Since Blassreiter and Nijuu Mensou no Musume ended some 2 weeks ago, i might as well give my two cents on these. I would have preferred to give a summary-review instead, but recently my brain and fingers don’t work fast enough. They weren’t particularly fantastic. In fact, they unravelled in chaos somewhere towards the end, then managed to salvage the plot in one frayed piece, which i think is a really big shame, since both had alot of potential as breakaway series.

Blassreiter

In the beginning, GONZO created the motorcycle monster. Then came the wacko Amalgams in miserable newspaper colours, a la Resident Evil. Still to come were hot Dr Frankenstein-wannabe Beatrice (with a whole lot of Wolf-humping somewhere around ep 10?) and anti-Christ Xargin, whose manifestos became more annoyingly self-righteous than morally disturbing as the show plodded on. Added to the plethora of chaos that was already pervading GONZO’s over-creative drive were Apocalypse Knights MeiFong (who actually became quite likeable after she ditched her XAT cover), Sasha and Shido, plus the whole team of hapless XAT members (save Hermann and Amanda) who got caught in the mess every step of the way. And last but not least, Joseph and his pwnage bike that looked somewhat like the one in FFVII Advent Children, sans the multiple sword cartridges.

The ending was rather sane in hindsight, Amanda returning to XAT and rebuilding it by herself, Malek finally growing up to ditch his bratty 14-year-old self (and the weird side bangs), and the Amalgams being preserved by Maria. At least there was a sense of preservation that kept this series from sliding into complete X 1990 emo. I had a problem with the penultimate ep though. All of a sudden, mecha jargon kept flying out of nowhere, hitherto unintroduced, which damaged the plot even further and was just plain frustrating. Even in Gundam shows, which have an array of techno-speak rivalling an amateur engineer’s, bother to introduce which is what properly before using it repeatedly. Side stories were at times brought in too little, too late. The problem of having to develop too many characters surfaced, for which GONZO had an ingenious solution: kill them off left, right and centre. (Anyone who thinks JK Rowling was an inspiration, say ‘aye’.)

But to give credit, Amanda was one of the spunkiest anime females i ever watched, and the most well-developed throughout the series. Her decision to turn Malek in at the end, even though he was her brother, earned my eternal admiration. And of course her pwnage fighting skills helped. Joseph was another solid character and a fitting protagonist to Xargin, and the only one whose side story actually helped to develop his character instead of looking like it was just stuck on for the screentime. Can’t get rid of the sentai image though, his Amalgam transformation looks too much like a cooler Power Rangers outfit for some odd reason. Overall, not too bad a series. Just wish it wasn’t as messy as it was.

Nijuu Mensou no Musume

Oh. Where should i begin. This has been the biggest shaggy dog story of the year. Which is probably why so many people stopped blogging it after the middle arc (i.e. crazy white-haired devil with the doll body). There was so much going for this thing. Suave master theif with unknown physical make-up (since he apparently ‘died’ over 5 times, got multiple shot and stab wounds and could still move around enough to escape). Brilliant heist team with brilliant Houdini/Ocean’s Eleven pull-offs. Smart, talented, non-bratty protagonist. HOT MALE IN THE FORM OF KEN-NII (this is all thanks to omisyth’s fanboy tendencies). Plot twists which completely didn’t make sense but seemed to work just fine. Old-school cool CG. Before i knew it, there was a completely lame final boss showdown with a 20 Faces clone, a parting with 20 Faces after all that chasing around by Chiko, and most infuriatingly Ken-nii chose to be a loser and ditch Chiko go his own way with the scientist lady, which actually wasn’t that bad considering how crap the ending was. Shunka Koito was…completely not needed. Tome didn’t get much development, other than her gung-ho confrontation with Evil Auntie. A point of consolation is that at the end credits, the show comes full circle with a prologue scene on the airship before ep 1. Plus the fact that in the final arc, the producers finally seemed to realize they were making 20 Faces into some sort of Superman and promptly set about making him more vulnerable than he was in the beginning. To this day i will never know what exactly went wrong, but it did. Or perhaps that’s due to my sore spot over Ken-nii.

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