Anime I’m downloading:

Spice and Wolf
Clannad
Shugo Chara!
Rental Magica
Shion no Ou
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS
Shakugan no Shana II
Gundam 00

Spice and Wolf is the tale of a traveling merchant, Lawrence, who makes a promise with a harvest god, a wolf named Horo (or Holo, those silly Japanese) to take her North, and their resulting journey.

Impression: Actually, this is one of my favorite series to date, and that took me totally by surprise. So much so that I was thinking of putting together a Horo costume for the upcoming con. Horo’s character is just amazingly well done. The chemistry between the two main characters is just perfect. All storylines revolve around being a merchant and buying and selling goods, but it never gets boring. My only regret is that it’s only 13 episodes long.

Clannad is the story of a high school delinquent, Tomoya, who in his free time starts helping out a lost looking girl, Nagisa, who wants to restart the school’s drama club but lacks the confidence to do so.

Impression: After Air, and attempting to watch a few other dating sim games, I was sort of turned off by the general classification. But I saw Dom’s review of Clannad on Megatokyo.com, and I decided to give it a shot. I’m very glad I did. Once again watching the relationship between the two main characters evolve is a joy, and the supporting characters are lively, friendly, and in general everyone just wants to help everyone else. Just stay away from the movie. Usually I like movies like this because they kind of take the plot and condense it, and you get a nice quick trip with the characters from the series, however, this movie sapped the life out of Nagisa. She didn’t feel like Nagisa at all, and I just hated it. Plus it puts the supporting characters into nothing more than brief cameo roles, which isn’t fair to them.

Shugo Chara! follows a girl, Amu, who is seen as ‘cool’ by everyone at her school, but who really just wants to fit in. She then finds a trio of guardian eggs that tell her she can be anything she wants to be.

Impression: Just a fun magical girl show with everything you’d expect from the love interest, the rival, the friends, the enemies who aren’t really so bad, and of course the magic.

Rental Magica is the story of a boy who inherits his father’s mage renting company, even though he knows nothing about being a mage himself. It follows the small company and its employees, as well as the young leader of an impressively powerful mage renting company who befriends them.

Impression: Having a lot of fun watching this series. It’s nothing that I would end up watching more than once, but it’s entertaining the first time through. Hm, I make it sound more underwhelming than it is, but I can’t go into much detail without spoilers.

Shion no Ou is about a young girl, Shion, who is unable to speak since seeing her parents murdered in front of her when she was a child. She grew up raised by her next door neighbors, while learning to play Sougi.

Impression: I figured it would try and be some sort of Hikaru no Go rip off, but the murder is front and center in the plot of the series. It also goes into a lot of detail about the differences between men and woman’s shogi. (I’m almost positive there was no such distinction in Hikaru no Go.) Shion is adorable, and she acts like a perfectly normal girl except for having to write things down to communicate. Plus she’s falling for a bishie, and we all know how much I like those.

Shakugan no Shana II is more of the same as the first season. Still good, but you’ll be lost without the first season. Gundam 00 is extremely underwhelming right now. I think I got through about seven episodes. I’m still downloading it, but saving it for when there’s nothing else to watch.

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