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I finished "Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet" on netflix last night. The first episode was some of the best mech anime I've ever seen. I wish the entire series was like the first episode. Then it turned into a 'slice-of-life' anime for about 7 episodes. After an unnerving loli dance scene in which every guy over 40 was drunk and wooing at 10 year old girls dancing I was done with it (seriously japan? is this what japanese men want? wtf.). But then I looked at the episode descriptions for the final episodes and I stuck with it. The final 3 eps were great and had good action. If you want to see some good mech battles, watch the first and last 3 or 4 eps of this series. All the episodes in between are just filler crap to establish some sense of loyalty between the mech pilot and the group of people on the gargantia. And of course to forge a typical anime relationship of: "i love this guy i just met and even tho we've only known each other for less than 2 weeks, you need to stay with us for life!"
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The amusement park ep of Haganai season two was so hilarious. I think the harem worked because Kodaka wasn't a mega perv and outside of Rika there was very little sexual frustration. Plus fan service was limited. The show stayed focused on the story and each character's plight.
You gotta remember Sledge the Slice of Life genre is pretty much the "Cute girls doing cute things" genre so high school aged characters will always be present (and generally cute girls as mentioned). I guess that doesn't draw that many people in but it does me and I do understand the frustration of it being focused on this age group (it's why I have a hatred of harem series). My all time favorite series falls into this genre, Aria (I can't recommend this series enough. It's not everyone's cup of tea but the show is amazing (so is the manga), has amazing character development (but it is centered around high school age girls), and the art and music is just amazing. I re-watch this series at least twice a year (by far one of the best purchases I've made anime wise)). Plus you also have to realize that these shows are aimed at high schoolers and the Japanese Otaku hence why we see so many shows featuring protagonists around that age category (for some reason it's a major hit over there, so are idol based anime (which I can't understand why it's important, then again the Japanese have a thing with idol worship). They don't care what us Americans have to say on the subject as anime isn't as big over here as it was back in the Toonami era (original run). Anime fandom has died down over here (though it has been seeing a resurgence in the last 2-3 years but it'll never be as big as it was originally).
Heh, I started reading Berserk like 4 years ago but I haven't made it past volume 9 yet. While its a great read (and I do plan on reading the rest of what I have (up to volume 35)) I doubt he'll ever finish it (much like Five Star Stories, I don't think that manga will ever end (it was on a 10 year or so hiatus and the creator just started picking it up again recently). It's one of the longest running manga's to date time wise (13 volumes so far and it started in 1986)). Then again I don't think Rei Hiroe will ever finish Black Lagoon (it's been stuck at volume 10 for like 2 years (pretty much right after the Roberta's Blood Trail arc, which is so much better in the manga. The anime adaptation of it didn't do Roberta any justice)).
I've got a dislike for HorribleSubs and only really use them if I have no choice (I'm not a fan of Crunchyroll's translations which is what Horrible uses for their releases). I'll probably pick that torrent up but god knows when I'm going to have time to sit down and watch 700 episodes (then again I'll probably only pick up the Marineford Arc. I haven't read or seen it but I've seen so many character tribute videos and music videos about this arc that I want to see it in it's entirety. I really want to see Whitebeard kick some ass (I don't know why but I seriously like this character though I know very little about him)).
That was a great episode Honestly Kodaka was a great change from the normal protagonist you usually get in harem shows. Down to earth, slightly pervy, and all around great guy who generally cares for his friends well being (I find it funny that he's pretty much a homemaker). If it wasn't for Rika I don't think the show would really have any sexual frustration or fan service (yea Sena still provides plenty of it but Rika is by far the worst for it). Then again the show wouldn't be the same without her if they took her out. My major draw to the show when I started watching it was the sad premise it had, grouping up people who have no friends or social skills. Not only did it provide some great humor (good god the ideas for how to make friends were hilarious) it provided a look into the anti-social tendencies most children and teenagers face these days.
If you have the Berserk manga, I'd still definitely recommend reading it. But dive in knowing you'll never get an ending and you won't be as disappointed. There are quite a few arcs that see full completion in those volumes so it is a great read. The tower of conviction arc (i think thats what it is) was the best part of the series to me. And I just found out that arc will be in the new anime. That will probably spawn alot of new fans of the series, but will cause even more disappointment when all the new fans learn they'll never get an ending, or even at a minimum finally see Casca become sane again. Many people only think of Berserk from the original anime with a messed up ending. But the band of the hawk arc that was in the anime is nothing compared to the rest of the series. The Berserker armor the show is named after has never even been in the anime or anime movies.
If you want to pick and choose some good One Piece to watch, I highly recommend the marineford arc, then keep watching the eps after because thats when the time skip occurs. The fishman island arc after that was great too because it shows an entire new culture.. and alot of mermaids.