Some comments on what I’ve recently watched.
Claymore — The first episode features the grossest scene I’ve endured since the first Alien movie. There isn’t anything as grotesque in the second episode, but it’s no milder. Houko Kuwashima departs from her characteristic role as an emotionless girl by playing an emotionless woman (well, half-woman). ((Kuwashima is a versatile actress, but about half her roles are silent, withdrawn characters, notably Kirika Yuumura. She does them well, but I like her better when she plays vivacious women such as Shuurei in Saiunkoku Monogatari.)) Despite my distate for gore and horror, I’m curious to see what kind of story emerges in the series. I’ll continue watching as long as it doesn’t try too hard to gross me out.
El Cazador de la Bruja — Thus far, the most interesting show of the spring, and I definitely will be following it. The challenge for me will be to not constantly compare it to Noir. There are many similarities — it’s the third of Koichi Mashimo’s informal girls-with-guns trilogy — but Ryoe Tsukimura is not involved this time and I don’t expect the overwhelming intensity of the earlier series. What I do expect is a complicated plot involving conspiracies within conspiracies, and a lighter, occasionally humorous tone in this tale of Maxwell’s Demon in Latin America. I hope Mashimo can pull it off without too egregiously violating the laws of physics and probability.
Hayate no Gotoku, or Hayate, the Combat Butler — The English title is the best part of the show. The series itself is lightweight, formulaic comedy, entertaining and nothing more. It’s not good enough to pay money for should it be licensed, so I’ll probably skip the rest of it.
Kami-chama Karin — I think of Koge Donbo as the cheerful Japanese counterpart of Margaret Keane. Her art is off the scale on the kawaii meter. Unfortunately, she’s not as good a storyteller as she is an artist. Kami-chama Karin is her idea of a mahou shoujo story. The principals are cute, but I get very irritated with them. Novice goddess Karin doesn’t ask the questions she should, and Kazune, who should be her coach and mentor, is more likely to lose his temper than explain what she needs to know. If you need a kawaii fix, watch Sugar again instead.
Murder Princess is potentially good, lurid fun, and I’m impatiently waiting for the second episode. Monster Princess, on the other hand, is just trashy.