Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anime Spring Season 2007 - New Titles & Reviews



, spring is a season that is observed by both the Japanese and nature lovers from all over the world because of the lovely cherry blossoms. For the average otaku, however, spring means that a bumper crop of spanking new anime are sure to hit their TV screens.

Thanks to a relative living in


, I was able to preview some of these new anime. Believe me! If you're sick with pneumonia, what better way to recuperate than by watching these great new shows?

Anyway, the anime that you'll read here are my top picks. Hopefully, we'll get to see them on Animax very soon.


Gonzo's Romeo X Juliet is certainly living up to all the hype surrounding it. Although it does not utilize the elaborate textures from Gankutsuou, the animation is still high quality as only the studio can deliver. The anime's main draw, however, is its refreshing plot, transforming Shakespeare's classic


into a breathtaking aerial city that combines Renaissance and hi-tech architecture. Another plus is the remaking of the characters, especially Juliet. If you are not a fan of the original dreamy-eyed rendition of the heroine, you will love the gutsy, martial arts assassin that she has been turned into. Little has been revealed about Romeo's character so far, but he seems to be a likeable young man who has developed a quick interest in Juliet with their first encounter. Fans (including yours truly) are eagerly awaiting the appearance of Romeo's nemesis Tybalt (said to be played with blood-chilling evil by talented Okiayu Ryoutarou). Romeo X Juliet is a definite must watch.


There are two anime with historical themes this spring. Production I.G's Seirei No Moribito is the first, using an Ancient Korea type setting. (The second is Koutetsu Sangokushi, which I really want to watch but, unfortunately, don't have a copy of.) The art closely resembles that of a previous offering Otogi Zoshi: The Legend Of Magatama, combining traditional animation with breathtaking CGI effects. But what leaves you hankering for more is the story.


(who looks like a gentler version of Saya from Blood: The Last Vampire) is a female warrior, who suddenly finds herself tasked with protecting a boy who has a spirit guardian slumbering inside his body. If the first episode is any indication, this anime promises a fantastic plot with a lot of action scenes. Needless to say, I am really dying to know what happens to


and her young ward as they go on their journey.


I must admit that I am not particularly fond of anime with women as lead characters (with the notable exception of Saya from Blood: The Last Vampire and Blood+), but I was truly impressed with Claymore. The plot is relatively simple: The world is being besieged by evil monsters, known as youma. These youma can only be defeated by a special breed of female warriors known as Claymores, who are half-human and half youma. I was practically blown away by the spectacular art and action scenes. Clare, the lead Claymore, is a formidable character whom you cannot help but admire for her bravery. It would be very interesting to see how this anime's story would progress.

DARKER THAN BLACK ~Kuro No Keiyakusha~

Out of the bumper crop of video games-turned-anime this season, I am thankful that there is a horror thriller among them. I must admit this anime reminds me of another series that I just finished watching recently called NightHead Genesis. Darker Than Black focuses on a psychic agent named Hei who, together with his blind partner Yin, is trying to unravel the secrets surrounding the enigmatic Hell's Gate that had given them their powers. I found myself getting glued to Darker Than Black because of the mysteries surrounding the characters and their relation to the Hell's Gate. Thankfully, unlike NightHead Genesis, it doesn't go into psychological mode, making the story still easy to follow.


I've always had a fondness for the animation style of One Piece. How appropriate that it is used for this hilarious anime that I am really enjoying immensely! Lovely Complex is a comedy about two friends Koizumi Risa and Atsushi Ootani. What makes them distinct is that Risa is a very tall girl (she's 170 cm in height) while Ootani is…well…short (at 156 cm). Because they also have a flair for comedy, they become known as the comedy duo in school. The appeal of the anime lies in that both Risa and Ootani are in a kind of duel to find a girlfriend/boyfriend, but always end up playing matchmaker to their blind dates. The question is: When will this statuesque beauty and her diminutive partner realize that they are meant for each other?


There are still a lot of brand new anime to look forward to, and which I'm harassing my nice relative to tape for me. Blue Dragon, the anime based on the XBox video game, looks pretty interesting, especially since one of its creators is Dragonball's Akira Toriyama. If you're one of those left hanging by the six episode Saint Beast OVAs, now you can look forward to more adventures (and shounen ai hints galore) in Saint Beast: Kouin Jojishi Tenshi Tan. Of course, expect more shenanigans from Haruhi Suzumiya and co. as the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya rolls in. Finally, if you're one of those disappointed by the tearful ending of Emma: A Victorian Romance, you can finally find out what happens to Emma and William's love affair as Emma: A Victorian Romance Second Act premieres this spring. I definitely know whom I'll be rooting for, and it's definitely not William. I'd really like to see Emma end up with dashing butler, Max. If you want to see what Max looks like, head on over to the official website at

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