If only …

… or, “What the hell were they thinking?” List #2:

1. Azumanga Daioh: There’s Chiyo, Osaka, Sakaki and Yomi — four memorable characters. (Five, according to those who can tolerate Yukari.) There’s one of the finest soundtracks ever recorded. It could have been a classic. Unfortunately, there’s also Mr. Kimura.

2. Divergence Eve and Divergence Eve: Misaki Chronicles: An excellent science-fiction story with interesting, sympathetic characters and a haunting ending that reminds me of Lain. However, it looks like pornography.

3. Kamichu! Hideyuki Kurata is a maddeningly erratic writer. He can be inspired, and he can be dumb. Kamichu! showcases both extremes of his range. The first two episodes are very good indeed and the third is a small classic. The fourth belongs to some other, lesser show, the fifth is dull, and I’m not going to discuss the sixth. The better episodes are good enough to warrant purchasing the boxed set if you can find a good price, but I recommend watching only the first three episodes, the seventh, the ninth and perhaps the twelfth.

4. Bottle Fairy: The first eleven and a half episodes are a great deal of fun for children and their parents as the four tiny fairies try to understand humans and their culture. However, the ending goes off-key and inspires depressing interpretations. By all means, get it for your kids, but stop after the eleventh episode.

5. The World of Narue: A pleasant, lightweight science-fiction story. It would be good fare for junior high students, except that it is rife with pointless panty shots.

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