Rokujo (Level 10)

I almost forgot about Ondore! You shouldn't believe his lies.
followed by
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Well thank god that's over with!
 
I don't know if the director changed or something, but this show certainly took a dive in quality during this arc.
 
I had nothing against Sae's character at all, but there was just something off right from the beginning. It certainly lacked the spark that was in the Morishima and Kaoru arcs. Did anyone else notice Junichi breaking the fourth wall in the first episode? Add a creepy narrator to the mix and it just felt like they were trying to patch up an unfinished plot with, what I assume was, their idea of comedy. There was also a lot more ecchi and fanservice moments this time around. For a series that wasn't really that dependent on these to begin with, I am quite disappointed.
 
The Nanasaki Ai arc is next and I am expecting great things. It certainly has the potential to be my favourite set of episodes, providing the narrator doesn't ruin the experience all over again. 
 
Oh, and one more thing about the Nakata Sae arc. I think they may have saved it a little right at the end. 
 

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So apparently there's a second season of Angel Beats! in the works for 2011. The second season is said to revolve around an entirely new cast.
 
Angel Beats! was definitely the best anime I've seen this year so far, perhaps one of the best I've ever seen. I'll admit it, I shed many tears throughout the series.  
With ongoing manga, and a special episode bundled in the final Japanese DVD release (December 22nd), there's still plenty more going on with this popular series. I, for one, am definitely up for a second season if the rumours prove to be true. 
 
Maybe they'll be going deeper into the story of the creator of the Angel Player? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
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I've wanted to write this up for a little while, but I wasn't quite sure where to start. Now I've completed the 11Eyes anime and I've really had quite a bit of time to process it all, I wanted to try and put a few things into words. I'll get this out of the way first. 11Eyes was one of the biggest wastes of a great concept I've ever seen. 

    
11Eyes focuses around six high school students, one of which is blind in one eye (11 eyes. Get it?). They appear to be your average high school students at first glance, but things quickly get very crazy, and very dark.
 
The two main protagonists of the story, Kakeru and Yuka, are dragged into the Dark Hour. Sorry, I meant the Red Night. The Red Night is basically a warped version of the everyday setting that our characters live in. Time does not pass and only those with abilities can be summoned there. The whole thing has that great Persona 3 feel to it, and you can see that it was definitely influenced by Persona 3's unique style. It even has shadows!
 
The plot basically revolves around the struggles these students face, and overcoming them with the power of friendship. As they are essentially dragged into the Red Night without any warning, the characters are initially very unprepared. It's quite intense.
 
They eventually all meet up and form a team. There's some excellent character design here, but it's unfortunately not explored to a great level. Instead of really focusing on these great characters, the anime focuses on delivering action as our heroes battle a group called The Black Knights (Lelouch says hi.) 
There's never really much explanation of the background of these Black Knights, only that they are desperately trying to stop the students when they enter the Red Night and that they keep referring to them as 'fragments'. By the end of the series, they explore one of the Black Knights a little, but this feel entirely rushed.  
If you're interested in the reason why they want to stop the students then click the spoiler tag below and prepare yourself. 
 
   
    
 11Eyes, from left to right: Kakeru, Yuka, Misuzu, Kukuri, Yukiko, Takahisa.
 11Eyes, from left to right: Kakeru, Yuka, Misuzu, Kukuri, Yukiko, Takahisa.

It all moves along quite smoothly up until we get past the halfway point. This is when the plot starts getting crazy. Not only do they start abandoning any development that was made, but they also introduce things that are nowhere near being believable in the setting they've already developed.
You'd assume the anime is based in modern day Japan, but I never heard this mentioned once throughout the series. We are introduced to the past of Yukiko, where she mentions that she once fought a war in the fictional country of Drasvania. What the hell? This is supposed to be a high school student. I get that this is fiction, and that it's not meant to be realistic to begin with, but it deters from what's already there. It's difficult to explain, but I felt at this point the writers were probably having a laugh. 
 
I was right, too.   
 
The series shows absolutely no signs of letting up on the nonsense as the plot becomes more and more contrived. It's like they thought they couldn't keep going in the same plot direction in case Atlus charged them for plagiarism. The fact is, the aesthetic was the only thing that really felt similar to Persona 3 and I really had high hopes for this anime.  
  
The 11th episode has pretty much the strangest ending I have ever seen in any anime. 
 
  
It's hard for me to dislike something that I was really enjoying for a while, and in reality, I don't dislike 11Eyes. I do however dislike the direction that the series took. I don't know if the visual novel follows the same plot and it's something that I would be interested to find out. For those who want to watch this anime though; get ready for some crazy stuff.
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I recently started watching Darker than Black, a series that I've wanted to start watching for a very long time, but never really got round to. To cut a long story short, I went through the first 25 episodes (26, if we include the first OVA), in record time. Needless to say, this show is nothing short of amazing. By the end, I was proud to say that it was actually one of the finest animes I had ever watched, and I've watched a lot.  
 
The character development was phenomenal. The series revolved around two-part episodes that would be based on a different character, usually detailing their back story. They would also take the time to slowly move the main plot along, making sure to not give too much away as they developed the characters and their ties to each other. 
By the time I got to the end of the series, even characters that I had once disliked (Huang, November 11), had found a place in my heart. I had grown extremely attached to these characters, and I wanted more. 
 

 From left to right: Huang, Yin, Hei, Mao.  
 From left to right: Huang, Yin, Hei, Mao.  
Seeing that they had made a second season (Ryuusei no Gemini), and a four episode OVA series entitled Darker than Black: Gaiden, I was extremely excited for what was to come. 
 
Now I made sure that I watched every episode in the correct order. The Darker than Black universe has the potential to be surprisingly complex, but only the basics are really explained. 
 
Moving on to the OVA, I noticed quite a different tone after the first two episodes. Beware, spoilers from here on. 
 
Now I thought it was quite cool that they were developing Yin and Hei's relationship. They were on the run, and they only had each other. It was good to see that this was affecting Yin's ability as well. An emotionless doll that was gaining more power through actually being wanted, and loved (Although I doubt Hei would openly say this, that's the vibe that I got.) 
Yin's back story in the original series was definitely my favourite two episodes, so further development to her character was very much welcome. From here on, it goes a little weird. 
 
Yin is captured, and it turns out that she now has the power of Izanami sleeping within her. Izanami has the ability to make contractors commit suicide, actually making her the most deadly foe in Darker than Black. 
This was hitting me too fast though. I had been under the assumption that Yin's power was evolving because she wasn't being treated like a lifeless doll. I was a bit, and I still am, confused with the whole Izanami thing. 
Anyway, by the end it appears that Yin forced Izanami to remain sealed, and she was captured by Section 3. This is where Ryuusei no Gemini begins.  
 
 My face through most of series two.
 My face through most of series two.
 
The second series takes a completely different approach to the first, and it felt somewhat experimental. There was only twelve episodes in this series, and it had taken a complete continuity route, rather than spending episodes developing the characters. What was more surprising was that Hei was not the main character, and rather, was replaced by a little girl, named Suou. 
Hei does make an appearance, though I'm not sure this was a good thing at first. Hei's character is now a lot more aggressive, a lot more drunk, and generally a lot more hobo-like. It's doesn't really explain whether this change came about through the depression of losing Yin, but Hei does become more like his old self after he finds out where Yin is.
  
 
MAO IS A FRICKIN' SQUIRREL!!!! 

 
The new characters are quite forgettable, and most of the old ones are actually put on to the back burner for this series, which is why I say that it seemed experimental. The ending was what topped it off really. I didn't care about Suou at all, and I only wanted to see Hei pull off a miracle and save Yin. 
Heck, I don't even know what happened, to be honest. I'm going to watch the OVA and this series through again to see if I can make sense of it all. Again, I don't think it was bad, but it just felt very rushed overall.
 
A lot of Ryuusei no Gemini is pretty forgettable, or perhaps I should just watch it through again and see if it makes sense. I was actually surprised to find out that the OVA, which explains what happened in the time skip, wasn't released until after the second series. Fans must've been confused as hell.  
Come the end of the series, I actually had more questions than answers. It didn't really feel like Darker than Black any more, but it didn't feel like a bad anime either.  
I REALLY hope they make season three. It would be a crime to leave the ending how it was.  
 
Is Yin dead?  
What exactly did Hei do to her right before the end?  
What the hell is up with that alternate world?  
If Mao was taken over by the cat's consciousness at the end of series one, then how is he now a squirrel? Shouldn't  he still be inside the cat? 
 
ARGH! 
             
 HNNNNNNNGHHHHHHHHH!
 HNNNNNNNGHHHHHHHHH!
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I finished this series quite a while ago, but I just had some thoughts that I wanted to share. You can call it a review if you like, but I'd rather just do some ramblings. So here goes.
 
I originally decided to check out K-ON! after I saw a news post that Haruhi S2 had copied the art style. I'm a fan of Haruhi, the character and the animation. So I decided to check this one out.
The animations are quite similar, but I don't really want to go into that.
 
The first thing that struck me about K-ON! was that the characters were genuinely likeable, although not without clichéd moe moe personalities. I'd say my favourite was definitely Yui. It wasn't so much the character herself rather,  the voice acting that made me like her.
There was one scene in particular involving Yui and Ritsu  where they impersonate sumo wrestlers. It made me laugh.

 
  
It was scenes like this that made K-ON! a fun anime to watch. However, I can't really say the same for the entire series.
 
There were times when I was watching this that made me feel slightly uncomfortable. I'd say to myself, "Is this anime made for girls?" I soon shrugged this off, saying to myself, "I'm cool with that."
 
The whole series in general followed the usual events seen in high scool anime. There was even a stop at an island. Whilst I don't think this was in any way bad, each episode did seem to be based around a similar structure. I disapprove of a lack of Yui fanservice.
 
The music in this series is great. It's catchy and it fits well with the anime. I'd actually go as far as saying the music was the best part about this series.
 
Well that's about all I've got, which is why I didn't really want to call it a review. K-ON! was an entertaining anime with a few things going for it. You'll think it's amazing if you haven't seen anything similar.
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