For example, I've found myself needing to take a break during a marathon anime session. I've watched this today:
UY 194-195 (end)
School Days 4-7
Sky Girls 4-7
Lucky Star 14-17
...although it was at two sittings. I watched one episode of each at the first sitting; at the second--after a nap, grocery shopping, and another nap--I watched multiple eps of School Days, Sky Girls, and Lucky Star.
Normally I don't do that--watch so much anime at one sitting--but I'm wide awake and have nothing else I really want to do. At least this way I'm entertained. Unfortunately, my chronic hypoglycemia was cranking into high gear and I realized it had been hours since I'd last eaten anything, so I cooked a frozen pizza and decided to take a bit to blog about the anime I'm watching. Before diving in again, I mean.
School Days is surprising. It's a romance drama; the male lead character is a jerk and the story has moved in a rather surprising direction. It's not exactly fun, but it's interesting and it's keeping my attention. But I expect that the animation studio needed a visit from the "Angst Truck" in order to get it right.
It must be wonderful to be the main guy in an anime series--all those women who want you--but of course, it's not all wine and roses, and usually the guy doesn't get any more than I do, regardless of his situation. "Hi, I'm Generic Harem Comedy Guy! I'm surrounded by hot women but I'm still a virgin! Thank you very much!"
[insert pic of Ed, striking a triumphant pose in front of Mount Fuji, with a sunburst behind. Word balloon: "I've got it better than Tenchi! I rule!"]
And School Days is neither a harem show nor a comedy. There are some lighthearted moments, but not enough to make it anything other than a drama.
Considering the situation that Kotonoha finds herself in, I was expecting her to jump in front of a train or something. At the end of ep 7, though, she has started to show some serious spine, and I'm hoping this continues.
It's hard to figure who is the main character of the series. Makoto is a jerk. Sekai is a weak-willed girl who goes along with him despite her conscience because she's been in love with him from the very first. Kotonoha is too moé to make a move. (Except that she's evolving into a vertebrate lifeform, it seems.)
It would be really depressing if Kotonoha did jump in front of a train, but I was seriously considering the possibility. She's bullied by her classmates; her boyfriend is an uncommunicative jerk who's sleeping around on her with her best friend; and nothing is going right for her.
Regardless, I fail to see how there can be a happy ending to this story. Makoto has placed himself in an untenable position (because he is a jerk) and it looks to me as if his attempted dual relationship will end the way they almost always do: with him and the two girls never speaking to each other ever again. But I could be wrong, and a lot depends on Kotonoha's determination.
Sky Girls is entertaining stuff. There's a bigger story, of course, behind what we're seeing, and it is slowly being revealed. Right now the girls are still learning how to use the Sonic Divers, but they've had their first (simulated) taste of combat against the alien invaders, and it's been shown that the aliens are coming back. I expect the real story will start in earnest in the next couple of episodes.
Watching it, I almost feel as if this is what Evangelion should have been like. I actually care about the characters and what happens to them, for one thing, but the story actually seems to make some sense. (Of course, at episode 7, Evangelion made some kind of sense, too. It didn't start spiraling out of control and off into nonsensicality (is that a word?) until around ep 12 or 13, IIRC.)
Sky Girls and Lucky Star do about the same thing with their character designs; they make young women look like seventh graders. In the case of Sky Girls, the girls are no younger than 16, yet they could pass for 12-ish. The same is true of the girls in Lucky Star, who are even older--Konata just turned 18 in episode 17--and who are drawn even "younger".
Lucky Star is fun. It's a "slice of life" story, of course, with an assload of anime and otaku references in it. (Haruhi Suzumiya has shown up a lot in the last several eps).
Now I must wait for more episodes of Umisho, Potemayo, and Lovely Complex, for which I am still awaiting ep 21. Argh!
"UY", by the way, is Urusei Yatsura, and episode 195 is the last TV episode of the series. I am still missing a huge chunk of the series, between around ep 100 and ep 160, but I've seen at least 70% of the extant UY when you include the movies and OVAs. (And it turns out that Megane's actual given name is "Satoshi", BTW, though we never learn the actual names of the other members of "Lum's Stormtroopers".)
Okay, so I've eaten my pizza and emptied the word bag. More later!