My-HiME News

My-HiME is a franchise comprised of 4 anime series, 1 manga series
From Anime Vice
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Track By Track: Music reviews by Otaku Nate

Today’s Listening: My-HiME OST 1

My-Hime, in my humble opinion is a rather underrated anime. Granted, the story has its share of plot holes, and a few “There is…logic…in what he says” moments, but I feel the good far outweighs the bad. It has a strong protagonist, with an even stronger supporting cast, the melodrama is solid, the character and creature designs are great, and of course it has an epic soundtrack by Yuki Kajiura. And frankly, since I have nothing better to do with my time, I’m going to review the Soundtrack…well, volume one anyway. Now, this is my first time reviewing an album, and frankly, I feel the best way to do it is to look at each track individually and decide if it’s good or not. Now, I’m not one to give number/letter grades to a track, Frankly I think it’s much easier to say “I like this”, “I don’t care for this,” “I Love this,” Than it is to give a grade to something. However, I will be marking my favorite tracks with an asterisk. The ones that I suggest everyone listen to I marked with 3 Asterisks. So with that out of the way, let’s look at this thing!

1. HiME Star***: A Very calm, soothing track, yet at the same time, sounds very tragic and sorrowful. As usual, the vocals on this one are very beautiful, forming a very somber and melancholy harmony. The bells that come in at around the 1:35 mark add a very mystical touch to the song.

2. The Start of today: Another soothing track, though this doesn’t really feel like a “Morning” Sort of track, I feel there’s a bit too much pep in it with the rather joyful piano, and whatever background noise is present. Had it been played at a slower tempo, it would’ve been a lot better. The Presence of a guitar riff also sort of baffles me. I usually don't wake up to an electric guitar...unless it's "Eruption" by Van Halen

3. The Summer, the Sky, the Breeze*: Now this is a song for the summer. I like the fast paced guitar in the background, but the Clarinet line that’s prevalent in this track is what seals it for me. This is a song you play when you go for a nice jog on the beach and then top it off with some gratuitous tanning!

4. Fuuka Academy life: “Academy” indeed. This song has a nice militaristic feel to it with the drums in the background conjuring up images of a military lineup. Also, the xylophone bits in the middle are cute. I actually forgot that this was Haruka’s theme, and the tone of it suits her character well!

5. Creeping shadow: it starts out as a very good ambiential piece, but around the 30 second mark, it erupts into a more confrontational piece as the music swells up. It then changes dramatically around the 50 second mark when a frantic drumbeat kicks in. a very nice track that really does a good job of building to what sounds like a big fight.

6. Dance of Darkness*: I love how this song starts out, very slow and creepy with what sound like distorted, choppy voice samples. Then around the 30 second mark, a sitar sample kicks in along with a techno drumbeat, which then explodes into a thundering tribal drumbeat. You can literally picture the battle between the HiMEs and Orphans.

7. Meet Gakuten-O!*: The theme for Midori’s wheeled HiME is triumphant and upbeat. I love the rocking beat, the powerful drums, and the triumphant guitar riffs that really do make this song feel like it’s a great entry theme for a Midori. My only problem is that it peters out toward the end.

8. Kind Allegory*: I like this one a lot more than “The start of today” since it’s a much simpler song. There’s only three instruments present here; a cello, a violin, and a piano. The somber yet upbeat piano starts this song of nicely, and the string instruments carry it further along a song that sets up a nice romantic mood. The piano bit at the end is also cute.

9. Mysterious: I don’t really see the mystery at all in this one. This song feels like filler. There’s really no substance to this one outside of the synth chords and bongo backbeat. Not of fan of this one, and I feel it’s the weakest song on this album

10. I’m Hungry!: The theme for Mikoto is, in simplest terms; cute and childish. The fast-paced xylophone coupled with the bongos really captures Mikoto’s character as being childish and somewhat hyperactive. It’s a good song, but not really my cup of tea.

11. Let’s meet again!: This is the song that plays during the next episode previews. I’m not a fan of this one either. I feel that it tries to do too much between the piano, the synthesizer bassline, and the pseudo-woodblock drumbeat. It would’ve been much better if it was just the piano, the triangle, and maybe perhaps a cello, played at a much slower beat. I do like the piano part at the end.

12. Sunset sky*: This song does a really good job of setting the mood of…well, a sunset. It’s primarily an acoustic guitar, but unlike most acoustic tracks, it doesn’t make the mistake of being a remix of another track. I love how, just when you think the song’s about to end, the guitar comes right back and plays a few more notes to carry the mood.

13. Prologue to a dark night: Not really a fan of this one either. I think it’s because that the high-pitched bell sounds don’t blend with the chaotic drumbeat that’s going on the background, but once the string instruments come in, they’re sort of drowned out. Though the drumbeat is the best part in my humble opinion, as it does capture the feel of “Oh crap, something’s coming!”

14. Duran Summoned*: I really love the theme for Natsuki’s child. It starts out nice and soft with some beautiful female vocals, then starts to pick up speed with a techno backbeat and some awesome rhythm guitar riffs. Then 1:15 mark, the song takes off with some awesome drumbeats, and as usual, gorgeous chants. LOAD SILVER CARTRIDGE!

15. Kagutsuchi Descends: Now this is an awesome theme. The epic opening notes really do feel like the spirit of the Japanese god of fire is descending on you, ready to wreak havoc on the land. Again the thundering drums coupled with a sick guitar riff and the presence of violins make this song feel all the more epic. At the 1:30 mark, the song changes entirely, opting instead for more violent riffs from the string instruments, that make you feel like the great god of fire is unleashing his wrath! The song then turns back to normal at the end.

16. It’s only the fairy tale***: This song is beautiful, that’s really all I have to say about it. I love the music-box style melody of this song, it gives it a very nice…err…”Fairy tale” feel to it. The vocals by Yuko Miyamura are very engrishy, but they are very very gorgeous. The instrumental bits at the 1:27 mark always give me goosebumps, to the point where I almost want to cry. It’s a great song that I highly recommend to all.

17. Afternoon sunlight*: After several frantic, fast-paced pieces, and one gorgeous insert song, The album then goes to this very soothing piece. I love the clarinet parts in the beginning, for some reason, just hearing the clicking of a clarinet in a song always makes me smile for some reason. The piano parts that play the clarinet’s melody are also cute.

18. A Small Happiness: for some reason, this song reminds me of “Kiss the girl” from The Little Mermaid. It’s another nice song which focuses mostly on the piano, but to me, the percussion is where it’s at. I love the little rattle in the background coupled with the bongos. Why couldn’t THIS Be the next episode theme?

19. Because I fell in love with you*: I’m always one for a nice piano-only piece. Though, this one is accompanied by these odd ambiential noises that actually enhance the mood of a very romantic-sounding song. Another slow, but solid track that almost makes you forget that it played when A lesbian confessed her love to a non-lesbian.

20. Mystery invites mystery: Now this is a song that lives up to its name! the song opens up with a very melancholy violin, before transitioning over to what sounds like a harpsichord, and a cello. The odd, mysterious techno beat in the background really gives the song that mysterious feeling.

21. Sinking to the bottom of the night: The backbeat in this one gives this song a nice feel of somebody going on a late night spying mission. The violins in this song though don’t really work for me (I personally feel it would’ve been better with a cello), I do like the inclusion of the chorus of “HiME Star” though!

22. Pink Dance: Anyone want to tango? Seriously, this song makes me want to tango with its violent acoustic guitar riffs, frantic bongo playing, and use of a lute as the main source of melody in this one.

23. Mezame***: My favorite song on the whole album. As with previous songs meant for action scenes, this one starts out rather slow, but builds and builds with chanting at the beginning with great acoustic guitar riffs, and a subtle swelling. Then the techno UNTZ-UNTZ-UNTZ kicks in, and then the song escalates into a very nice “Duel-of-fates” esque song. Then the edition of a rockin’ guitar and thunderous drums give this song a nice little kick. I love the chorus of this piece too, very beautiful with the vocals, and the one alto in the background really help carry this song to the climax. The bridge is cool too, with the sick bongo breakdown and mini guitar solo. An excellent track for when you’re driving (Works best at night IMO), or doing a workout.

24. Serenity of the HiME star*: Not really much to say about this one, it’s just a piano cover of the first track. It’s a very sweet sounding song that does a good job of bookending the album.

Overall: This a solid album for a solid series by one of anime's top composers. There's a good mixture of fast-paced tracks to get you psyched, and slower, more emotional tracks on those occasions where you feel down in the dumps. While some tracks didn't really work for me, There really weren't any I would flat-out skip over.

Final Verdict: Recommended.

Albums I'm considering reviewing next

Witchblade: Sexual Panic

Serial Experiments Lain OST

L/R: Licensed By Royalty

Tom Waits: Bad As Me

MELL: MELLSCOPE

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I've been thinking for a while now and I have finally decided, I'm going to take a break from my anime/manga reviews.  What I've decided to do is to do mini reviews and list some things I liked, didn't like, and a few notes about the show.  Just making it really plain and simple.  Why am I doing this?  I just don't have the dedication to do long written reviews right now.  Maybe at some point I will do them again, but for now I'm going to take it easy and do these mini reviews.  I should note with these reviews I will NOT be attaching scores to them, so these will not be in the reviews section of the site, only the forum and my blog.  So I hope you find these new mini reviews enjoyable.    :)

 

Mini Review - Mai-Otome

Mai-Otome (aka My-Otome) is an anime series produced by Sunrise.   Directed by Masakazu Obara and written by Hiroyuki Yoshino.  It is a spin-off show of Mai-HiME with a new setting, but with some of the original characters from the first series, some with different personalities, as well as new characters.  Negima! and Negima!? comes to mind with a series that has done something similar to this.
 
There is the main show, Mai-Otome, a sequel, Mai-Otome Zwei, and a prequel, Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~
 
Mai-Otome is an action, fantasy, drama, romance show with themes of magical school girls and yuri.

 
 Mai-Otome
 Mai-Otome


 
 
 
 
 
 
Plot Summary:

Arika Yumemiya has traveled far in search of her goal: the prestigious Gualderobe Academy. This is the school where young girls are trained to become Otomes, protectors of royal leaders throughout the lands. Here, Arika makes plenty of friends, but some enemies know something about her past that she does not. Nevertheless, her spirit and determination will keep pushing her forward. --- Adapted from its predecessor, Mai-HiME, this series is not a direct sequel, but an alternate universe setting featuring some of the Mai-HiME cast (though with different personalities).

 -- Anime News Network
 

 
 Pros:
  • Like Mai-HiME, the music is fantastic.
  • Good fight scenes.
  • Interesting concepts used in the Mai-Otome world.  Otome, slaves, etc.
  • It was fun seeing the Mai-HiME characters with different personalities.
  • While it is a school setting (the main series), the world of Mai-Otome makes it enjoyable.
  • The ending is not as cheesy and bad as Mai-HiME.
 
Cons
  • When compared to Mai-HiME, some of the new characters aren't as memorable as the ones from Mai-HiME.
  • A slow start before it starts getting enjoyable.
 
Notes:
  • I recommend watching the prequel LAST as it will make more sense.  I started out with the prequel first and I was kinda lost.  Then I started the main series and thought "Wait, what happened to the girl in the prequel?"  After I finished the main series and the sequel, it made more sense.
 
If you are looking for a new action, fantasy show with a school theme and you don't mind magical girls, I say check this out and see what you think.  You don't need to watch Mai-HiME before you watch this though.  If you do, then you will get a little fanservice (not the ecchi kind) with the characters from the first show as some of them have the same personalities and some of their moves are similar to the first show.
 
For more info, check out the Wikipedia page.  Watch out for spoilers.
 

What's next?

I decided to check out Rosario + Vampire next.  It seemed like a fun harem show with the supernatural twist it has.  I know it's one of Kelleth's favorite mangas/anime so hopefully he wont hate me if I talk shit about it.         :P
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Mai-HiME (aka My-HiME) is an anime original created by Sunrise.  It was directed by Masakazu Obara and written by Hiroyuki Yoshino.  Mai-HiME is an fantasy- action, comedy-romance, drama show with themes of yuri, mecha, magical girls, and high school.

 I'm just going to insert this picture and walk away.
 I'm just going to insert this picture and walk away.

Plot Summary


Mai Tokiha and her sick brother Takumi are transferring to Fuka Academy.  While on their way to the Academy by a large ship, they stumble across a girl in the water ( Mikoto Minagi) a bring her aboard.  Later that night they are attacked by a girl with supernatural powers ( Natsuki Kuga) and ends up battle with Mikoto, which ends up breaking the ship in half.  Later Mai learns she is a HiME and must fight against supernatural enemies called Oufans and fight against the Searrs Foundation.
 
Here is a little explanation on HiMEs.
 

HiME refers to the ability to create solid objects from photons, as well as the females who wield this ability. It stands for Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment. It is a backronym of hime, the Japanese word for princess. All HiMEs have an identical birthmark shaped like the HiME symbol on various points of their bodies, usually the part of their bodies governed by their astrological sign. HiMEs typically are associated with a classical element or some other theme.


 -- Wikipedia
 
For more info on the terminology used in the show (there is tons of it), check out the Wikipedia page, it's really interesting.  If you don't want to be spoiled, you may not want to look at it.

Review

 
Like most shows that I dive into head first without know a lot about except the basics, I'm and glad I checked this out.
 

 Natsuki (blue hair), Mai (orange hair) and Mikoto (black hair).
 Natsuki (blue hair), Mai (orange hair) and Mikoto (black hair).

First of the characters.  There were a lot of characters I actually liked.  Of course the most memorable ones for me are the main cast; Mai, Mikoto, and. Natsuki.  I thought Mai was a good lead character for the show.  She is a fun and loving character who has tons or memorable moments during the show.  As the show goes it gets very sad and depressing for her and you just fell her pain.  Mikoto was a goofy kid who acts like an animal, often running like a dog and jumping around.  When she is pissed you don't want to be in the way of her sword.  The thing is as big as Cloud's from Final Fantasy VII.  What made me like her was her lighthearted/childish personality.  Natsuki is one of the cold people and the start, but ends up being likable as the show goes on.  There were some other great characters as well.  Tate Yuuichi is a first year at high school, just like Mai and Natsuki.  Another one that stood out of Shizuru Fujino who plays are bigger role near the end of the series.  There are lot more as well.
 
Let's talk about production values.  The music was fantastic.  It flowed perfectly with all the awesome fight scenes the show had.  From time to time there was some cheesy rock and roll music, but it didn't ruin the show.  The overall animation was excellent and you can see it during the awesome fight scenes the show has to offer.  The character models weren't ground breaking (typical big breasted school girls)
 
One of the most noteworthy things for me was the flow of the show.  At first it starts like a normal high school fantasy action show.  It gets better and better, then they throw a curve ball at you and the show gets dark and at times, sad and depressing.
Yes, this show actually has male characters.  This is Yuuichi.
Yes, this show actually has male characters.  This is Yuuichi.
   It kinda took me by surprise a little.  Make the show darker isn't bad though.  We get to see the other sides of the main characters and side characters and see them evolve.
 
Other noteworthy things are the yuri themes.  At first you kinda get the feeling that it's kinda going on, then later you are "Oh wow" and you can clearly tell.  The comedy used in the show was pretty good as well.  It seems like they used it at the right spots and they worked.  Other things were the concepts in the show, the HiMEs and all other stuff the show introduces.  (I don't want to get to deep because it's kinda spoiler.)  The concepts got me hocked into the world of Mai-HiME.  It first it was kinda scary, but I got a grasp  of all the terminology fairly quickly.  Another thing I also liked is that the episodes leave good cliff hangers and it makes me want to keep watching to see what happens next.  I kept doing "OK, just one more and I'm done for the night" and I kept watching and watching.
 
There wasn't a whole lot of things I didn't like.  The only thing that comes to mind is the ending, it's kinda cheesy.
 
I don't know why, but I just loved this show.  Great characters, awesome music, awesome fight scenes, characters you care about, interesting concepts, and the  show just kept sucking me in and I wanted to keep watching more and more till I finished it.
 

Review Overview

Pros
 
  • Great cast of characters
  • Fantastic Music
  • Fantastic Fight Scenes
  • Interesting Concepts
  • The show made me want to keep watching to see what happens next.

Cons
  • The ending was kinda cheesy.
 
If you are looking for a new action-fantasy show and you don't mind magical girls and yuri themes, you should check this show out.
 
 
My Score - 5 out of 5.
 

Blog Sauce


Wow, it took me forever to do this thing, but I finally finished.  The next show on my agenda is Mai-Otome, a spin-off show of Mai-HiME.  I've heard it doesn't compare to the first show at all, but I'll give it a chance.  From what I know, it's an alternate universe with the same characters and stuff, but it's completely different from HiME.
 
 
 Best      Zelda Game Ever
 Best Zelda Game Ever
On the video game front I've actually been playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.  I don't know why, but I just had a sudden urge to play through the game again and so far I've been having a blast.  Also, still playing Super Street Fighter IV as always.  If anyone would like to play on 360, send a friend request to JJOR64 and say you are from Anime Vice.
 
 
This is JJOR64 signing out.
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There are some characters in anime who will always stick with me, whether it be for good or bad.  Sometimes the reasons are things that stretch across and develop over time.  Other times it's just one specific scene that sticks out so much that it dominates my thoughts on the show.  This is a list of the ones who did it in ways involving sex or something perverted.  These aren't necessarily the most perverted characters that I've ever seen, just the ones who did something that made me remember it.  When I think of their shows or even the genre that they are from, they immediately pop into my mind.  Oh yeah, spoilers abound.
 

Makoto Itou (School Days) & Touya Fuji (White Album

 For real?  You're going to run off crying with your nose bleeding when she throws herself at you?!?
 For real?  You're going to run off crying with your nose bleeding when she throws herself at you?!?
A lot of the anime that I enjoy has some harem elements to it or is 100% harem.  The light humor is something that I can watch forever and always enjoy.  However, there is one thing in particular that just upsets me to no end about these shows: the main guys have so much bitchassness about them.  It's crazy.  You have the hottest girls in whatever institution the show is set in all fawning over him but the guy is always deathly afraid of anything ecchi.  It's not just nervousness either, I've seen some of these guys push girls off of them, run away from a female while she's taking her clothes off, slam doors in a woman's face, etc.  I can buy the magic powers.  I can believe in the demon resurrections.  I can even accept the magic animals.  Even the lunacy of the dorkiest guy somehow getting idolized by the hottest girls is something I'll suspend my disbelief over.   What I can't believe is that these teenagers or college age dudes with the sex drives of high school and college age dudes are running away from women throwing themselves at them. 
 
Enter Makoto and Touya.  These guys may make a lot of mistakes and karma usually catches up with them in horrible ways, but you could never say they had high levels of bitchassness when it comes to women.  In fact, quite the opposite as these guys will jump down on anything that's in shape and has a vagina.  These two had sex with any female who expressed any interest in liking them, as long as she wasn't two whole schools below him (ie college guy won't sleep with middle schoolers, high school guy won't sleep with elementary schoolers).  Touya pulled the hat trick of sleeping with every below 40 female that his girlfriend knew but Makoto trumps it by sleeping with every female introduced by name in the series. 
 
Every time I see your standard harem dude running off and crying when a girl wants to get it on with him I think, "WWMD?  What Would Makoto Do?" 
  

Shizuru Fujino (My-Hime

My memory of this show is very vague.  I don't feel like I hated it so it's probably decent enough but almost nothing stands out.  I remember there being a tom boy who fights with a big sword and girls with magic powers, which describes about 5 billion shows.  But you know, there is one very specific thing that I do remember.  One singular character from one episode that is permanently burned into my memory forever: Shizuru Fujino. 
 
I don't think doctors are supposed to do this to unconscious patients... 
I don't think doctors are supposed to do this to unconscious patients... 
Someone suggested My-Hime to me because I was at the prime of my emo for anime stage and I was in love with anything where main characters died or anything with the potential to depress you.  I was enjoying Hime for that aspect and the fights but there is one scene, the one scene that radically altered what I would remember from the show.  One character gets very sick or poisoned or injured or something and Shizuru, who I guess is like a medic or something, is charged with taking care of her.  I was excited because the injured person was a main character and if she died I would have been bummed out, which is what I wanted. 
 
Some other characters are walking towards the house where she's being treated and through a window we see Shizuru nursing her while she is passed out.  Then it happens.  I was so caught in hoping for an emo moment that I was dealt a serious blow and had to rewind to verify that what I thought I saw had indeed happened.  My eyes didn't lie: While her friend was unconscious from something, Shizuru strips her clothes off and proceeds to go down on her. 
 
Now, compared to shows that I've seen now, this is pretty tame but I believe My-Hime was my first time seeing something of that extent happen in an anime that I thought was for like 14 year olds.
 

Bulma Briefs (Dragon Ball)

"You had me at murdering my friends and trying to kill their children" - Bulma Briefs
"You had me at murdering my friends and trying to kill their children" - Bulma Briefs
Ahh, good old Bulma Briefs.  I first got into Dragon Ball during the Majin Buu arc and I thought Vegeta and Goku were just rivals.  No more, no less.  I've been watching Kai and it I see that Vegata was much more than just a rival he was a real deal bad guy.  That's cool and all but one thing has always stuck in my mind: Bulma Briefs. 
 
Now correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Vegeta mercilessly murder several of Bulma's friends, attempt to kill her childhood friend's son for sport, and come to Earth for the sole purpose of killing every living being?
 
Despite all that, Bulma rides his magic stick and ends up pregnant with his son...?  I know some women like men who have issues but this is a bit much.  I'm partially watching Kai to see what type of pimp game Vegeta lays down to make this transition happen but it seems like this it totally Bulma hitting on him.  My mother refers to women like this as being loose as a goose.  "He tried to kill my friend's son so I think I'm gonna let him hit it."  I guess... I guess... 
 
On a somewhat unrelated note, I wonder what would happen if a Saiyan was having sex and decided to go SSJ at climax?  Would it be like a massive release of energy that could cause serious harm, especially if he didn't pull out which would be like making a fist around a lit firecracker methinks, or would it just be like Peter North x 10?  Maybe that's why Bulma wants him. 
  

In Conclusion (that sounds like a school report or something)

Well, those are the ones that immediately come to my mind without me having to think about the question for more than a few seconds.  All of these are shows that I watched years ago back when I first got into anime and was only interested in 100% action or 100% depression so some pervy content was like, whaaaa?.  Having seen tons of harems and stuff like Kanokon, I don't think anything other than hentai is going to leave a big impact on me as far as perversion. 
 
I'd be interested to know though: what characters will always stick in your memory for pervy reasons?
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Who here love Darker Than Black? Me? Yes. I friggen loved it! The ending was perfect the way it was! Then they go along and make a sequel to a perfectly fine anime. At first I think: Hmm, maybe this wont be so bad... Boy was I wrong! I cried my self to sleep! (Kidding!) They  SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content.
and add an aggravating pubescent girl who makes me die inside when ever I think of her. I thought, whatever, just another spoiled series. Nothing new right? But these occurrences have been increasing! It's spreading like Swine Flu. 
 
It started not so long ago... 
 
First  there was Mai-Hime's spin off: Mai-Otome. Mai-Hime was so emotional and the plot was fully developed. I thought it was great. They go and make Mai-Otome and the plot is almost non-existent and the characters... don't get me started! 
 
Then came the dreaded Naruto. They left us with a cliff hanger... as expected of an anime. They make Shippuden. In my opinion Shippuden is much better than the first season, but I mean come on! Naruto was long enough as it was, now there is another never ending season! Please end Naruto! The plot is dead! you can no longer resuscitate the series... finish it... there is no more hope. 
 
Then comes Dragon Ball. I don't think I can count all the seasons, spin-offs and sequels there are. I don't even know what it's about anymore. Why must animators do this? You are going to loose viewers, not gain them, if you drag along a series like that. It's like dragging a dead cow through the streets... nobody wants it. 
 
Inuyasha... No explanation is needed. I don't even know what it's about. 
  
Darker Than Black, Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note, est., est. 

Mind you there are some damn good sequels around. Code Geass R2 was amazing! And they needed it to end the series. Gundam SEED DESTINY was OK and was not unnecessary... the ending sucked but other than that it was good! Hetalia Axis Powers' second season is better than the first and is necessary to complete the series. Gundam 00 season 2, also good and wasn't dragging on a dead plot. The list goes on... But you get my point. 
 
A lot of unnecessary sequels are being made, please, please... if your going to make a sequel make it A) Good B) Worthwhile.  
 
~Superevil
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