Fall 2009 Update #2: Armed Librarians: Book of Bantorra and Kimi ni Todoke

What’s this? Two updates so close together! Preposterous! I’m going to actually try to keep this thing updated somewhat regularly.

The subject matter this time around is my first impressions on my other two fall 2009 series, Armed Librarians: Book of Bantorra, and Kimi ni Todoke. I’ll start with Armed Librarians, since I watched it first.

I really like the tanned girl 3

I really like the tanned girl ❤

The basic plot of Armed Librarians is a bit hard to summarize from just the first episode, because it did a lot of throwing terms at you and not explaining them. From what I could gather from ep. 1 and the preview guide, it’s something like this: The Church of Drowning in God’s Grace has a lot of power, and they are horribly immoral. They have started enslaving humans and turning them into “Bombs”, which is exactly what it sounds like. These people have pretty much given up on life. The group that opposes them are the Armed Librarians. They also guard “books”. In this series, when someone dies, their soul fossilizes and becomes a “book” that people can “read” by touching it. The Armed Librarians protect these and fight the Church.

Well, Katie, the other writer for this blog, had told me that Armed Librarians was crap, but I’d already downloaded ep. 1, so I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. She’d only gotten through the first half or so before dropping it, and I can quite honestly see why.  It was pretty depressing and pretty hard to follow for the first half, without really making you want to follow it. I can’t stand dropping something in the middle of an episode, though, so I kept going with it into the second half.

The second half got far more interesting. The first half was comprised mostly of a group of Armed Librarians on a boat trailing a ship of the Church. One of the bombs jumps overboard, and one of the Librarians goes to help him, but he explodes because that’s what bombs do. Then there’s a big bomb attack and a battle with a lot of usage of terms that aren’t explained, and a ridiculously emo scene with one of the “Meats” (which I assume are people that are being conditioned to become Bombs but aren’t Bombs yet) falling overboard as the ship sinks and not doing anything to save himself, not even grabbing onto something when he’s placed on it.

But the second half is drastically better. Stuff on the Armed Librarians’ side is actually explained, like the thing about what “books” are. And that really pretty tan girl showed up. I like her already. I don’t have much else intelligent to say about Armed Librarians, so in short, I like where it seems to be going, but I can’t say I’m sold just yet. I neither approve nor disapprove of Armed Librarians.

As for Kimi ni Todoke? I have not “d’awww!”-ed at an anime so much in the course of one episode in a LONG time, if ever.  It’s a shojo series, but a good one. The basic plot is that Sawako Kuronuma is an outcast in her school. Everyone thinks she’s creepy, can see and summon ghosts, etc. They go so far as to call her Sadako after the character from The Ring. None of this is true, though. Sawako is a sweet girl that just wants to get along with the others, but they misunderstand her. Well, all except for a boy in her class named Kazehaya. This boy makes an effort to be nice to her, and romance begins to blossom…

This is so cute. I love how believable the characters are. Even Sawako isn’t 100% isolated; she has a friend in a different class. The other students aren’t all total jerks, either. Kazehaya is nice, but not really perfect either. He’s too shy to admit that he likes Sawako, even though it’s blatantly obvious to the viewer. Good shojo is a bit of a rarity anymore, now that shojo’s Golden Age is in the past (The 70’s produced some amazing shojo manga and anime. Rose of Versailles, From Eroica With Love, etc…). Finding legitimately good, well-written shojo is a rare treat, and oh so very satisfied. Also the art style is unique and I really like it. The artwork and animation in the OP are especially gorgeous, hence why I included a video of it. I approve of Kimi ni Todoke.

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We’re still here, I swear! Also Nyan Koi ep. 1

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Welcome to Powered by Sugar’s new home, by the way! A friend of mine recommended we do this, so I went with it. I still need to poke Owari/Katie/whatever she ends up calling herself when she signs up here to get a WordPress account, but she’ll be back, too!

So why haven’t we been posting? Well, Owari has the better excuse. She’s in college and has actual responsibilities that come before writing the blog. As for me? I haven’t really finished anything that I could write a good review on, I need to go put batteries in my camera so I can take figure pictures, I’m out of good ideas for rants at the moment, etc. I’ll still be rewatching Nodame…eventually.

But enough lame excuses out of Stringed. Here’s a proper update (kind of) for you all.

So I never really follow the new seasons of anime as they come out for whatever reason. I tried for the spring season, but got overwhelmed. Summer I didn’t even bother. But now it’s fall, my favorite time of year, and I feel energized to try again. I’m being smart about it and picked out 3 series to follow. No more, no less. The series I chose were Armed Librarians, Kimi ni Todoke, and Nyan Koi. I still need to sit down and watch the first episodes of the first two series, but last night I sat down and watched Nyan Koi episode 1, so here’s my thoughts on that so far.

The basic plot is that Junpei, the main character, is a boy that is allergic to cats, but his family loves them to bits. So does his crush, despite her being ain a family of dog people. He, however, just doesn’t get it. One day he kicks a can, which accidentally beheads the statue of Jizou, a cat deity. From this moment onward, Junpei is cursed. He can hear what cats are saying. If Junpei doesn’t do 100 favors for cats, then not only will he hear cats forever, but he will become one himself.

To be perfectly honest, Nyan Koi had me from the description on the fall season chart. I happen to be a cat lover myself with four of my own, so a series centered around cats?  Has major appeal for me. And so far this first episode does not disappoint.

For one thing, the main character, Junpei, is not your usual moe series hero. He actually has a personality from what I can tell. And the main girl, Mizuno, is cute, but not pathetic in the least. I found her dog owner mentality towards cats to be absolutely adorable. I’ve known people like that and it’s funny to watch them interact with cats and teach them the differences between cats and dogs.

My favorite character so far is easily Nyamese, Junpei’s family’s cat, though. She is adorable and her attitude puts me in mind of Garfield. The kittens in the first episode are positively adorable, too. I just wanted to cuddle them and tell them that everything would be okay~.

People, I beg you, don’t just watch the video of the opening song and assume this is just a moe show with nekomimi. This series really has potential, and no nekomimi actually have occurred in the series so far; just in the OP.  Stringed approves of Nyan Koi!