes, posting is slow again. Haven’t been feeling it; after my vacation, the jucies were flowing, I could FEEL the creativity. Two weeks of being under the weather and work sucked that right out of me. Nevertheless, I’m working on revamping my master animÃ© page from Houblog, and I’ll add it here. I’m also planning to add the color-coded reviews, but I’m not certain if that’s going to be a seperate page or not. I expect it to take some time though.
Update: Muahahahahahahaa! We have him now! (Hey, I’m not hasslin’! By the way, download eps. 10 & 12, too!)
Update 2: In an emergency e-mail to warn Steven about my silly error (I’d feel guilty over anyone subjecting themselves to Inukami! due to my error), I wandered onto the subject of Code Geass for a moment. I certainly don’t defend it, but I noted one of the major reasons I watch it is to see the next table-humping moment. I can’t take credit for that term; readers over at Jason’s place probably deserve it, if not Jason himself. But I thought I’d try to define it, anyway. A table humping moment is when the studio includes a bizarre, over-the-top, fanservice scene. Jump the shark time, in other words.
The namesake event from Code Geas involves the shy meganekko Nina, whom fans already knew had yuri tendencies. A couple of episodes after Princess Euphie chanced to save her life, we see Nina franticly humping the corner of a table in a dark room, while gazing at a picture of the princess in a magazine. It was sudden, brief, and competely unexpected. But it was definately the talk of the boards the next day….
Update 3: Looks like Kanon’s getting a sequel, made by Clannad? Anyway, the final episode was ok, but confusing; it was hard to tell (especially given the prior episode) whether we were seeing dreams or reality. Still, it was a good ending: that is, one without pulling any miracles (except ones we could believe) out of nowhere.