Nothing beats a live Jazz performance. From left to right: Ri'ko's dad (bass), Sentarou (drums), "Brother" Jun (trumpet).

Episode 2 of Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) is finally here, bringing us more of that crazy action, but, as Kaoru learns, you don’t always get the kind of action you were expecting. This episode opened up several avenues that will be interesting to see explored.

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Another visually compelling episode.

I hadn’t intended to blogĀ Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia), but last week’s episode was so interesting that I just had to do so. Still, I intended to let it be, but this episode was packed with interesting visual ideas, so I can’t help but comment.

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Cough, please.

In episode 3 of Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers), Mutta Namba is subjected to a number of examinations that leave him feeling humiliated in more way than one. We also get a proper introduction to Serika Itou. The episode had a couple of genuinely amusing moments, and pushed through the majority of the week-long series of examinations that a candidate for JAXA’s space program needs to pass.

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The crew of the Bentenmaru are hospitalized but hardly resting.

Episode 15 of Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates) turned out to be quite funny. With the regular crew still in quarantine, Captain Marika tries to run some pirate jobs with her friends from school. The problem? The Bentenmaru is tricked out, and nobody in the Hakuoh Academy Space Yacht club has been trained in the peculiarities of the systems aboard it.

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Dusk Maiden of Amnesia.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) seems to be a Supernatural Harem School-life Romantic Comedy with a touch of Mystery for good measure. The male lead’s harem is the school’s detective club, and the club’s president, Yuuko, is his “magical girlfriend” (in this case a ghost). I don’t do too well with these types of shows, so I watch an episode to know what I am avoiding then insta-drop it. There were three things that surprised me about Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, though:

  1. The OP (used in this first episode as an ED) was actually pretty good (something you can confirm for yourself, below the fold),
  2. This first episode made use of the non-linear storytelling technique, which I thought was interesting and amusing, and
  3. The art direction was occasionally quite bold.

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"His drums just wouldn't stop thundering in my head."

The Spring 2012 season finally feels real now that we’ve got the premiere of the Noitamina shows. Of course the show to which I have most been looking forward is Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope). With Shinichiro Watanabe directing, Yoko Kanno providing the soundtrack, and MAPPA doing the animation, we have the A Team on production. The setting is unusual, in that it is set in the recent past (1966). It shouldn’t be a surprise that the first episode already delivers.

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Mutta Namba has pre-interview jitters.

The second episode of Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers) was, in some respects, even better than the first. Or perhaps it is because the first episode did such a good job of establishing our main character that the second episode was able to make such great use of him. Episode two had three main components: 1) the contrast between Mutta’s childhood optimism and his current low self-esteem, 2) the story of how Mutta handled the opportunity to interview for JAXA, and 3) the character insights that were offered at the end.

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