Kodomo no Jikan (series)

All posts tagged Kodomo no Jikan (series)

The two main protagonists of this series, in a safe-for-work scene. Now if only you can say the same thing about some of the scenes in the final episode…

In my attempt to reduce my backlog further, I’ve chosen to watch the second season of the Kodomo no Jikan series, aptly titled Kodomo no Jikan ni Gakki. The first season has already been reviewed here in this blog post. The phrase ‘second season’ is probably misleading, because this follow-up only has 4 episodes, all coming straight into DVD just like Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is. This ‘second season’ is a 2009 anime, therefore it will have the chance to grab the ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ title from the current incumbent, Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

Continuing from the end of the first season, which is a deviation from the original manga’s storyline, the three main protagonists and their homeroom teacher has advanced a year in the school life. The best character in this anime has her own separate sub-plot as the school prepared from their annual sport festival.

The director really has done a very good job concatenating the second season with the first, even if the ending of the first season is not canon. He does it by using some well-placed flashbacks that not only helps bridging the impossible, but also refreshed the memories of those who have watched the first season in the past. You cannot skip the first season before watching this title, it is a must watch (watch the uncensored version, the censored version is retarded). Some of the dialogues for a certain character in this anime has been altered though so that the integration is successful.

One notable difference between the first and the second season is that the latter wasn’t watered down unlike the former. I usually doesn’t mind censorship in broadcast versions of any given anime titles, but the censorship in the first season is so excessive I complained about it in my review of the first season. But even after obtaining the uncensored version, I still have the feeling that the first season was watered down when compared to the manga.

But that doesn’t happen in the second season anymore. What you see in the manga, can be seen in the anime. Being published straight to DVD does have its advantages. The director doesn’t have to hold back anymore, therefore he simply animate what you can see in the manga straight onto your TV screen. And that sir, can be off-putting for a significant number of people.

My previous review in this blog is for HighSchool of the Dead, known for its significant amount of fan service. Comments about that review in my Facebook page mentioned that fact a lot, understandably because ecchi fan service is an integral part of the said anime. Well, this anime, unrestrained by the codes of broadcast television, easily topped what you can see in HighSchool of the Dead. If HighSchool of the Dead basically contains lots of ecchi moment, this anime has one foot into the door leading to soft-core hentai. And I am not talking about your conventional hentai here, instead I am talking about the ‘dangerous’ kind of porn (hint: the one that has a certain bipedal brown bear as its mascot – popular in places like 4chan and SA).

Summing it in a single sentence: this anime made HighSchool of the Dead looks like the tame SpongeBob SquarePants in comparison.

Being only 4 episodes, there’s not much character developments happening in this season. Only the two friends of the main female protagonist has their characters improved a bit. One of them, Kuro Kagami is definitely still the best character in the series. There are no overt ending to this second season, probably paving the way to a still-unconfirmed third season. And if there is one, a straight-to-DVD release is far preferred.

Character Design:-
My comment in the same section in my review of the first season still applies.

Voice Acting:-
My comment in the same section in my review of the first season still applies. Actually, a couple of characters seems to have regressed.

The OST is still non-existent as it is in first season, and unfortunately, the OP theme is not very good either. Only the ED theme is of any good.

For the animation quality in this anime, my comment in the same section in my review of the first season still applies. Meanwhile, the director has done a real good job in the second season as mentioned in the story section above. Definitely a positive aspect for this anime.

9 out of 10.
This anime reaps the rewards for sticking more to the manga. And you should read the manga too, which is a very educating experience. But still, Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei will retain its trophy for the time being.

Shortlink: http://wp.me/prgSo-ia

There’s something wrong with people not removing hair ornaments when swimming in a pool.

My plan is to watch either the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai or the Lodoss War series, but then I found out I have to go outstation next week, thus not being able to watch either of them in a single sitting. With only 12 episodes, the heavily censored Kodomo no Jikan (a 2007 anime) will instead feature as my newest blog entry and maybe, just maybe, I will watch either of those two anime after I returned.

Aoki Daisuke, a newly minted elementary school teacher-in-training, was assigned to a problematic class with a trio of girls at the center of everything. One of them is hell-bent at sending our protagonist to jail for sexual assault on minors, and the other two has their own issue for our protagonist to deal with.

This anime is not only watered down compared to the manga (which I read before watching the anime) but also infested with one of the most excessive censorship I have ever seen in an anime. I can accept it if they only censor questionable scenes like the way they do it in Chocotto Sister (pretty common anyway in Japanese anime aired on TV), but the overt and very frequent bleeping of dialogues is really something else. Not only had the bleeping muddled the plot, affecting the storyline in a negative way, but also it takes the shine off the performances of some of the main characters. This takes at least 2 points off the final scoring. Watching the uncensored DVD version is a must, and with a few of those DVD episodes I watched, the difference between the censored and the uncensored is almost like night and day.

The story by itself is pretty good, despite being just a watered-down version if the manga is taken into account. In the second half of the series, the director tried merging independent story arcs into one package (usually spanned within an episode) with admittedly mixed results. The story developed very well with excellent pacing (this is actually the main strength of the monthly manga) but the original ending which deviates majorly from the manga storyline, is just average. How the director will reconcile the ending with the expected second season (hoping that they cut down on the bleeping) is open for scrutiny.

Characters development is decent with the main protagonist standing out from the rest, and if not for the consistent bleeping, Kuro Kagami would have joined him too. This is why I hope that the second season, the excessive censorship will be cut down so that the second season will be more palatable to watch.

edit: Just watched the OVA, which does not differ than a typical regular TV season episode. So no alteration to the scoreline.

One of the scenes that does not make it to the TV screen.

Character Design:-
The character design for this anime is excellent, definitely the positive point of this series. The main protagonist and Kuro Kagami both have black hair, which is a good thing. The amount of hairs is unnatural though, but I think I can overlook that.

Voice Acting:-
Unlike the character design, the voice acting in this anime is just average overall. Still, Kuro Kagami stands out from the rest, just like the prince from Mars in Dragonaut – the resonance.

Another one of the ‘censored’ scenes.

This anime has good OP/ED themes, but the OST is almost non-existant.

The animation in this anime is good, and do not suffer in fast-paced scenes, if any exists. There is no comment about the choreography, which did not apply for this series. The directing is decent, with improvisation to the original manga storyline taking the cake.

7 out of 10
. Would have been easily scored 10 if the censorship can be reduced and not too many deviations from original storyline exist. Nodame Cantabile is still the no.1 anime in 2007. Record of Lodoss War/Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai; one of them will feature in the next review.

Sae Shirai is one of the better characters in the manga. I hope her characters will get more attention in the second season because I feel she can become one of the best characters in this series.