Abandoned #8 (.hack//sign, Black Cat, Buddy Complex)

Generally with these posts, I don’t rule out returning to the shows featured (unless I say so specifically for an individual title) so I’ll include my usual disclaimer, maybe I will return to these three, who knows? 🙂

It’s also just a short post this time around, after my previous monstrous list!

Black Cat

I’m actually 9 episodes in but I just sort of drifted away and haven’t returned yet. I was enjoying it, but basically, I remember thinking that there wasn’t enough Sven!

Buddy Complex

This seems bright and fun, and I like mecha a lot, so I probably could come back to this but somehow, despite an action-packed episode one, I wasn’t hooked. (Early signs of wonky charactarisation with Hina perhaps.)

.hack//sign

Long been aware of this classic isekai and I finally gave it a shot the other day. I like Noir from the same studio and loved the world and the set-up here, along with hints that the pacing would be a little different, but after a whole episode of the insufferable Tsukasa I just couldn’t go on.

But because it feels like he’ll have a good character arc, I think I could return to this one day for sure, but only when I have more energy for that kinda lead character.

Abandoned #7 (Bumper Issue!)

This post has more titles than usual, as it includes a few things that I’ve saved up or didn’t include in previous lists, but basically due to the number of them today, I thought I’d only do a line or two about most.

As ever, some of these I gave half an episode to at most, so maybe I jumped the gun… Others, I am certain I won’t finish but one is very much more of a ‘deferment’ perhaps 😀

First, the list:

Dances with Dragons
Blazblue: Alter Memory
Code: Realise – Guardian of Rebirth
Vividred Operation
Garo: Crimson Moon
Code:Breaker
Corpse Princess
Appleseed XIII
The Garden of Sinners
Black Butler
Coyote Ragtime Show
Le Chevalier D’Eon


Dances with Dragons

Was enjoying the premise and the mix of magic and tech – but the chemistry between the two leads somehow fell flat for me, even though it had tension.


Blazblue: Alter Memory

This seemed to draw together a whole heap of tropes and character archetypes from other shows but the structure of the first episode was too jumpy for me to grow invested in anyone.



Code: Realise – Guardian of Rebirth

While I do love steampunk I just couldn’t get on board with this particular dub. I’m curious to give this another shot though.



Vividred Operation

Sci-fi action and adventure! Magical girls saving the world! Costumes! Well, in the first few scenes the show seemed to be more about finding the ‘best’ camera angle to show the teenagers’ labia through panties so, no.



Garo: Crimson Moon

Might come back to this, as I like supernatural and also samurai-themed anime, but in my previous watching slump I found that there was no point of view character for me to latch on to in the prologue.



Code:Breaker

Again, welcome to another victim of my ‘supernatural slump’ – something about this felt melodramatic, rather than dramatic and so I drifted away from this one after a few eps. I think it was partly Rei that I didn’t enjoy.



Appleseed XIII

I do love the franchise but couldn’t get into the visual style with XIII.



The Garden of Sinners

This was interesting but seemed to be a little coy when it came to details I wanted more of – and I’m certainly not against stuff that could be described as having slow-burn pacing, but I don’t know if I’ll come back despite lingering curiosity.



Black Butler

I can definitely see why this is a classic but I found myself impatient for something ‘bigger’ though subtly isn’t a negative thing at all. I was enjoying the humour too. I could easily revisit this one day.



Coyote Ragtime Show

May well continue this one in the future, as it was nice to have a different kind of lead character to what is typical in modern anime. I can’t recall quite why I set this one to one side.

.

Corpse Princess

Okay, unlike most others in the list above – I actually finished a season of this series. It was grim enough and even had character development, a bit of ‘Vash-like’ humour and the fan-service didn’t try too hard, but the real problem was season two.

I don’t know if the show got ahead of the manga after season one but the significant recapping and sudden stagnation of the story means I gave up after a few episodes.



Le Chevalier D’Eon

All right – here we are at the end of the list, and this one is the ‘deferment’ I mentioned before.

I will definitely come back to Le Chevalier D’Eon but each time I sit down to watch another episode I find myself hesitating.

I think I know why – it’s the pacing.

It feels as though I hesitate because I know that our four heroes are going to visit a new town, catch up on local politics, help out, and then collect a few scraps of info on the main quest. That pattern has been repeating for a while now and so I’m finding it hard to jump back in, even though by the mid-way point I should be unable to put the show to one side.

What’s interesting to me is that I love episodic storytelling but this feels like mini-arcs with not enough of the main plot thread woven throughout to satisfy my curiosity. On the other hand, I know I’ll finish Le Chevalier D’Eon because there is so much I want to discover and the characters, settings and magic are all great – along with the swashbuckling too.

And that first episode is one of my all-time favourite opening episodes to an anime, so I know I enjoy this series enough to finish… but it’s a matter of when will I have the patience? Hopefully soon!   

Abandoned #6 (Ga-Rei: Zero, Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 & El Cazador de la Bruja)

Welcome to my 6th ‘Abandoned’ post and of course, my usual disclaimer that I might come back to these one day!

  1. Ga-Rei: Zero (2008)

During my slump the other month (when I was having a lot of trouble finishing things) I started and abandoned various anime and Ga-Rei: Zero was one of them.

I’ve seen (or attempted) a fair few shows in the supernatural genre of late and this one had a few interesting things that I hadn’t seen heaps of times before, and visually I certainly had no complaints… but it made a classic storytelling ‘error’ as I see it.

I understand that the style of error I’m eventually going to mention is usually played as a twist but it had a secondary effect for me, which was to make me stop watching.

Basically, between episode 1 and episode 2, Ga-Rei: Zero changes the cast of characters completely. Suddenly, I had to meet a whole heap of new folks and do the work of finding reasons to care about them – and instead, I just didn’t and ended up moving on to a different show.

Maybe if I wasn’t in a slump I might have kept going… but I didn’t have the energy to watch (basically) two versions of Episode 1 back to back.

2. Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 (2020)

Gave this a shot the other day but I couldn’t get on board with the visual style. Cool to hear original cast members back for the voices however 🙂

Ultimately, I didn’t see enough to have much of a response re: storyline or anything else about this series, and I could probably come back to this one day, just to see more and give myself a chance to form a real opinion. For now, it’s pushed down a bit on my list.

3. El Cazador de la Bruja (2009)

The ‘girls with guns’ sub-category is one of my favourites and the setting was great so I think I’ll give this a shot again one day for sure, but since I tried El Cazador during my slump, I wasn’t able to finish the first episode.

It felt like it was taking a bit too long to kick off and in a way, that’s probably not true, but again, mid-slump I was only able to finish things that immediately and deeply hooked me from the opening few minutes.

Abandoned #5 (Shigofumi, Penguin Highway & Tales of Zestiria the X)

Here we go again with a new ‘Abandoned’ post and my usual disclaimer that I might come back to these one day!

  1. Shigofumi (2008)

I think I liked the concept better than the approach when it came to Shigofumi. Like many of the shows I mention in these posts I don’t think I’ve ruled out finishing this one day, however.

Shigofumi follows a ‘girl’ named Fumika who delivers after death letters and again, the premise I loved, but part of my issue was the structure. Now, as I type this I know I’m ‘on record’ as saying I love episodic shows and it’s still true, however for at least as far as I watched here, these episodes generally moved between unconnected cases.

Now, for a crime series that’s very, very normal and no problem at all – but the draw there is often the detective, I reckon. You get to know and spend a lot of time with the person solving problems in those instances. Here, Fumika is fairly passive and the mystery around her world (and her role) was offset by not really getting to know her soon enough. That meant that for me her (almost) cameos in the episodes just weren’t enough.

2. Penguin Highway (2018)

Looks great and has what sounds like a fun mystery for kid protagonists to solve – penguins randomly appear in their village.

Now, I haven’t finished this quite obviously, but Aoyama seemed equally obsessed with breasts as he did the mystery of the penguins and I assume it was meant to be cute but it struck me as odd.

Definitely haven’t ruled it out but I’m not rushing back just yet.

3. Tales of Zestiria the X (2016)

I stopped Tales… a while ago now and just haven’t come back, and for a change I know exactly why.

In the beginning, I was enjoying the action, adventure and magic, along with the ‘King Arthur’ feel. There were mysteries and other things that had me curious, along with some great settings that I wanted the characters to explore… and maybe you can see where the ‘based on a video game’ aspect comes in 🙂

But around episode 6 or 7 the narrative leaps away from characters I was beginning to become invested in to settle in with other folks who I just didn’t care about. And perhaps due to that, and not knowing when the focus would return to the ‘proper’ main characters, I just haven’t gone back.

Now, I’d argue it’s really hard to tell an expansive story without jumping between viewpoints of a large cast but where I stopped, I think it had been a couple of episodes without even checking in on the main team and so I just kinda moved on to other stuff.

One day I want to try this again, just not sure when.

Abandoned #4 (Dr Stone, Fire Force & Cop Craft)

This post probably won’t be as inflammatory as it would seem by the title – considering some of my motivations here stem from a kind of apathy perhaps, rather than strong dislike.

  1. Dr Stone (2019)

I was onboard with pretty much everything for the first few episodes – bold visuals and an interesting scenario with the characters having to restore civilisation. I was especially enjoying the fact that it was obvious from the pacing that rebuilding everything wasn’t going to be glossed over in 2 or 3 episodes.

What went wrong? Perhaps nothing – I think I just haven’t felt drawn to come back yet. Where I left off Senku and Taiju hadn’t progressed too far but there was a perhaps an arrogance to Senku that I didn’t enjoy.

Would definitely revisit this one day I think. Part of me is surprised that I didn’t enjoy this more.

2. Fire Force (2019)

Ready for another pun or two? These ones are probably worse than the pun in my opening paragraph, but ultimately the fan service seemed too clumsy, too contrived here, which bugged me after a while.

Elsewhere the visuals were often so, so good – and the setting had me interested too. My curiosity about the workings of the world and about Shinra are high even now. There were some interpersonal conflicts I was keen to follow as well.

In the end, other shows kind of took over. Perhaps I’m spoiled for choice but Fire Force is, for now, on the back-burner.

3. Cop Craft (2019)

I got about half way through Cop Craft and just sort of… drifted away. Again, I wonder how much of my inability to finish some things over the last few months comes down to being overwhelmed by choice. It’s an amazing problem to have in a way, compared to the past, which was often a problem of scarcity.

Detective-focused or crime shows seem to be one of my favourite sub-genres and the addition of magic ought to have been enough to really hook me, but I haven’t felt a strong urge to jump back to this story.

I liked Kei and there was plenty of in-built tension with the premise of two mis-matched cops having to work together but I can’t quite put my finger on what has me passing this one over each time I see it in my list.

Not sure when or if I’ll revisit.

Abandoned #3 (The Rising of the Shield Hero, Inuyasha & Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: Battle of Unato)

  1. The Rising of the Shield Hero (2019)

Portal fantasy is a classic genre and can be perfect for a writer to deliver exposition – naturally, the visiting character needs most things explained and at the same time, the viewer gets the info.

That’s why I like such shows in a way, because they’re up front about what I need to know and the pacing of a story tends to be fast(er) as a result of that, but despite all the good, tension-building angst at the beginning, I didn’t finish episode one here.

I think I’m just not precisely in the mood for this one, so I can see myself coming back to it.

2. Inuyasha (2000)

Sensing a theme? 😀

I got a few episodes in and was enjoying Inuyasha, which is definitely a classic, but despite me liking the characters and the world-building, I felt kinda crushed by the weight of the rest of the series.

It’s not the longest out there of course, but with nearly 300 episodes I just knew I’d never make it. Maybe one day I’ll go up to a certain arc’s resolution but for now, I’m glad I’ve actually seen at least a few episodes of this one.

3. Kabaneri of the Iron Rortress: Battle of Unato (2019)

This one is probably my mistake rather than any particular deficiency that I noticed – slick animation, vivid colours, some compelling tension and an interesting world that I’m curious about – but I’m half-way through the film and well aware that I’ve missed enough from the series that the character interactions should be carrying more weight.

So yeah, that’s my mistake – I started the film on a whim, knowing I shouldn’t watch it before the series, but I was drawn in enough even without the wider context of the show.

Will finish after I’ve seen the series.

Abandoned #2 (7 Seeds & Nanana’s Buried Treasure)

  1. 7 Seeds (2019)

Once I saw the ‘that one guy who can’t get along with everyone else’ trope combined with the “stranded on an island” setting I grew immediately tired and set the series aside. Maybe it was just bad memories of Lost?

Now, could I ever take a look again? Certainly, but I’m not in a rush just yet.

2. Nanana’s Buried Treasure (2014)

Via the blurb I came across for this series I was thinking kids on a treasure hunt, helped out by a ghost? Cool!

…but once I started watching this one I was quickly buried alive by fan-service. I don’t automatically dismiss a show due to fan-service but it was just lurking around every corner, lol, and it seemed to be the focus more so than the mystery, which is what I was after – so maybe this one’s on me, for not actually researching the show properly first.

Abandoned #1 (Death Note, Elfen Lied & Coppelion)

(For now, at least)

Here’s a short post on a few shows that I found myself unable to finish – there might not be a lot of detail because for two of them it was a few years ago now when I put each series aside, but having said that, I don’t want to rule out finishing them one day.

Still, here’s a couple of notes on each of ‘em in what might become a semi-regular post!

  1. Death Note (2006)

I believe I got about four or five episodes into this classic and while the cat-and-mouse aspect was great, I quickly found that I didn’t care about Light and his psychopathic tendencies. One thing I know would have (and may well do one day) convinced me to keep watching would be if the series had given me more from Ryuk and the world of the Shinigami, as he was the real highlight for me.

  • Elfen Lied (2004)

From memory it was only about two or so episodes before I moved to something else. Somehow, a mutant, overpowered girl escaping a military facility didn’t turn out to be as exciting as it sounded. It’s got that flashy, gratuitous opening that most anime fans are at least aware of and despite a stunning title sequence; there were a few storytelling contrivances that didn’t gel for me. However, it’s a short series so I might finish it one day.

  • Coppelion (2013)

This one’s a little fresher in my mind but I only managed one full episode – and once again, something that at face-value I should have really enjoyed, just didn’t grip me.

I still can’t put my finger on it… maybe there wasn’t enough tension for a post-apocalyptic story? Giving a show one episode isn’t much of a chance, I’m more than happy to admit that, and the scenery alone is almost enough for me to keep watching but I haven’t found myself compelled to return to this. I liked the stylistic choice of heavy outlines on the heroines too but the opener didn’t have enough of a hook for me I guess.

…and back to regular reviews next! 🙂