Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Your Investment Portfolio: Trading Halts for Spring 2011

These shows are in neutral.
Good chance they won't be going anywhere soon...

Again, the amount of my financial background could probably be condensed to that of a single pamphlet, but even I know that not all deals, whether they be operational, asset-related, or on Wall Street, go swimmingly. Sometimes they need to be delayed or halted until a better time comes around or a better deal can be hammered out.

That was the case with a few shows this season. Whether they were full on promise and low in motivation (or the other way around), there were shows that I wanted to watch more, only to find that there was some obstacle to the deal. This doesn't mean that the following shows will be abandoned, but right now there was something that didn't allow me to finish them, even if the interest was there.

Here are the shows that I wanted to watch more of, but didn't watch enough. Maybe I'll get to them the upcoming season. Maybe.

Part 1: Spring's biggest gainers!
Part 2: Spring's biggest losers!
Part 3: Spring's incomplete deals!
Part 4: Spring's bankruptcies!
Part 5: Spring's best investments!

"You have gain."
This rating doesn't necessarily mean I have confidence in these shows being good or bad; it just means they've improved since the first episode.

"You have loss."
Again, some of the shows that have received this rating are not necessarily bad or going to get worse, but their initial scores just happened to be higher than they are now.

These shows are considered winners, even if they have lost some momentum since the first episode. Good chance they will continue to be good going into the next season(s).

The outlook for these shows do not appear as comforting as others, while those that have ended will likely not get a second thought.

"Open deal."
These shows haven't been seen enough for a decision to be made. Let's agree to deal with them later.

"You are bankrupt."
We've seen enough. These shows deserve to have their Midas Money stolen and their Financial District cards broken.

"You have control."
The best of the best. These shows have had me from Day 1 and will have me on Day 1 of the Summer 2011 season (if applicable).

Still airing on Funimation
Original Rating: 19
Current Rating: 18.5
Current Episode: 4

Perhaps it was a little bit of indigestion when it comes to Toriko. There was just so much on my plate this season that dining into episodes where Toriko devoured manhole-sized slabs of meat like they were cookies just gave me a sense of being full enough to pass the platter to the next diner.

There are still tons of scraps on this show that are sweet and tender. I came to appreciate the goofy grins the characters get when they are wrapped in caloric bliss like bacon around scallops, the DBZ-styled fights against delicacies too plentiful to let be, and the decent acting efforts by Ryotaro Okiayu (Toriko) and Romi Park (Komatsu). However, the endless overindulgence of gluttony was hard to stomach, and the buck had to be passed from the Spring 2011 anime menu. Perhaps now that summer's here Toriko can be savored and reviewed accordingly.

Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera
Original Rating: 18
Current Rating: 18.5
Current Episode: 4

A bit of a surprise that I wasn't able to watch more of this show, and now the delay in its pursuit means I will likely be unable to watch this until it comes out on video from NIS America. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera might please all the yôkai fans out there with its silly hijinks and simplified exploration of Japanese monsters.

Considering that the original Enma-kun was played by Masako Nozawa (Son Goku, Dragon Ball; Tetsuro, Galaxy Express 999), there were some giant shoes to fill, but putting high-energy veteran Kappei Yamaguchi into the role made it seamless. Adding Mamiko Noto and Takehito Koyasu to complete the trio certainly helps give this show star power. Perhaps its limited availability made it harder to follow, but there's a good chance it will be in my collection come next year.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (Electric Wave Girl and Youthful Boy)
Original Rating: 14
Current Rating: 15
Current Episode: 5

Of the few episodes of Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko I've watched, each seems to have its own way of charming me and driving me crazy. On one hand, the character designs are cherubic and seem contrary to the styles SHAFT had chosen to animate in the past. On the other hand, the characters surrounding the male lead have a tendency to have their own annoyances in personality.

It's a decent show that had one too many of those annoyances to keep me from watching it thoroughly, but perhaps the biggest disappointment is that the final episode has to be purchased to be seen. Apparently it can't be shown on the air due to the quake for some unfathomable reason, so one must purchase it in a bundle with the home-video release. Without an actual ending in sight, it's hard to really have the motivation to finish the series.

Shôwa Monogatari (Shôwa Story)
Original Rating: 13
Current Rating: 12
Current Episode: 2

The jury is still out on how a show like Shôwa Monogatari would unroll after just two episodes, but there's just not enough of a connection to encourage me to follow it right now. Watching the show would be more of a learning experience, but something tells me that it was meant to be a show that helps the older generations to appreciate the nostalgia of post-war Japan.

Not being part of that subset, I'll leave it to those wiser about that generation to judge the show. I might return to it for study material, but that could be something more easily obtained by watching the movie version of the show.

Hyouge Mono
Original Rating: 13
Current Rating: 11
Current Episode: 3
Least Potential

It seems unfair to judge Hyouge Mono after just the first three episodes and assume that it would bring the least to the table in terms of second-season potential, but of all of the continuing shows, this one was the one I figure I wouldn't be watching consistently.

There is that flash of a chuckle from the faces that Sasuke makes after a possibly brilliant article of aesthetics risks demolition, but that seems to be all the show has to offer from the surface. The pace of the show tends to slow and speed at times, and the vocal cast hasn't impressed me. Whether I look to wade in deeper, that's something that needs to be judged later, but something tells me that an appreciation for art is something that I won't need an anime to tell me about.

Original Rating: 10.5
Current Rating: 10
Current Episode: 2

Could this be a pattern developing? Both of the original NHK shows for this season (Moshidora and Hyouge Mono) seem to lack the power, regardless of whether it be constructive or destructive, that other shows have. While I'm sure Peter Drucker has developed a new radical way to approach business, I get the sense here that it really doesn't have a vital role to how the story is to be unfurled.

I'm certain that it will make a terrific live-action movie (Released last month in Japanese theaters - Ed.), and perhaps that's what the initial approach should have been. It appears that you'd get more emotion in this drama (and perhaps even more comprehension of Drucker's subjects) than if you had it animated. I might give this show a rainy-day watching every now and then, but I have my doubts I'd enjoy it.

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