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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"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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The Devil Baby Rides Again.

Chibi Devi (Devil Baby) is a very short anime (15 episodes x 5 minute each = 75 minutes, or about the length of four episodes of a typical anime). Unlike most of these very short anime, Chibi Devi is not built around a series of gags; it has a continuous story about a young girl who is very alone as the series begins. The aesthetic is VERY shoujo, so expect babies wearing funny outfits and *sparkles*. It also has a maddeningly infectious OP (linked below). I definitely wouldn’t say that it was a great series, but I can’t help but feel that the producers made effective use of their time. I have seen series drag the same amount of content out for 12 full-length episodes.

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The Mouretsu Pirates (AKA Fierce Pirates AKA Bodacious Space Pirates) OP/ED single was released today. Both tracks are performed by Momoiro Clover Z, an idol band with a sentai theme (think Power Rangers). You can see in the image above that each member is associated a color. I took to the ED (Lost Child) right away, but the OP (Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyokyoku) — “Furious Space Symphony’) also quickly grew on me. I don’t have too much to say, but I’ll link you to the vids.

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A routine scan reveals the presence of a ship that should not be there.

Another excellent episode of Bodacious Space Pirates (Moretsu Pirates) — Now that the voyage of the Odette II is under way, some mysterious things start happening, including the sighting of a Ghost Ship, one that is supposed to have been destroyed for over a hundred years. Besides the cool factor of introducing a ghost ship, this episode did two very good things: it maintained its careful pacing, and it started filling us in on the other characters.

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Need something to make your next Karuta match more exciting? Listen to this.

Those who are watching Chihayafuru already know that the music is one of the many great things this show has to offer. The series features tracks that add a lot of tension, often converting that built-up tension to a more positive emotional outburst. The Original Sound Track (volume 1) is available now, so it is time to start listening to it in earnest to see  what makes it so good. Of course I can’t do justice to an anime OST review, so what follows is just me pointing things out until Anime Instrumentality gives you a proper review. [UPDATE: The review is now available].

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Meiko Kaji, the eternal outcast.

SOoooo….. I have been watching Winter Season episodes but really haven’t seen anything that was so exciting that I felt I needed to write about it right away. Nothing was anywhere near as awesome as  the supreme outcast, Ms. Meiko Kaji, so I’m linking up some of her videos instead. Heh, heh. I’ll probably have a couple of first impression posts after watching three episodes alá the traditional “taste test”. Until then (or the next episode of Chihayafuru), enjoy some Enka instead.

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