Friday, November 21, 2008

Anime Review: Bleach 88, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 2, and Naruto 203

Bleach 88: "Annihilation of the Lieutenants!? Trap in the Underground Cave"

Continuing from the last episode this episode does a nice job in building on what is going on in both the real world and in the Soul Society. With the Soul Society finally doing something other than sitting around arguing with one another this filler arc has finally shown some signs of life that hasn't been seen for a while. While the "battle" Rangiku, Hisagi, Kira and Yumichika have against the Bount Ugaki wasn't all to exciting. But really this has been the pattern with most of the fight Ichigo and crew have been with against the Bounts outside of the Ichigo and Yoshino each had against Kariya. Still the fight did a nice job of building up one of the Bounts that has yet to fight and hopefully once Ichigo and his gang enter the Bounts hideout the fight with Ugaki and his Doll.

The meat of this episode, at least for me, that made this episode another good episode is what is going on in the Soul Society. It is nice to see that unlike some other animes, or shows in general, that the leader of a group or world isn't blind to what is going on around him. We did not need to wait for 10 to 20 episodes for Captain-Commander Yamamoto to figure out their is a traitor in his mix, the traitor being Mayuri. Also I am interested to see what Byakuya finds in his family's archives.

I didn't mention it last week about Uryu's part of the story due to it being such a small part of the last episode. In this episode it seems their is much more build up to Uryu's importance with the plot with Nemu finally arriving in the real world to deliver whatever Mayuri gave her to Uryu. It is going to be interesting to see if whatever Nemu gives Uryu is something that can help him get his Quincy powers back.

Overall this was another show that the Bount filler arc is moving foward in a positive way. And it looks like the battle with the Bounts will be moving to the Soul Society soon which will be great for the show since all the Soul Reapers will be able to fight at full power and not with the limiters.

Episode Rating - 7.7/10

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2: "Plan For Independent Japan"

What a difference one man makes in a war. The first two episodes of R2 have shown how important Lelouch is to the Black Knights victory against Britannia. Even with only a few members of the Black Knights Lelouch was able to lead them to victory in Babel Tower and able to confiscate their new place of business at the same time. Also, it looks like Kallen will be taking a much bigger role in R2 than she did last season. I will be interested to see how long she will try to look at Lelouch and Zero as two different people and how it changes her relationship with Lelouch.

While in the first episode we did not get any answer to what happened at the end of of the first season with Lelouch and Suzaku and how all the characters ended up were they were at the beginning of R2. This episode answer all of those questions, at least on the Lelouch and Suzaku side. While it was obvious that the Emperor had something to do with Lelouch's memories being re-written but it was surprising to see that the Emperor also has Geass. I guess like father like son. Also it looks like Lelouch is not happy with being just Emperor but has higher aspirations by killing God with the Sword of Akasha. While this plotpoint will not be revisited until later on it is a nice building block for things to come.

Also the characterization of Suzaku in this flashback was spot on and him using the capture of his best friend to rise into a higher rank goes along with his mind set of changing the world from within the system. Also the rest Knights of the Round look like some interesting characters and I hope that we see more of them in the future.

The last thing I want to mention is the reveal of Lelouch's fake brother not only working for the Emperor but also that he has a Geass makes me wonder who the hell is giving everyone the power of Geass. And while I knew that Rolo wasn't piloting a Knightmare frame that could teleport it makes me wonder what Rolo's Geass does. All these mysteries give hope that R2 will be just as good or better than the first season.

Episode Rating - 9.3/10

Naruto 203: "Kurenai's Decision, Squad 8 Left Behind"

After almost 70 episodes it feels like these filler arcs are never going to end. While two or three of these filler arcs were pretty good for the most part they have all been a real miss. Sure we have gotten to see many more of the Naruto characters getting more exposure and seeing how they all interact it just feels that we need to get to Shippuden already.

With that said this new filler arc dealing with Kurenai's past looks to have some promise. And this episode did nice job setting the ground work for some more revelations about Kurenai and her former student Yakumo. Also the reaction of Team 8 to their teacher resigning her post was understandable and it looks like Naruto will be teaming up with them again to follow Kurenai. It also would do this arc well if they add Sakura to the team since we really haven't seen much of her outside of some cameos in these filler arc.

Episode Rating - 6.1/10