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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Just want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all got great gifts from Santa and get to eat lots of cake - just remember to sleep it off afterwards. And no late night baking, or you'll be too tired to eat it come meal time.

How sad it is to see the season come to an end, and all the great shows we've watched screen their finales. It has been a tremendous year for anime with some strong contenders like Fate/Zero, Guilty Crown, Chu-2 and Sword Art Online. My list could continue, and truly, I'd need a top 20, not just 10 to list all the quality shows we got to watch this year. I can only hope that 2013 will continue to provide us with the same calibre of entertainment.

In the Winter 2012/13 season, there are a few anime that I suspect will be the ones to watch for. The first of these being Da Capo III. The multi-series anime has made a big name for itself and has a large following. I'm sure there are many excited to see the show return in its third incarnation.

Another two are Amnesia and Vivid Red Operation. Vivid Red certainly is stealing a large chunk of the spotlight for the winter season, yet the story of Amnesia sounds very intriguing and will probably make for a serious and dark story - the total opposite of Vivid Red's light-hearted fun.

But most of all, Savannah Game sounds like it will take my interest the most. I've always been partial to anime based around virtual reality games, and we've certainly had a few come out this year, including the smash hit, Sword Art Online. Now we get a fourth game-themed anime for winter.

Of course, with the popularity of the first season of Chihayafuru, we are likely to see that continue in January with the screening of the show's second season. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha looks interesting, but I'm still a bit on the fence with it due to the poor sounding synopsis, but I've always been partial to anime with swords in them, and this one looks to be no different - I'll hold out until I've seen the first couple of episodes before passing judgement on it.

With that said, Merry Christmas fellow anime fans and keep on watching!




Based in the year 2019, Robotics;Notes follows the story of Kaito Yashio and Akiho Senomiya who are the sole members of the Central Tanegashima High School Robotics Club. Akiho is determined to live up to the expectations of her older sister by finishing the large-scale robot her sister started back before she graduated from the school after founding the original robotics club. While Akiho seeks funding to continue her project, Kaito spends his days hanging round the club hanger, not helping in the development of Akiho's robot, but playing a popular mech fighting game, Kill-Ballad, which is based on the fictional anime, Gunvarrel. The fictional show itself serves as inspiration for Akiho, going so far as to codename her project, Gunbird-1 - a robot from the anime.

Aki testing out robot
While the robot looks very little like the real Gunbird-1, Akiho finds encouragement from the relucant Kaito's unexpected and heartfelt support, as well as that of her other friends who over time join the club to help finish the project in their own unique way. Her work is not without merit, which is soon recognised by the company behind the fictional lollies, Space Candy, run by a man who will come to coin the most catchy saying of the entire show: Impact! You only have to take notice of anime forums around the world to see that this word is on the tip of every robotics fan's tongue.

Aki and Kai as children with her sisterRobotics;Notes is the third anime to be adapted from the series of visual novels produced by 5pb Inc, and follows in the wake of the smash hit 2011 anime sensation, Steins;Gate. While not quite living up to the success of its predecessor, the anime has shown itself to be a much deeper story than previously expected. With its foreboding of apocalyptic disaster, we can surmise that what starts as a simple school robotics club might well be the only thing standing between the Earth and certain annihilation.
The creator of Gunvarrel
Robotics;Notes is full of humour and lovingly crafted golden moments which you would come to expect in what we thought was going to be a slice of life anime, but it has a serious side that is slowly creeping in from the background, directed by the artificial intelligence program, Airi, who reveals herself to Kaito, along with a secret NASA doesn't want the world to know. It doesn't seem surprising at all that an anime skirting around the possibility of a worldwide apocalypse would show its face in a year that is already full of doomsday, end of the world, predictions.

After coming second in the robot tournament
I have quite enjoyed the show so far, although I liked Steins;Gate better, but I am sure we are going to be in for a real treat as the story leaves behind character introductions and humour in favour of the real meat of the story.


Seraphine and the Orphan of Castlepoint



The room drifted into focus; the Light locked away safely inside me again. My skin tingled, hot to the touch when I rubbed my arms. It was residue of the lashing heat that had washed over me only moments ago, a side-effect of my own powers. I hated it.

Rounded crystal lamps dangled from chains, forcing their dim light through gaps in the metal platform above my head. The heavy clamour of working machinery echoed from the upper level of the factory, and the dull thrum of an extractor fan throbbed through my ears.

The scent of scorched flesh permeated in the air. Seven bodies surrounded me, one of them the mother. I’d been too late to save her, just like I’d been too late to save the father. The truth is: I’d had no intention of saving them in the first place.

The arm of a massive machine crossed in front of the lamps, casting striped patterns again the steel wall. They flickered over the vent, drawing my attention to the frightened child hiding within; the only survivor of this bloodbath. How she’d survived through me releasing my power when all others had perished, I’ll never know, but honestly; I didn’t care.

She wasn’t my concern. Orphans were shard a dozen in this city. She’d be dead before long. Either that or she’d turn to prostitution, and then she’d die; charity had long ago ceased to exist in Castlepoint.

I turned away. My body tensed and I bunched my fists to try stop them shaking. What frustrated me most was that my prey had somehow managed to elude me. Maybe the shade provided by the vent had protected the girl, but there was no explanation for how Blackmantle had escaped. And I’d done so well to track him here to this bloody factory.

The girl’s whimpers reached me and for a moment there I contemplated putting her out of her misery. My hand rested on the pommel of the sword at my waist. It would be a kindness, the only one she’d be likely to get. I walked away instead. I’m not like them. I don’t murder children.

It was quieter in the hallway, easier to relax and not care about the mess I’d left behind me. My foot bumped up against the body of the father. His chest was bloody from the bullet holes. What had brought them here, why had they been running from the Royal Guard? I doubted I’d be getting any answers from a corpse, or that broken shell of a child. My curiosity wasn’t worth the effort.

Little feet padded over concrete behind me. They stopped. I refrained from cursing at her, instead squeezing the bridge of my nose between forefinger and thumb. Why me…? The girl stood a few paces away from me.

I didn’t have time for this. ‘Sorry kid, but I’m not giving hand-outs today.’

The dark pools of her eyes remained fixed on mine.

‘Scat. Go on now, get!’

The Four curse me. That lost puppy-dog look of hers was hard to ignore. A stuffed bear hung from her hand, stained red with blood. Her knees too; the skirts covering them slicked red, adding to the black stains that ruined her white dress.

I should leave her. My job didn’t spare me the room to babysit a kid. Yet why did I just stand there, listening to the distant throb of the extractor fan? A faulty crystal lamp flickered overhead. Damn it.

‘Come on then,’ I said.

The girl hugged her bear against her chest and kept her gaze fixed on me, avoiding the body at my feet. Smart kid.

I slipped the leather jacket off my shoulders and put it on her. There was no way she was going anywhere with me in her current state. The brown jacket fell to her ankles, but at least when closed it covered the blood.

I must be mad, taking her with me. How in the Four Circles of Hell I was going to explain this to Luca.