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Dated 10 February 2005: Jinki:Extend

Jinki:Extend keeps getting better and better, mostly due to the fact that Aoba, its 13-year-old mecha-pilot lead character, is boundlessly charismatic. Voiced by the ever-talented Fumiko Orikasa, Aoba is a fairly standard character from the teenage-mecha-pilot-with-a-shitty-life idiom, but is done so uncommonly well that she easily (and quite obviously) carries the rest of the show.

Genta, Aoba, and Ryohei
Genta, Aoba, and Ryohei

This is good, because the male lead in Jinki:Extend is quite the jackass, and a sandals-and-parachute-pants-wearing doofus to boot, who really needs to be punched in the mouth each time he says "Ahobaka."

I'm also hoping for good things in the coming episodes. From the manga, it seems Jinki:Extend is not quite what it appears, and should take the plot in all sorts of twisted directions. There are some hints of that already; the story jumps from the 1988 Venezuela arc to the 1991 Japan arc regularly with few clues to fill in the missing years.

Dated 29 January 2006: Jinki:Extend revisited

Joining the list of likable characters who really need to be on better shows is the fetching Aoba from Jinki:Extend.

Aoba
Aoba

I had high hopes for Jinki:Extend, but it painfully failed to live up to its potential. So many problems. Where to begin? For one, I found most of the other characters besides Aoba unlikable. Akao in particular annoyed the Hell out of me. Shiba was okay, but she barely had any decent screentime, either.

Exasperatingly, Aoba was also woefully absent for far too much of the series as the plot jumped among various stories and timelines. When you have a character as charismatic as Aoba, it's probably in your best interest to actually keep her in the show, eh.

I really didn't like the many contrivances. For example, the obligatory training episode with its Tiny Heart Syndrome crisis really could have been handled better—especially if you consider Aoba's escape in the first episode.

I also could have done without the very out-of-place pseudo-moe-lesbian service. It was really unnecessary and blatantly gratuitous.

Jinki:Extend sponsor eyecatch
Jinki:Extend sponsor eyecatch.

I rather wanted to like Jinki:Extend. It's not all bad. The OP's and ED's nods to classic giant robot anime series were nice touches. Aoba is great, but never had a chance at carrying this show alone. The sponsor-message eyecatch is also great if only for spawning a lot of parodies. (E.g., Galaxy Angel and Gundam SEED Destiny.)

Dated 17 January 2009: Jinki:Extend needs more Aoba:Extend

Aoba
Aoba, a good character in need of a better show.

You know, I could go for a Jinki:Extend prequel about Aoba building robot models and entering plamo competitions. I'm just saying.

Dated 15 July 2009: The Hime Cut Chronicles, Part One

Mio
Mio stretches her 15 minutes out with an encore.

Mio from K-On! was far from the first popular character with a hime cut, but she did re-vitalize some interest in the hairstyle.

Yomi
Yomi adds a ponytail to her hime cut.

Notably, Yomi from the underrated Ga-Rei Zero sported a hime cut two seasons before K-On! began airing.

Yoshino
Detective Yoshino from the novels > anime Yoshino.

This has led to some controversy as to whether a hime cut is still a hime cut if it is modified in some way, such as worn in a ponytail (as Yomi frequently sports). Most proponents permit the variation, but are less accepting of the twin-braid version preferred by Yoshino from Maria-sama ga Miteru.

Aoba
Aoba's hair improved Jinki:Extend immeasurably.

Although not as standard as the hairstyle worn by Aoba from Jinki:Extend, I believe merely tying it back or adding braids does not fundamentally change a hime cut, so these variants should be allowed.

Yuki
I hope Yuki writes "Red Raccoon Dog"
on her hair band before games.

Likewise the additional of a hair band as with Yuki from Taisho Yakyuu Musume should be okay as well. What are you going to do, tell a MAMIKORE character to her face that she's disqualified? Get out of here.

Hitagi
Given all the crap Hitagi carries with her,
she probably lacks a comb deliberately.

After all, once the hair tie or braids are removed, the hair will again have the three standard hime cut components, although some combing may be necessary to straighten all the locks. Even still, some degree of unkeptness should be permitted, as I believe few would disqualify Hitagi from Bakemonogatari, for example. In any case, I recommend giving her quite a bit of latitude in this regard, as it appears unwise to cross her in general, even over a matter of principle.