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Current highlights

It's embarrassing that I can't really remember what I'm watching unless I check the lists...not that I really want to say anything about Gundam 00 or Ghost Hound atm...

Anyway, the recent addition, Hatenkou Yuugi, is still a bit of a hit and miss. The first episode was incredibly confusing, with characters being added at the drop of a hat without much of an explanation...well, unless you were very observant, in which case you would have noticed that Rahzel's clothing had changed. Then there are the flashbacks that are sometimes used quite unexpectedly (the introduction itself is apparently a flashback)...primarily involving the main character linking a current occurrence to something she found out from one of her companions when she first met him, or simply remembering her own past. I would hazard a guess that it's meant to keep us interested in the series, but the first two episodes were really too much of a mess - it makes me wonder if the manga is similarly haphazard. (Yes, it's a manga, and I have a portrait of it...though I didn't realise it until I saw the translation of the title on ANN...) Things do pick up a bit in episode 3, with a pretty sorrowful and thought-provoking episode (the manga version is darker though - it is, after all, published in the same magazine that brings us titles like Saiyuki), but ultimately, the thing that has kept me watching so far has been the interactions between the characters. Rahzel is pretty special for a female main: honest, blunt and with a pretty sharp tongue from time to time, nothing at all like the tsundere characters that so often appear in stories targeted at a male audience. Her answer to a "between a rock and a hard place" scenario in episode 4 led to my favourite exchange in the whole series. though I'd rather not spoil it here.

The other series I really wanted to mention at this point, however, is Shion no Ou, which is a murder mystery centered around Shougi players. Although I was not particularly keen on it about 8 episodes ago, the tightness of the storytelling has made it one of the series I anticipate most for new episodes. It wouldn't actually take experienced people (i.e. those who've consumed a lot of stories in any form) long to realise that the many arrows pointing towards one suspect indicate that that person simply cannot be the murderer (see episode 12  of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei for a very extreme - and hilarious - look at that particular trend in storytelling). However, the logical conclusion that follows from that assumption was something I really wouldn't have expected from the first few episodes...revelations from episode 16, however, reveal somewhat of a more sinister background for a certain, apparently benevolent character...

...I hate trying to talk about things without giving anything away...maybe I should just give it up.