Lan (Level 13)

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These are the following anime I've watched and the ratings. I have three reviews written and the others are pending. I need a catchy review blog post title. Baku's like "Lan Sized Reviews" and I'm thinking that doesn't work because I tend to write lengthy reviews. However, since I'm writing one for the first episode of every anime for the new  season (or attempting to anyway), I found my reviews are actually shorter. I'll continue to add to this as I watch and write more. :)
Baka to Test Shoukanju 4/5
Dance in the Vampire Bund 3/5
Ladies vs. Butlers 1/5
Durarara!  5/5
Oomamori Himori 1/5
So Ra No Wo To 3/5
 
Moe, Moe, NO Kyun! : Ladies vs. Butlers 
 
Ladies vs. Butlers is a comedy anime based off a series of light novels written by Tsukasa Kōzuki. It is directed by Atsushi Ootsuki and produced by XEBEC. The story falls into the category of school and harem. Akiharu Hino is a new transfer student at Hakureiryou High School--an elite school with a training program for aspiring servants (specifically butlers and maids). Unfortunately Akiharu has a “suspicious looking face” which leads to countless mishaps with the female members of the school.

Ladies vs. Butlers strikes me as a wannabe adaptation of Hayate, Combat Butler! The main character is of the lower class and is placed out of his element. Akiharu has a shady face, while Hayate has a poor man’s face. Both have to deal with an over the top bossy female character with blonde pigtails. Nothing about the story really stood out in the first episode. The episode served more as an introduction of a stereotypical cast of female harem characters--all of them moe girls with large breasts. With this cast of characters, comes an excessive amount of fanservice. Nothing is subtle; there are panty shots, strip teases, breast groping, and an oral sex scene. For me, the fanservice failed to add any real humor. Most of the jokes are just standard anime fare. It’s a fairly predictable show that fails in its attempts to be humorous. I give it one out of five stars.
 
The More "Ras", The More Awesome: Durarara! 
 
 Durarara! is an anime based of a series of light novels written by Ryohgo Narita. It is produced by Brains Base and directed by Takahiro Oomori. It is a supernatural themed anime. Mikado Ryuugamine transfers from a small town school to a school in the large, bustling city of Tokyo On his first day, he learns about the existence of a headless motorcycle rider and actually sees the rider race past him on the street. The rider, thus far, is viewed as vigilante.

Durarara! looks to be the most promising anime of the winter season. It’s very reminiscent of Baccano! which is not surprising as the two share the same director and writer (of the light novels). The art style looks sharp and captures the atmosphere of a busy city. The introductory and ending themes are fantastically catchy; the intro really sets the tone of the show. The first episode lays a solid foundation for the main story, and there are hints future subplots which will likely converge as the series progresses. There is a large number of characters, each with their own personal quirks; for now the developmental focus is on Mikado and his friend Kida. A few nods to fan culture are sprinkled in the series, for instance two characters are seen carrying a large cutout of Holo from the anime Spice and Wolf. The plot with its modern twist on an urban legend looks to hold much excitement and mystery. I give it 5 out 5 stars. 
 
Loli True Blood?! : Dance in the Vampire Bund
 
 Dance in the Vampire Bund is a urban fantasy anime based off the manga by Nozomu Tamaki. The series is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and produced by Shaft.  Mina Tepes is a loli vampire princess. She reveals the existence of vampires to the entire world. She pays off Japan’s national debt, and in return, she gains a large territory in which she can establish a vampire community otherwise known as the “bund.”

I have mixed feelings based on the first episode Dance in the Vampire Bund. First off it dragged like a twenty pound sack of flour. The existence of vampires is being debated on a game show which goes on for way too long. Viewers get a glimpse of the lead character in the audience, but she’s not revealed to be a vampire until the very end. We don’t even get the basic premise of the plot. However, while I feel the game show theme was dull and drawn out, I think it was an interesting move. I believe it situates the anime within the current vampire trend. Dance in the Vampire Bund seems to follow in the vein of True Blood; vampires are “coming out” to society, wanting to coexist with humans; also both deal with a string of murders being blamed on vampires and rouge versus self-controlled vampires. The first episode definitely came with a large surprise at the end that quickly recaptured my attention. Mina, so far, appears to be an awesome character;  she’s not by any means a sweet loli vampire girl. I was concerned about the amount of fanservice in the show and found myself pleased by the fact it had almost no fanservice. If the fanservice doesn’t take over and an actual overarching plot appears, I think the show has good potential. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
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