40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2008

Now this is the kind of interior design I can do.

The summer of 2008 was a bit more interesting than the previous seasons I’ve been through recently. Namely in that I watched a decent number, alright maybe just 1 or 2 more. Pretty much a typical summer for me then, I sort of wish I watched more though.

I could begin with something that actually has plot elements and isn’t just a reward for blowing tons of cash on an overpriced DVD, but I’m not. So instead there’s the Kanokon DVD specials, which are divided into 2 parts. Stylized gravure-style segments and fanservice segments which serve as slice-of-life inserts into the series. They really aren’t good, nor are they meant to be, but at least there’s some intellectual honesty there.

Sekirei is never going to win any awards for its quality, but I would say it isn’t encouraging. With nearly every female character seemingly having the same body type, it probably saves quite a bit of money. There’s a misogynistic story, which makes me wonder about the type of people who buy this stuff and the implication of a 2nd season, that just makes me depressed, amongst other issues. There was also the inexplicable uncensored episode in the middle, but what better way to hide the vast emptiness than that.

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu is at times an innocent love story between two indecisive high school students with different backgrounds, at other times it is pure self-indulgence designed to give security to those who watch this. It would have been nice if some of the side characters were a bit more realistic rather than simple maid tropes or otherwise because the story is fine as it is.

The third season of Zero no Tsukaima took nearly all my reserves of patience and endurance to finish. Perhaps it just shows that a good first season can inspire futile hope in all future efforts. If they put as much effort into putting together a story that wasn’t an afterthought like it is here as they do into making the fanservice look fantastic, then this could have been a classic. That seems to be a theme this decade.

At first, the idea of making Clannad OVAs with specific character endings struck me as thinly-veiled exploitation of fans of the series. So I went into watching this fairly low expectations. This was the Tomoyo chapter which I thought did a pretty good job of making sense with respect to the original series. Tomoyo and Tomoya struggle with their newly confirmed relationship here, and struggle more against perception from outsiders than anything they have done. That it comes down to Tomoya having to disappear for a while while Tomoyo continues her charmed high school life is sort of a shame, but entirely predictable. At least it sort of works out in the end.

The OVA third season of School Rumble takes a different approach to continuity. It almost entirely demands that the viewer had read the manga chapters from the end of the 2nd season to the start of this OVA, otherwise it is just a collage of completely unrelated scenes. With that said, I still can’t say I even enjoyed this. If it was supposed to wrap things up nicely, it really didn’t do a very good job. It just came off as more of a non-committal ending like it was being forced to be done.

Detroit Metal City wraps things up for today. As a comedic take on fandom and the music industry, it does an excellent job. The short length of the series probably helps it as well since some of the repeated jokes were starting to wear thin toward the end. The parts of Negishi’s life outside of DMC were not as good, but I can accept them as a necessary evil. I also think that the format of the series would actually work for a lot of comedy series if it were used more often.

Highlights from Unseen or Unfinished Items

Slayers Revolution seemed peculiar for the fact that it was resurrected over 10 years after the last installment of the franchise. It also confirmed that I have absolutely no taste for fantasy for the most part from the few episodes I did watch. Telepathy Shoujo Ran had a pretty good OP, but the formula which was something like Scooby-Doo with psychics was never going to hold my interest. Koihime†Musou was called the most accurate portrayal of Romance of the Three Kingdoms by someone on Twitter. Strike Witches holds my record for quickest drop (under 3 minutes). Natsume Yuujinchou is apparently in some sort of modern classic standing now.

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