Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 16 July 2010: Strike Witches II and its new Mio


I'm opposed to changing voice actors as a matter of principle, and I still lament the absence of Chiba Saeko (one of my favorites) from the Strike Witches sequel, but I have to admit Seto Saori is doing a good job through at least the first two episodes.

Dated 30 May 2010: If true, the worst Strike Witches news ever

29:09:10< Seem> Evirus you're apparantly going to need to pick a new favourite Strike Witch, Saeko Chiba is being replaced with a different VA for season 2

That is some straight dog shit right there.

Dated 25 February 2010: Strike Witches Axis Powers

Hartmann, Barkhorn, and Wilke
Hartmann, Barkhorn, and Wilke from Karlsland.

Just so you know, the only reason Gertrud Barkhorn isn't the best strike witch is because of Chiba Saeko giving Sakamoto an unfair boost.

Dated 21 April 2009: End of season review, Winter 2009

Gainax Kick detected.

The biggest surprise of the Winter 2009 season was the rise of Shikabane Hime: Kuro and the fall of Toradora! in the final rankings during the last weeks of the season. As expected, it was a rather weak season overall, but it had its moments.

Makina has a bad day.

I had fully expected to drop Shikabane Hime after four episodes during the Autumn 2008 season, but I was hooked by the characters (except for Ouri) and the mystery. It helped I was spared the loathsome shounen jive conventions I despise so much.

Goro and Kaoru
I hereby nominate Shimizu for Best Girl of the Year.

The second-best series from Winter 2009 was the first half of the fifth season of Major. Besides being a solid sports anime, it's also starting to delve into relationship drama, although with its own flair, and thankfully without the typical animeisms that plague relationship stories. Maybe it's because the characters in question are no longer in high school, so they aren't expected to act like twits. Whatever the reason, it's refreshing.

Nobue calls these days "weekdays."

Taking the third spot is the first Ichigo Mashimaro Encore OVA. I should probably not include OVAs in these rankings for numerous reasons, but I'm making these rules up as I go along. As for the first Ichigo Mashimaro Encore OVA itself, it was another solid block of entertainment and charm that make the series so enjoyable. Pity the title unfairly carries with it all that baggage it can't seem to escape. You know what I'm talking about.

Suguru and Sachiko
This is the weirdest bathroom. Is it at the end of a hallway?

In fourth is the latest offering of Maria-sama ga Miteru. I didn't care for these episodes as much as the previous seasons, but that's probably because of their Touko-centric nature. On the other hand, these episodes also elevated Touko three positions in the Marimite rankings. Congratulations, Touko. I no longer like you least.

Ami and Minori
Ami is stunned to discover she's the Toradora! Best Girl after all.
And how odd. Minori is usually much more genki.

Everyone else's favorite, Toradora!, only managed to take the fifth spot, despite leading most of the season. As astute readers surely realize, this sudden drop is largely due to the dramatic turn towards the end of the season. Most people who really like Toradora! seem to really like the relationship drama aspects of the final episodes, but I felt they were ham-handed at best. Maybe it's because these are high school relationships in question, but I couldn't help thinking the principals were utter twits. As others have pointed out, this isn't really drama; it's melodrama. And it tastes like high school.

How odd. Shion is usually much more genki.

I'm not a huge fan of Tetsuwan Birdy Decode, but it is pretty good at what it does. Were these rankings based solely on my interest, it would probably place lower in the standings, although at no fault of its own. Then again, if these rankings were driven by my appreciation of Chiba Saeko, it would place higher. So let's just call it a wash, eh.

How odd. Kotori is usually much more genki.

Da Capo If is another OVA ranked entirely on the strength of a single episode. Like with the Ichigo Mashimaro OVA, that's probably not fair, and I should probably exclude it entirely, but I waited a long time for a Kotori route, so I'm going to include it, God damn it. Also, Da Capo If reminds us Horie Yui can really act when she wants to.

Kyon, you know this can't possibly end well.

The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan shorts are genuinely amusing. They pulled away from their Nyoron Churuya-san counterparts with that episode where Asahina Mikuru just starts crying from confusion and never looked back.

Torigaya? and Washizu
Washizu Vision?

Oh God. Asu no Yoichi!. Hey, some of the middle-laterish episodes are all right, and that running gag with Washizu's crony had a great payoff that came completely out of left field. The best part is everyone else dropped this show after episode two, so they have no idea what I'm talking about.

Love is all right for a rookie Cure
How odd. Love is usually much more genki.

Fresh Pretty Cure is fresh. Love is love. Tart is the least annoying Precure mascot thus far. Kaoru-chan probably wants to get into the girls' pants. Easy is the best Precure villain except for that that one movie where Cure White is tempted by the dark side and beats Hell out of Cure Black. Aside from Buki being a sort of useless religious fanatic, this show is all right.

Quit while you're ahead, Tsuruya.

Nyoron Churuya-san needs more variety in its jokes, nyoron.

I've decided Marisa is my favorite Touhou character. Entirely arbitrarily.

Rounding out the final spot among shows I watched during the Winter 2009 season is the unofficial Touhou doujin anime. Despite all the hype, it was merely adequate, which I guess is pretty good all things considered. I wanted to like it more, but I can't claim it's even as good as the classic Yakumo/Chen bit with the KCY and all.

How odd. Hokuto is usually much more...wait, no she's not.

I also dropped a bunch of shows, but there aren't any additions or changes from the earlier list

Dated 30 December 2006: Wakusei Updated

I've added a couple more seiyuu blogs to Wakusei. The wacky adventures of Kana Ueda (the voice of Yumi from Marimite) and Yuuka Nanri (Nao from My-HiME and Mai-Otome) are on the march.

Still waiting for Saeko Chiba and Tanaka Rie to add RSS or Atom feeds to their blogs....

Dated 2 November 2006: Seiyuu Blogs

So while trying to figure out why Planet was giving me so many errors every once in a while for no apparent reason, I ended up bifurcating the aggregator into the regular section, and one just for seiyuu blogs. For what it's worth, the errors seemed to have gone away for the time being.

Saeko Chiba
This is a picture of Saeko Chiba for no reason.

Speaking of seiyuu blogs, it wasn't that long ago when Tanaka Rie was pretty much the only voice actress with an online diary. (It was notable for having tiny thumbnails that linked to grainy, marginally larger, cameraphone pictures, leading many readers to lament that she needed both a better camera and a better webmaster.)

Now, seiyuu blogs are almost commonplace. Mai Kadowaki was one of the first with an RSS feed, but even syndication is becoming more prevalent. Well, more prevalent, but still not common. Yui Horie's blog recently gained an Atom feed, but we're still waiting for Chiba Saeko to add syndication to her pleasant corner of the Internet.

In related news, Aya Hirano's blog has an RSS feed, and she likes to update that sucker like four times a day, mostly with distorted wide-angle closeups of her mugging shamelessly.