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Shinmaru

What are you watching/reading?

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Give Ouran some time, the show does a really good job of getting past the crazy laughs before long and into some more serious stuff, all the while keeping the great crazy laughs intact

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Have an external hard drive now, so I can actually watch shit again. Starting on Gilgamesh soonish. That, and rewatching Princess Tutu in a few sittings, as opposed to stretched out over the year.

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Dropped Gilgamesh; five episodes in, and I can't find any reason for me to keep watching it. Post-apocalyptic supernatural Watchmen, that's about it.

Picking up Death Note; interested to see if it's as good as people say it is.

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Well, the general consensus seems to be that

after L's death

, the series goes downhill dramatically.

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Is it as good after

L dies

, no. Is it still a good show, yes. Should they have ended with L, yes. It was a travesty to have it play ut the way it did, but it was still good for what it was.

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I'm getting back into manga after being out of it for a few years. Here's what I'll be checking out over the next few months:

20th Century Boys

Gantz

MPD Psycho

Pluto

Rurouni Kenshin (Only one of these I'm continuing where I left off via the VIZ Big editions. Probably my favorite manga.)

Silent Möbius

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Finished Death Note tonight. Thoughts on it in a review sometime soon.

Dennou Coil is next up, heard very good things about it.

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Also, for the record, the first Death Note Rewrite is useless if you've already seen the series; essentially just the first half of the series compressed into two hours with ten minutes, tops, of new footage.

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Bought Neon Genesis Evangelion Sunday Night and I'm about half way through the show right now. Now that I kinda know what's happening ahead of time it's really, REALLY good, and now I'm really hyped to talk with Tiffany Grant about it.

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I don't feel like the first half of the series is anything special, really, but the second half is where it's the strongest.

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20th Century Boys is amazing. I liked the first book well enough. It was lighthearted and silly, and it looked like it was building up into an interesting concept. But the second book was pretty much perfect. The tension just kept building and building, and already things are starting to fall into place. I really like Urasawa's character designs too. His characters just look so... real. Like, not as in highly detailed or anything like that, but they just have the kind of flaws you'd expect on real people.

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Just finished Dennou Coil. I now have a three way tie for all time favorite series (three way tie now with Gankutsuou and Revolutionary Girl Utena). Expect a review shortly.

Onto Saiunkoku Monogatari.

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Starting to work my way through my Ai-Kon haul. Dropped watching the NANA fansub due to A) The Legal DVD release coming soon (and it's already on iTunes...not that it does me much good out here) and B) I picked up the up to date 17 volume manga run of the series, up to Vol. 2 right now, the story is nothing new to me, though I like the idea that they put the entire prologue in the first volume (the train meeting happens at the start of volume 2) I think the manga is much too self-referential (ie. Hachi reminicing by pulling out volume 1 and reading it.) Hopefully it stops as it gets more serious.

Aside from that, I watched Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 4 the other night. The series is still awesome.

Still on the to see list is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Limited Edition), Shin-Chan Season 1, Part 2, Case Closed Season 1 and Case Closed: The Time-Bombed Hotel. I also have Vol. 5 & 6 of Vampire Knight to catch up on.

Also, finished NGE. I followed what the hell was going on this time around a lot better but I still can't help but have this massive headache from thinking about the end. I really need to pick up End of Evangelion now, if I can find it anywhere (it's out of print, not a single vendor at Ai-Kon had it in stock)

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I really should visit this place more often ...

Anyway, amusingly enough, I ended up putting off Gundam SEED until yesterday (through ep5 right now), but I did finish off some other shows in the meantime.

-- Azumanga Daioh: Yes, somehow I had never watched this before. Loved it from start to finish, still completely hilarious and fresh.

-- Kanon (2006): Very good series, although as far as KyoAni is concerned, I think both Clannad and Air are a step above it. But, hell, being KyoAni's third best series is nothing to sneeze at.

-- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Like it, but damn, there are so many annoying/frustrating characters. Don't think I've ever been that irritated at a show I enjoyed overall.

-- Kaleido Star: Absolutely brilliant. Amazing, even. Nothing but great things to say about this series -- love the sheer guts and grit of Sora, and the wonderful payoff of all her hard work. One of my five favorite series now.

-- Hayate no Gotoku: Fun series. Nothing amazing, and it really drags in the middle, but when it just does straight comedy with tons of parody, it's quite enjoyable.

-- Claymore: Once the show gets rolling it's great entertainment, even if the ending is kind of lousy.

-- Speed Grapher: Good, but it just lacks that certain something that would have pushed it into "great" territory.

-- Fullmetal Alchemist: Yet another super popular series that I had somehow not seen before. Solid show. Pretty much everything I like about shounen series without too much of the bad.

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Actually in part because of all the other stuff I've been watching my most recent viewing of Gundam SEED derailed rather quickly. I've already seen it 4 times through and to be honest the show takes a while to really get going (builds up for first 9-10 episodes, then up to 20 it is awesome, then it hits anohter lull, finishes strong.)

Continuing throgh NANA, up to the end of volume 8 now, still not at where the manga drops the story, most of the self-referential stuff has dropped (save for the bonus pages stories, but that doesn't matter), one thing I have noticed that really hurts it is the inability for the music to be as big a part of the story. In the anime you had these awesome tracks that you would hear from Trapnest and Blast at their rehersals and concerts, whereas in the manga it's just music notes on a page. The drama still gets me though.

Watched Girl Who Leapt Through Time again from the Ai-Kon haul. This movie is spectacular, not as an anime movie, not as an animated movie, just as a movie, it is awesome. Watch it, everyone.

Going through the new Shin-Chan stuff, show is awesome just because they take the Cartman "Whatever. I do what I want!" approach to dubbing it. There is very little seriousness in the dialogue and that's what makes it so awesome.

Shinmaru, I agree with most of what you say, though I must ask, have you seen Kaleido Star: New Wings (the second season)? If not, you should, not as good as season one, as there are a number of things in the plot that are VERY frustrating, but you still have Sora being Sora and that alone puts it above a lot of series.

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The Girl Who Leapt through Time is awesome. I should watch it again some time.

And, yeah, I saw New Wings, along with the first season of Kaleido Star. Loved it just as much as the first season, even if May and Leon are super annoying through most of it (although they are supposed to be, so it's easy to forgive). At the ending, after

Sora has taken on Layla and proved herself worthy to be the Kaleido Star, and she does her act the next day

man, it's just magic. Haven't felt that kind of emotion since I finished Eureka Seven.

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I have learned over the past few months that the Gantz anime simply doesn't exist anywhere in Maryland. I've been searching for it ever since the very first Animezing Podcast.

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Dubs, try a site like Rightstuf, you can usually find anything anime there, and fr good prices too.

Have now finished 50 chapters of NANA (First 13.25 Volumes) and this series is firing on all cylinders right into a reinforced brick wall. It is a trainwreck in slow motion that you can not look away from. In fact, after catching my own reaction in the mirror after finishing chapter 50 I have for the time being changed my MSN handle to Mr Emo-Bitch Girly-Man.

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Found the first season of Gantz for ten bucks at a local flea market.

I'm three episodes in and digging it so far.

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