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Dated 27 August 2008: Kara no Kyoukai makes me want to get an eye exam

Why are all Shikis so stabby-stabby?

All y'all failed to tell me ufotable is animating episodes of Kara no Koukai. And that Kajiura Yuki is composing the music. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'm so there.

Touko Aosaki
Nice glasses.

I fully support Girl Shiki's decision to wear combat boots and a red leather jacket with her kimono.

Ryogi Shiki
Yellow raincoats, not so much.

That extended fight scene in the first episode gave me End of Evangelion flashbacks. I could almost hear Sakamoto Maaya saying ERSTE in my head. Moreover, the music backing that fight is exactly the kind of thing I miss so much in My-Otome 0~S.ifr.

So that's what happens when you take Asuka off the meds.

Through the first three 50-minute installments, I have to admit Kara no Koukai is a little heavy, but that's to be expected given the subject matter and source material. It's good to indulge in moments like these to balance out the brain-sapping boobery of, say, Kanokon.

Dated 14 September 2008: Another look at Kara no Kyoukai

Shiki's eye
I should have noticed earlier that the very first image in Kara no Kyoukai is an eye.

Shiki's apartment
I like how Shiki essentially has no possessions.

Tohko's wall-to-wall clutter
It's quite a contrast to Tohko's wall-to-wall clutter.

Dated 16 November 2008: Anime product placement is insidious

Haagen Dazs in Shiki's freezer
Haagen Dazs ice cream in Shiki's freezer.

Haagen Dazs
Delicious strawberry ice cream.

Ice cream counts as a snack, right?

Dated 22 November 2008: Unravelling the mysteries of Kara no Kyoukai one at a time

Shiki's freezer
Even the inside of her refrigerator is clean, for crying out loud.

How does Shiki keep her apartment so clean? This question has been bothering me for a while. She throws her robe on the floor in the morning, so I don't think she's a naturally neat person.

Shiki's bedclothes
Did I say robe? I meant bedclothes.

Does Kokuto come by to clean up after her like a little house boy? (See also Toradora! and Nodame Cantabile.)

Kokuto puts water in Shiki's fridge
Kokuto keeps Shiki stocked with bottled water.
It's not a stretch to suggest he tidies up.

It took me a while, but I figured it out: She just KILLS any dirt and clutter that manage to build up. Duh.

Dated 18 December 2008: Kara no Kyoukai episode four, wherein Shiki does all right for a convalescent

Shiki and Touko
Shiki and Touko.

Just so you know, Kara no Kyoukai IV is fully awesome and I will spoil the shit out of it if you don't go and watch it RIGHT NOW.

[Spoilers: Shiki gets better.]


Seriously, though, Kara no Kyoukai is great and you should watch it.

Dated 7 January 2009: End of season review, Autumn 2008

Nodame is more than a little imperfect, but
she makes up for it by being a sweetheart

Autumn 2008 did not produce any stellar shows1, meaning there wasn't a Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, Honey & Clover, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, or the like. There wasn't even a Lovely Complex. However, it did have some very solid titles and a few shows that demonstrated mid-series potential as they resume during the Winter 2009 season.

Not fully pictured: Saki's ridiculously enormous hammer.

Final rankings for shows I watched this season follow:

Kannagi > Nodame Cantabile: Paris Chapter > Hyakko > Toradora! > Shikabane Hime: Aka > Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight OVA > One Outs | Dropped: Kemeko DX (4) > Kurozuka (4) > Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka (?) > Casshern Sins (1) > Mouryou no Hako (1) > Toaru Majutsu no Index (4) > Michiko to Hatchin (1) | Worse Than Cosprayers: Kiss x Sis (1) > Macademi Wasshoi (1).

Amagasa and Torako
Torako is more than a little imperfect, but
she makes up for it by tormenting people.

Two big surprises this season. First, I had dismissed Kannagi based on its pre-season description, but it proved to be the cream of the crop. Second, I wasn't expecting to still be watching Shikabane Hime at this stage. Thankfully, it has kept shounen jive (e.g., too much standing around talking about powers instead of fighting) to a minimum. By the way, I totally called that Yui Horie twist even before I finished watching episode one, just so you know.

I went 10 episodes before noticing Makina's bare ass in the OP.
Now I can't not see it. It's Shikabane Hime's FEDEX arrow.

To give you an understanding as to how much I loathe shounen jive, bear in mind I dropped To Aru Majutsu no Index after episode four despite fully supporting the Shizuka Itou character's decision to wear half a pair of jeans with her kid sister's t-shirt. I just couldn't take any more speeches about Not Thinking About Other People's Feelings or any more boasting about fine nuances of Special Techniques and Powers. Criminy.

I think I've actually seen people in L.A. dressed like this.

Many of the shows I dropped early on (for example, Casshern Sins) might actually be very good, but just didn't capture my interest. This is the same reason why I dropped Kaiba a couple seasons ago after watching no more than two episodes despite almost universal acclaim, for example.

Note 01: I'm not counting any of the Kara no Kyoukai movies as belonging to the Autumn 2008 season. Any of the films in this series would certainly qualify as stellar.

Dated 23 January 2009: Claymation is so fresh

I really hope Datsun Nissan taps ufotable to create a commercial for the new 370Z.

Dokkoida ED
Dokkoida?! ED.

Shinobuden ED
2x2=Shinobuden ED.

Coyote Ragtime Show ED
Coyote Ragtime Show ED.

Manabi Straight ED
Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight ED.

Kara no Kyoukai PSA
Kara no Kyoukai public service message.

Nissan 300ZX commercial (not made by ufotable, as far as I know).

Dated 31 July 2009: Kara no Kyoukai 6 is pretty awesome

Azaka, Mikiya, and Shiki
I'm still waiting for ufotable to animate a show entirely via claymation.

It surprises me not at all that the sixth installment of Kara no Kyoukai is excellent—the first five were excellent as well. However, Kara no Kyoukai 6 is awesome in ways I wasn't expecting.

Wait, why is Shiki dressed like a nun?

Sure, the music is top notch. The score she is producing for this title may be some of Yuki Kajirua's best work. That I already knew. Likewise, the fights are of the caliber a fan of these films would come to expect. What I wasn't expecting was discovering Azaka is a character from seemingly a completely different show.

Kara no Kyoukai ~Only Love~

Much of Kara no Kyoukai 6 feels like parody because the tone is so different compared to the first five. Plus there are those eerie Marimite vibes. And Azaka's moe blob imouto roots. The Hell did that come from? And also Azaka kinda talks like a cross between a Kugimiya Rie stereotype and genki-time Mimiru from .hack//SIGN.

Shiki, Azaka, and Mikiya
Azaka bursts in on Shiki and Mikiya. Don't you ever knock, sis?

"GEH," I shit you not. It works, though, and ufotable wisely minimizes Azaka's and Mikiya's screen time together to duck those very moe blob pitfalls in the most lighthearted installment of Kara no Kyoukai yet. Alas, now my wait begins anew for the seventh movie.