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Deep And Spiritual Anime Thought (TM):
(Well, actually more like a random rant.)

That's right, another new season of anime! I'm quite a bit late on this one, it started almost three months ago at this point... but that at least gave me an opportunity to get better acquainted with some of the shows. Several of the shows premiering this season have already been licensed. I won't spend time on them, since US markets will soon see them on shelves anyway, and will instead focus on the shows that have yet to be picked up in the US. Some of the aforementioned shows that have already been licensed include the samurai action-fest Juubei Ninpucho (AKA Ninja Scroll TV), picked up by Urban Vision, the ultra-dark 'cyberpunk' Texhnolyze, acquired by Pioneer, the aerial action show Last Exile, also with Pioneer, and the light comedy Kaleido Star, licensed by ADV.
D.N.Angel (Picture)
      Young Daisuke is a young boy in love with a beautiful and popular girl in his class. The problem? He's a shy and inexperienced loser that would never be able to confess his feelings. But guess what! Inside of Daisuke lives the legendary Kaitou (Master Thief) Dark, a tall dark and handsome bishounen who looks like he's right out of Fushigi Yuugi. Dark, living inside ever male member of Daisuke's family, is brought out whenever Daisuke feels a strong emotion of love, and will continue to have to periodically come out and steal random stuff (for no reason I could fathom) until Daisuke's love becomes mutual.
      Well, this is most definitely a shoujo show... it seems to be largely episodic and mostly revolve around fairly melodramatic 'adventure' stories with the payoff coming, of course, when Daisuke transformes into Dark and just acts super-cool in general. There's also a painfully obvious love triangle of sorts with the sister of the girl Daisuke likes who is obviously a lot better than her sister (just kind of a tomboy) and obviously likes Daisuke and he'll obviously end up with her at the end. It does have nice animation and music... but still, I can't bring myself to care. At first I thought that maybe I simply don't like the shoujo-esque bishounen-heavy theme, but honestly, I've watched several shows with a LOT more bishounen than this show does that I've liked a lot (Fushigi Yuugi and Fruits Basket, for example). So really, it's just not a very good show.
E's Otherwise (Picture)
      Ah yes, Scry- I mean, E's Otherwise. The show takes place in the near future, where two societies exist, one of normal humans and one composed of humans born with powerful special abilities who are called Alte- I mean, Espers. To control them, a society is created composed of those very same Espers called HOL- I mean, ASCES. However, the members of ASCES are exposed to the harsh truth when they confront the Espers living in the slums they have been forced into.
      So yeah, this show is a total ripoff of Scryed, except from the point of view of Ryuhou instead of Kazuma and a LOT less interesting. The main plot develops painfully slowly, the episodic plots are not very interesting and the characters are all cliched and uninteresting. As you can perhaps already tell, I don't like this show.
Uchuu no Stellvia (Picture)
      In the future, a supernova explosion in a nearby system causes great damage to Earth. Humanity pulls together in their struggle to survive, and end up rebuilding. However, 189 years later, mankind faces peril again. The second wave from the same supernova explosion is approaching earth, and this one is powerful enough to completely annihilate Earth unless it's stopped. The show centres on young Shima Katase, who travels to the Space Academy on the station Stellvia, one of six space stations built to deploy a protective energy shield when the times comes and save Earth.
      Otherwise known as Stellvia of Space or the far better-sounding Stellvia of the Universe, this is basically a nice mix of comedy and action, with a little bit of romance and drama thrown in. It doesn't sound like anything revolutionary... and it's really not. It is however, quite an enjoyable show with some nice characters, good animation, great music and is overall quite nice to watch develop.
Airmaster (Picture)
      Well, basically, there's this girl named Mako. She used to be a famous gymnast, but now she's a street fighter nicknamed Airmaster because of the way she seems to fly though the sky. And... she... fights people. The immediate thing that draws your attention in this show are the ass-ugly character designs, particularly on that freaky midget girl. It's particularly odd because this show has a LOT of fanservice, and that's an odd combination with character designs like this. Oddly enough, from the little I've seen of this show (still waiting for a good fansub group to put more of it out), I like it. I'm not sure why, I guess the combination of fighting, fanservice, and some weird humor works well for me.
Matantei Loki - Ragnarok (Picture)
      The English title of this show, Mythical Detective Loki - Ragnarok, more or less says it all. Yeah, that's right, the Norse god Loki is a detective. Not only is he a detective, but he's trapped within the body of a very young Japanese boy, as are, for some reason, all sorts of various Nordic gods. Apparently, Loki has been banished from Asgard by Odin (the 'king' of the Norse gods) and now has various other gods following him down into the human world, some to help him and some to protect him. This show kind of reminds me of Spiral in the sense that it's a detective show based around an ongoing battle between several 'special' young kids. However, this show is a lot less mental puzzle-oriented and a lot more action/comedy oriented than Spiral was, which is an improvement IMO.
      This show is at its best when it's doing comedy... it's really pretty funny at times. The action parts aren't badly done, but they're nothing particularly original and will probably seem fairly cliche to anyone who's seen a decent amount of action/adventure-based animes, or even to anyone who's seen a fair amount of US cartoons of those type. A nice show, but nothing to write home about. Its most notable aspect is the crazy liberties it takes with the various gods' personalities, which have absolutely NO resemblance to what they should be... I mean, Loki is a calm and intelligent thinker while Thor is an airheaded gluttonous jokester?! Weird.
Narue no Sekai (Picture)
      A Japanese schoolboy, entering his 'romantic years,' finally finds himself a girlfriend. The twist? She's an alien! That's right, she has various special powers, lives with a robot caretaker that has even MORE special powers, has a little (or big, long story) sister that has YET MORE powers, so on, so forth. So basically, this is a show about them trying to go out and getting into various wacky situations. Oh and there's a few side characters, like the horribly unappealing sci-fi geek (and total bitch) 'friend' who we're supposed to feel sorry for because she's lonely and the guy's horny schoolfriend (who's probably the best character in the show so far).
      Just take Kimagure Orange Road minus the great characters and Onegai Teacher minus the ecchi, combine, and you have this show. Combining two highly popular shows can't go wrong, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, the great characters were the reason for KOR being as popular as it was, and the ecchi was the reason OT was as popular as it was. And I don't know what happened to GONZO's great character designs that we saw in shows like Kiddy Grade, but they're nowhere to be found here... what fun is there in dating an alien if the alien isn't even hot? This show might work if they focused on the sci-fi elements, but all they have been in the episodes I've seen is corny ways to try and push forward the dating element of the show. Honestly, the alien girl is so ordinary and uninteresting that I don't even remember her name... and the guy is even worse. I'm not going to crucify this show since I've obviously only seen maybe the first 1/4 of it, but seeing these two people go out is near the bottom of my to-do list.

Explanation Of Genre Abbreviations For Anime
A - Action - Pretty self explanatory... animes marked with an A contain lots of fighting, shooting, things blowing up, and all some such, such as, for example, Scryed or Macross.
C - Comedy - Again, I doubt I have to explain this... animes that have at least a reasonably heavy comedy element, such as Excel Saga or Abenobashi.
D - Drama - This one is a bit trickier... the way I use the Drama genre is to indicate animes which have a strong emotional component, whether it be wrestling with inner demons or any other kind of emotion. The exception to this is romance, as that has its own genre. However, most romance-heavy animes contain tons of drama (unfortunately, usually melodrama) anyway. Good animes with lots of drama include Boogiepop Phantom and Fruits Basket.
E - Ecchi - The word 'ecchi' means 'pervert' in Japanese, and, not suprisingly, has come to describe anime which tends to focus at least partially on shots of scantily clad women and crude sexual humor. Ecchi anime does not contain anything hardcore, the most you will see is possibly the occasional breast.
F - Fantasy - Anime that features magic, dragons, gods, and other fantasy fare. I don't think I have to explain this one. Fantasy animes include such shows as Star Ocean EX and Record of Lodoss War.
G - Game - This is a rarer genre, but I absolutely must include it, lest I have no way to describe many animes... these are animes that usually focus on some type of competition between players. The competition is usually in the way of playing sports, but it can include other forms (except fighting, fighting would be Action). Examples of these animes would be Captain Tsubasa or Hikaru no Go.
H - Horror - Scary stuff. Demons, vampires, ghouls, skeletons, dark magic, all that stuff. Examples include Vampire Hunter D and Hellsing.
M - Mecha - Shows that feature giant robots, usually fighting each other, and usually piloted by teens. Mecha shows are NOT necessarily Sci-Fi, although they most often are (such as any of the Gundam shows). There are 'realistic' mecha shows (such as Gasaraki) and even fantasy mecha shows (such as Escaflowne).
P - Superpowers - Shows that feature guys with special powers that don't come from any kind of fantasy motif, and often take place in the 'real world'. Almost always (but with some exceptions) is an Action anime as well. Examples include Fatal Fury or Shaman King.
R - Romance - Animes with a heavy romance element, such as Hoshi no Koe or KareKano.
S - Sci-Fi - Animes about spaceships, lasers, cyborgs, and all that, such as Queen Emeraldas or Banner of the Stars.
T - Teen - Despite what it may sound like, this doesn't denote an anime targeted towards teens, or 90% of animes would bear this tag. Rather, it denotes an anime which spends a lot of time on typical issues and subjects that teens may face, such as friends, romantic relationships, school, etc. Examples include Azumanga Daioh and To Heart.
V - Adventure - I wasn't sure if this category was even necessary, but decided to include it to distinguish action shows where the action itself is the focus (like, say, any fighting game anime) from animes where the action comes as a result of some kind of adventure or quest, usually in the form of a group of friends traveling around. Examples of adventure animes include Fushigi Yuugi and Slayers.
X - Hentai - Hentai means 'weirdo' in Japanese, and has come to be used to describe anime that contains graphic depictions of hardcore sex. Most animes of that type are basically the anime version of porn, where the story takes a backseat to the sex. However, there ARE 'real' animes which just happen to have hentai at parts, such as Kite or Mezzo Forte.
Explanation Of Rating System For Anime

Ratings are 1-10; The animes in parentheses are examples of my comments on the rating.
1 - Worthless; no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Difficult to believe something like this exists. (SiN)

2 - Terrible. (Street Fighter Zero)

3 - Really bad. Maybe a few somewhat redeeming qualities.  (Armitage III - Poly-Matrix)

4 - Crappy, but not quite cringe-worthy. (Spriggan)

5 - Sub-par. Not horrible, but only marginally enjoyable at best. (Burn Up! W)

6 - Average. Either a fairly enjoyable show with a very heavy flaw (Bakuretsu Hunters TV, NGE) or a show that, while decent all-around, simply never really got me interested very much (Noir, Metropolis)

7 - Good. Any show with a 7, I 'liked', and would recommend it to fans of that genre. (Tylor, Hellsing).

8 - Very Good. Recommended to most anime fans. It's not quite a masterpiece, but it's certainly well above the norm. (Kenshin, Gasaraki)

9 - Great. Accomplishes everything it sets out to do, and remains highly enjoyable throughout. What keeps most 9s from becoming a 10 is either a small scope that keeps artificial limitations on the show (like with most short OVAs/movies; Hoshi no Koe, Battle Angel), or a possible 10 that was kept from acheiving that status by the presence of a noticeable flaw to a major element (usually their ending; Scryed, Fruits Basket)

10 - Superb. An absolute masterpiece. More than just a show that I loved watching; a 10 is a show that I cannot see any real flaws in. (Cowboy Bebop, Berserk)