Posted by SuperMario on 26 June 2016 with categories: Bungou Stray Dogs, Currently Watching:

And we get to the end of Bungou Stray Dogs, but this last episode doesn’t offer any conclusive ending, instead feel more like a set up episode for the next season. This last episode functions like a typically Bungou Stray Dogs’ episode; there are many good things to say about it, mainly the technical triumphs and the great character designs, but the writing and the new characters are mixed bags.

Let’s get to the good side first. As far as action show goes, Bungou Stray Dogs is at its top form this week. There are new set of enemies introduced, promising a three ways battle between the Armed Detective Agency, the Port Mafia and the Guild (the North American organization of the gifted) in a second season. Thus the main set piece this week happens in the imaginary closed space of Lucy (resembled of L.M Montgomery – the author of Anne of Green Gables) named Anne’s Chamber. I have mentioned that the show always had a very good grip on creating a memorable set pieces that really feel like it breathes by itself, this time in particular the close spaced is just wonderful. It’s so stylish and awe-aspiring, while at the same time dreamy and creepy. The fighting sequence is exciting, with the cat-and-mouse chase that are thrilling from start to finish. Atsushi again proved himself this week that he is capable of fighting for himself, and I can forgive him for wanting to run away calling for help because that’s just who he was. Thankfully he got pulled back by the physician, who soon revealed to be the Port Mafia’s boss. He is one of the more interesting character out of this show, both very mysterious and smart and tricky, and he’s just like Dagai who seems to be one step ahead of everyone else.

The other new characters presented this week, however, are just bland. I’m a bit disappointed that Fitzgerald turns out to be over the top archetypical American villain, the one who thinks money can buy everything and proud himself for that. I originally think he’s one of the tough one to beat but judge from the facts that he’s super one-dimensional, and he got killed off rather easily in the end, all that made me wonder what’s exactly his role in the show. Lucy is also a very one-note character, who appears mostly as a mad, sick little girl who just want to have fun. A bit about her insecurity among the Guild is a nice little touch but other time she functions like a typical villain. Dagai again back to the office and seems like nothing happen further emphasized my complains on the inconsistency of the show.

Looking ahead, I honestly have no idea how they could handle the mega-battles between the Armed Detective Agency, Port Mafia and the Guild. There seems to be a lot more Guild members with more unique skills to fight against next season, but it seems to me that Mori (the Port Mafia leader) is the ultimate boss. I’m a bit keen to check out the second cour just to see how they handle all that, but I’m not sure about covering its second cour, since I don’t think the show will get any better than what it is now.

~SuperMario~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 24 June 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Joker Game

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on board. However the sad thing about entertainment is that even if you try something new, if you don’t succeed it amounts nothing more than a show which had a good idea and a lesson for others to not brand out from their tired concepts. In that regard I truly lament such anime but unlike them I don’t think Joker Game will remain as a lesson for others, for to do so it would have to be memorable. An idea with such promise, a tale about a team of Japanese spies sent out to gather info in the time right before World War II broke out. You could spin quite a tale with that setting but sadly Joker Game settles for a much more simplistic level.

The first problem with the show is it’s episodic format and it truly limits the plot when each episode’s story needs to be resolved in a short time frame. Each episode has a brand new cast and a brand new setting. This essentially prevents the viewer from becoming attached as there is rarely anything consistent to latch on to. But most importantly in episodic shows the show is often held up by the characters and their interactions. However Joker Games protagonists are completely interchangeable with little in defining characteristics. No matter the episode the main character plays the role of the super spy who never fails and in that regard is mainly a plot device. When looking over the story, Joker Game is style over substance and merely a spy power fantasy. The writing lacks the nuance to weave a compelling narrative around international espionage and often resorts to contrived or trite developments in order to make the protagonist look as good as possible. The villains in each episode range from the over the top evil to inconsequential, often any threat they pose is completely undermined by episodes end. The writer holds his protagonists in too high a regard which ultimately makes this a show about the triumphs of several Gary Sue’s and how much better they are than other people. It don’t take long for this aspect to wear on you and through the episodes the victories of the D-agency spies become less compelling and more boringly anticipated.

Through while the writing can reach unrealistically silly levels as the D-agents display skill bordering on the supernatural, you can still find some interest here. The show never truly drops to a level of becoming bad and to some they can come to enjoy the exploits of the spies and their missions. I found three or four episodes to have above average value and the show remains consistently watchable. However it never truly excels and in episodes can become quite boring as you wait for the inevitable cop out win of D-agency. The episodic structure continues right up to the end where the show simply stops instead of ends. The art and animation remain consistently good and the soundtrack is rather catchy and nostalgic of Noir fiction. Joker Game is a show that lacks the high points to be recommended and the low points to be outright hated, it’s middle of the ground which made the score of this series rather appropriate. Joker Game is a series destined to be lost to the ravages of time, soon to be forgotten.

~AidanAK47~

Posted by HelghastKillzone on 23 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

1

After the Horobi’s laser light show and having Biba-sama completely dominate the narrative with his super cool looking henchmen, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is back on track although it’s on different rails for here on out.

Imprisoned by the Hunters and being caught in the middle of the impending final conflict between the Shogun and Biba, the crew of the Koutetsujou manages to recapture some of the things that I loved about the series up until the end of episode seven. Having the Ikoma and his crew come up with a plan to overcome the odds while jabbing at each other with their character interactions  and break out of imprisonment is exactly what is needed to bring this show back into focus. The music was an improvement over the unsettling soundtrack of the last two episodes although it didn’t reach the highs that had been set earlier by Sawano. The only thing that couldn’t be helped but be mediocre is main target of Biba-sama as an over-dramatic bore that drag downs Kabaneri’s second half.

3

Biba-sama’s backstory is certainly brimming with potential as he was casted out as a pawn between two political factions that had different views on how to deal with the Kabane. Being twelve years old and in charge of a military campaign draws a lot of parallels with Arslan Senki which could have garnered some sympathy for this dashingly handsome villain in his tale of being betrayed and slowly dismantled by the Kabane. However, the few scenes that featured the young Biba-sama only highlights the problems with the twelve episode format of Kabaneri as his villainy have a far greater emotional impact if the show could have spend just ten minutes on fleshing out his initial campaign against the Kabane instead just a few moments.

2

This is the second time that Ikoma is being casted off the train and it doesn’t look like it he’s going to get back on anytime soon. A brainwashed Memui booting him off and his most certainly dead bro of Takumi are the two biggest shockers of the episode. I’m not too fond of using the mind-altering drug trope as it strip a character of its agency and reduces them to a plot device, but at least Memui put up a decent fight before getting the needle treatment and the green stone is obviously the trigger to snap herself back.

While Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress isn’t a trainwreck, especially when compared to the other flaming dumpster fires of this season, it could have been much better. Episode ten did much to slow the but the final forty minutes has it work cut out to keep it from descending further into the mediocrity that is Biba-sama.

4

Posted by SuperMario on 23 June 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mayoiga

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years.

On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life is an intriguing concept, because there could be lots of angles to explore, even within its mystery/horror fare. The show could use the setting to explore the internal conflicts between the cast, or the nature of those monsters that drive anyone insane or even dig deep to the mystery behind Mayoiga, or the show can go full cannibalism that was suggested many times in the first episode.

Instead Mayoiga goes off track very early and never looks back and the overall execution certainly stands out, in a very-bad-it’s-good way

Billed as a mystery show, Mayoiga contains many elements that feel like a recipe for disaster: over the top characters, awkward pacing, long and meaningless conversations. In the first 10 minutes of the show for example, literally EVERYONE in the cast got introduced (and that 20 plus characters to remember). The characters have a distinct and overall solid character designs; but most of them are way too over the top to feel like real people. Mitsumune, our main character, for instance, feel really bland and his only traits are unsure about himself and his affection towards Masaki. The conversation drags on, don’t really advance the plot or flesh out the characters. Worst of all, the pacing sucks, sometimes it drags for too long before moves too quickly, for example in the first half of the show, there are few episodes where nothing important happens except the cast arguing. The cast themselves uses their time wisely to talk about how to call rock, paper, scissor the most correct way, arguing over the name of one of the cast who just vanished, or lying asleep in the end without the care of anything else.  The cliffhangers, were presented in almost the end of every episode, just so that the stake returns back to normal in a very next moment.

Thematically, Mayoiga actually has its meaning underlying under the surface. The monsters are revealed to be Nanaki, which are part of each individual’s past psychological trauma, come to life. They are a symbol of all those ugly things that the cast left behind to start over their new life. They are not, as the series progresses, intend to harm the cast, but are a part inside each character, and the show made a point (as in your face as possible) that all of them need to face their own Nanaki (their traumatic past) in order to become a better person. The Nanaki monsters, represented in 3D animation, are both out of place and uneasiness at the same time, which actually fits to the theme very well.  But I have to say, reading this underlying message is a bit too much, as the series itself never attempt to dig deeper into its theme.

Which brings me to the next point, many of the above elements actually WORKED in favors of the show. One thing that Mayoiga truly excels, the one thing that Mayoiga will likely be remembered for years to come, is its ridiculousness. All the ridicuolous, awkward bits are intentional, majority of them are so well-aware that it becomes hilarious. Many of the Nanaki monsters, for instance, are just plain silly in concept, such as a big silicon boob monster (yeah! You read it right!), or a girl seeing a giant Mitsumune because he happens to look like her ex-boyfriend, so instead of seeing her ex she would see Mitsumune who she just met for 2 days. See the absurd sense of logic here? Indeed, most of the cast embrace that ridiculous sense of logic wholeheartedly that it’s actually refreshing to see them keep betraying our expectation. Lovepon would be nothing if not for her “execution” speech, and after a while it’s just feel so welcome to see her running for her life from the monster, still remain in character “We going to be executed!!”. The Driver and his bus also keep appear/ vanish without any explaination is also a good running gag. Other characters, like Mitsumune, Hayato, Koharun, Nanko, actually the whole cast also embrace their one-note traits to a bitter end, put it up to the max that they become so gimmick and fun to watch. The conversations, as I mentioned above, drag on and on; but there is a lot to enjoy there, mainly for their unique train of thoughts and the ridiculous topics they could come up to.

Like I mentioned in my review posts, Mayoiga is a masterclass of using anti-climax not only to twist our expectation out of the usual conventions, but also to reduce any tension whatsoever. Take the revealing about the nature of Nanaki for examples, in a sequence where 4 members of our group witness their own Nanaki, they seem defeated, had nowhere to run but somehow, all of them managed to escape from it, without any injury. In other scene we witness the group decided to tied Masaki up and attempted to stab her, just so that she got ambushed by the bus driver, who drove her away just to beg her to allow him to meet his daughter again. The extensive use of anti-climax might seem uneven, absurd and even laughable at first, but actually these are all intentional so that the show can screw you out of any conventional sense.

But self-aware or not, Mayoiga can’t hide a fact that, in a nutshell, this show is an incoherent mess. In fact, inconsistency is the only consistent trait the show has. Mayoiga always feels like a product of too many minds, too many ideas that crammed all together, that contributes to too many half-baked ideas, and the pacing is all over the place. This seems understandable though, as in the process of making Mayoiga, the director Tsutomu Mizushima (Girls un Panzer, Shirobako, Prison School) encouraged the team to come up with ideas, and Mari Okada responsible for putting everything together. On that note I have to say the ending is surprisingly conclusive. Yes we would never know what happen to the people before the cast arrived, or how the majority of the cast meet their Nanaki (they JUMPED straight from those guys sleeping to they being back to the bus), but all the main questions are addressed and I actually feel kind of satisfied with the ending. This is a show with lots of obvious flaws, but it is also a show that unlike most of our usual anime fare. I have a great time with Mayoiga and ’m happy that I got the chance to cover it.

~SuperMario~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 23 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Upon finishing yet another rather uneventful episode of Joker Game, I began to wonder just what this series had planned for its finale. “How best to top off a rather mediocre series such as this?” I thought to myself. However when looking over general consensus over the episode I found out that I seen the finale of Joker game, and this was it. I was truly shocked. Nothing in this episode felt final or conclusive, not even an after credits scene or a simple affirmation that yes, this was indeed the end. In some ways it’s fitting, as Joker Game is a series without an impact so to bow out before anyone notices you are gone is somewhat poetic. However i must wonder why this particular story was chosen as the finale. When compared to other episodes of the series it is a much somber and simple affair. A spy is killed under the watch of a D-agency spy and he must investigate just what happened. Naturally he finds out what happened easily and decides he is unfit to be a D-agency spy. For he actually has human traits worth caring about.

It is rather funny that this was the first Spy to make me somewhat care about him and at least showed some level of humanity. Yet when the episode ends they get rid of him because he is far too human to be a part of the team. It really is a testament to the utter lack of defining traits these boring supermen have that they see any some shred of personality as a weakness. This is the author pretty much saying that because this man was lead astray by his memories of a girl in his past that he was no longer “cool” enough to be a part of the big boys club. Also got to love the casual sexsm of Yuuki stating that the reason the D-agency doesn’t have women is because they are far too temperamental and in less control of their emotions. Considering the time period it’s not all that surprising for Yuuki to think this but considering how much of a super spy he is, I would have thought he was too smart to believe such rubbish

Frankly I don’t have much to say about this. I have long beaten the problems of this show to death and seeing as it just repeated those problems it’s just left me reiterating points like a broken record. There’s really nothing here, a man dies, the spy finds out why he dies from offscreen info and decides he’s not fit to be a spy anymore because he feels love. Only real point of note is when the man of the episode got bent out of shape when the D-agents were reporting to hm. Yuuki pretty much gave him full authority on the mission which is likely because he knew what happened and figured he would let the man be in control of his last mission. With an episodic series like this you could have chosen any episode to be the finale and there are certainly better episodes to end on. Ultimately I think I will have a hard time recalling this series in a year’s time, in fact I still don’t even know anyone’s name. Besides Yuuki. Maybe because he was the only real consistent character in the series.

~AidanAK47~

Posted by K-Off on 22 June 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Game Reviews

I really should be getting Grand Kingdom or waiting for Mirage Sessions. My review of Stella Glow is way past relevancy being nearly 8 months late, but I finally completed this and it wouldn’t hurt to briefly wrap up my thoughts about the game created by the now-defunct Imageepoch. I somehow managed to get through Lord of Magna in little over a week but I couldn’t motivate myself to finish this game after chapter 6. So first, jumping into the game, I admittedly didn’t have too much experience with much of Imageepoch’s previous titles, I only played Luminous Arc 1+2 and thought the gameplay was pretty good (although I’ll always hate the story in these kind of games). Therefore, I expected Stella Glow to be much of the same. In terms of its gameplay, it’s even somewhat over-simplified/dumbed-down since my last Imageepoch game.

To be brief, combat is turn-based spread over a 3D grid ala Luminous Arc, separated by free-times in which your character can buy weapon upgrades, find loot, do odd jobs for money, and interact with party members in order to unlock new support abilities. With combat, the atrocious AI aside, it’s relatively vanilla and doesn’t rock the conventions very much. It’s blasé to say the very least, with an outdated concept of PP-based skills that is actually a regress with its lack of any equivalent to Luminous Arc’s Flash Drives aside from the conducting (which doesn’t do much for strategic depth). There is no more depth beyond these standard attacks and skill-attacks, so what you see is what you get all the way through your 50+ hour game. Moving your team members around a strategically-lacking battle area has never felt more unexciting as a direct result, and makes grinding all the more painful to do. And you’re going to have to do a lot of it.

Compounding the problems to combat are the enemies. The AI in the game utilizes little form of strategy or out-maneuvering. If it has a better shot at greater damage output (such as attacking my characters from behind) it doesn’t do it, and as is the case almost all the time they rush the nearest available frailest unit and zerg-rush them without any semblance for party-cohesion/roles. For example, even when my tank Archibald is quite vulnerable sitting at a low health, enemies still often rush my witch who’s at full HP because the AI simply cannot understand strategy and the benefits of knocking down selective units. The challenge instantly turns to frustration as early game I didn’t even bother using healing units very often, since they have to come close to another party member in order to heal, yet then become vulnerable to long-range enemies’ ridiculous ranges. On the other hand, some skills thankfully offer low-mobility characters like Archibald with long range attacks to attack past 2 squares, which is sorely appreciated for such a slow unit, and it theoretically gives these characters better usage early-game with stronger party cohesion. However, this does not work as well as it should, as you often cannot attack diagonal squares aside from magic skills. For me, that defeats the purpose of trying to give slower units a greater mobility. Yes, Archibald gets better later on in the game, but there is little logic to not allowing long range attacks in general, Archibald or otherwise, to hit diagonal boxes especially when terrain heavily limits your ideal range of movement anyways. Some elements of Fire Emblem would’ve been great here, like diagonal attacks and earlier long range healing skills. Otherwise, everything else about the combat system is solid, such as the satisfying range of roles in your party, and the activities that you can do in between battle times are varied and interesting.

As for story, it’s about a generic protagonist with a mysterious past who has the power to collect witches, in true harem spirit–as is plastered all over the back cover. I’m not going to complain too much about the generic plot as much as I hate it, it’s simply there to provide a backdrop for the challenges that our characters will face after all, and none of the party members felt forced or too out of place. However, any longtime JRPG player will recognize the story going through the motions in a half hearted attempt to try and set these characters beyond their archetypes to no avail, and the writers have every blame for this. In a game like this it’s imperative for it to be a worthy character story, with immersive character conflicts to make up for the lackluster backdrop concerning some generic kingdom under attack by some generic villains. Unfortunately however, by the end, there is very little characterization. Well, apart from “She’s not shy anymore” and “He’s less strict now.”

Lastly, the user interface is clunky and bare bones to put it lightly. Whilst in battle, you cannot access an options menu to adjust your game settings, it is only available outside of that and events. Even then, the options menu is simply pathetic. There are volume sliders, options to turn off combat animation (which is already available in battle), and little else besides it. No options for changing the controls to adjust the inversion, utter disuse of the circle pad, story recaps, turtle paced scenes, and the list goes on. But at least the game looks good for the 3DS and the soundtrack isn’t half-bad, even if the fan service is irksome as hell and never stops, but that point is rather moot with a game like this that lets you know what you’re in for with the cover. Overall, if you haven’t picked this game up yet I’d recommend you give it a try at least, it’s honestly far better than the likes of Lord of Magna.

Storytelling: 5/10 Average fantasy story
Gameplay: 7/10 Limitations aplenty, but otherwise strong system that remains familiar
User Interface: 3/10 Clunky and frustrating
Production values: 9/10 Looks and sounds great for the 3DS

Suggestions:

Fire Emblem Fates

Luminous Arc

Lord of Magna

Posted by AidanAK47 on 21 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

This looks to be the weakest episode of Re:Zero to date which does seem to be a trend when it comes to the arcs of the series. When looking over these twelve episodes I have come to find that the weakest episodes of the series are the first episode of an arc which does make sense when you think about it. Subaru’s first runs are often fairly uneventful and it does highlight a weakness of the series in that Subaru really doesn’t have much of an objective. When an Arc truly kicks off Subaru is suddenly given an objective to break the loop and survive beyond it but when he succeeds his motivation returns to protecting or wooing Emilia. For the style of story Re:Zero is telling it requires groundwork to be laid down before the plot can begin in earnest so the story must be carried by it’s comedy and antics which are clearly not its strongest suits. It also doesn’t help that upon introduction Re:Zeros characters do feel very stereotypical, evidenced by a number of characters introduced in this episode whom are trope heavy in regards to first impressions. That said my first impressions of the characters of the second arc was much the same and Re:Zero managed to make them much more interesting as the arc continued.

We have a number of returning characters from the first arc and quite a number of new ones. Two standouts are Priscilla and her very dark souls design inspired bodyguard called Al. Priscilla is cocky and seems to believe that everything in the world works out in her favor. Whether this is just a misconception on her part or something with some degree if truth is still up in the air but if it’s the latter she should prove to be quite interesting. Al I find interesting mostly due to his design which does feel like a reference to Dark Souls. Many have made jokes claims about comparing Re:Zero to Dark Souls because of his very narrative nature being similar to the Dark Souls mechanics of repeatable facing death until you get the tools and knowledge needed to progress. I have heard that he should prove to be quite an interesting character and some information was present in a manga scene the anime skipped which boosted his significance greatly. Though I will refrain from revealing it as it is very likely going to be show in a later episode. The butler at the beginning whom Subaru spoke with was also intriguing as he was able to recognise that Subaru has gone through life or death situations, though this perhaps him overestimating Subarus worth as Subaru didn’t actually live through those situations. Felt is back and much as expected is a candidate for the throne or Dragon priestess as they refer to it. The reveal was fairly predictable as Felt kept getting mentioned as the episode continued.

Rem has certainly warmed up to Subaru but I must admit that I am worried that she might be a victim of a little thing I refer to as “Light novel heroine” syndrome. This is when a particular girl has the story focus on them for a specific arc or volume of a light novel to the degree of a main heroine. However once the arc is completed and the girls problems are solved then she is tossed to the sidelines to which she will be damned just be a rare pointless camo now and then. By far the biggest victim of this syndrome is Index of the Certain Magical Index series, whom despite the series being named after her, is only relevant to the plot in about 2 of the 24 light novels and likely still is irrelevant even in the new series of light novels. So far Rem is tagging along but I do hope that he plays a more significant role besides just an unimportant side character. The manga of the series at least showed her being more proactive than here as a scene was omitted when Rem comes to save Subaru from the bandits in the alley. It’s understandable why it was omitted but still rather a pity as it truly was a great moment for her. Either way even when put on the sidelines she still manages to steal the show…or perhaps that’s my own bias speaking. I am actually starting to wonder why Emilia was made the main heroine. Well there are special IF chapters which detail what would happen if Subaru got together with Rem so those could be used as a simulation of Rem being the main heroine.

Subaru got admittedly annoying here as while I know his mannerisms are a front to hide his insecurities, he can still get a bit overbearing. I also think he is misunderstanding his role here. This is a rather interesting  concept as Subaru actively has to force inself to get involved in important events. Normally a protagonist is automatically included in any important matters to the plot but due to Emilia’s objections, Subaru is finding himself getting pushed away from the royal selection which is no doubt involved with the next incident. We have a clash of white knight complexes here as Subaru is forcing himself to get into more dangerous situations for Emilia’s sake while Emilia is trying to keep him uninvolved in order to protect him. This is the first real crack in their relationship as the two clash when it comes to their objectives. However Subaru doesn’t quite get that he is not the person who saves the day but as was pointed out at the start of the episode, he is the one who sets things in place for the hero to save the day. But Emilia doesn’t quite get that having Subaru around is a valuable thing as the more he knows the better prepared he is if things go wrong. I do think it’s rather odd though for Subaru to be so intent to involve himself even when it clearly hurts Emilia to do so.

~AidanAK47~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 19 June 2016 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Time makes fools of us all and even more so when you are having fun. I am having a good bit of fun with the current season so perhaps that’s a factor in just why these seasons come up so fast. But here we are with a new upcoming season and while I generally try to be positive when it comes to new anime…I really have to be honest here. A while back the summer season was the high point for anime in the year but with the significant increase in animes series coming out each year that’s become less true. Even more so here. I am not saying that this looks to be a bad season, there are some titles that hold potential. But based on the source material I read and general impressions this is looking to be a weak season. A lot of series here have points of interest but are rather average in execution. However I have been wrong before and it’s possible the few potential highlights here are enough to make the season worthwhile.

With Re:Zero being a two cour show I plan to continue covering it. However this season I think I will try my hand at taking on four shows to cover. Part of the reason is wanting to cover the fourth season of Prisma Illya out of my own indulgence and I would like to cover the new Berserk anime. In regards to the other writers they will choose once first episodes start. Should one of their choices be top of the poll request I will blog the second most requested. As usual, two choices for me to blog are mine to choose and the last is in your hands. Poll is below, you have more than one vote so feel free to pick a few shows.

Which series should I cover for the 2016 Summer Season?

Yes indeed we have a new poll. Bit simple but should do the trick better than Strawpoll. I also want to thank K-Off and Helghast for their input and Mario for getting the images for this post.

 

The sequels/prequels I don’t care about

ACTIVE RAID: Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hakkei 2:

HelghastKillzone Thoughts:

For all two of you who are moving on to the season part of this garbage mecha show,

I pity you.

 

Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu

D.Gray-man HALLOW

SHOKUGEKI NO SOUMA: Ni no Sara

handa-kun

 

Series I don’t look forward to

 

Ange Vierge


 

image12

 

The story of the Ange Vierge trading card game follows what happens when “Hairou” portals suddenly open, fusing three different worlds together. As a result, various mysterious “Exceed” powers are awakened in teenaged girls. An academy for these so-called “Progress” girls is built on the isolated Seiran Island in the Pacific.

 

Call me bias but anime based on card games lately haven’t usually work out well. The closest to success was Rage of Bahamut and even that had it’s fair share of problems. Considering that his is Sliver Links second show of the season I am guessing the animation B team are working on this one. Or at least I hope they are because you better be putting everything you got into Prisma illya this season. Looking at the staff it really does seem like this series is an afterthought as the director is a first timer. The series composer has a more interesting resume as while he hasn’t worked on anything worthwhile recently, he was one script writer for the original fullmetal Alchemist and Gai Rei Zero. Oh and he also worked on Boku no Pico…which does hold a rather infamous status. The trailer doesn’t hold much promise either as it showcases a bunch of moe girls fighting either other in rather cheap looking animation. I say give this one a pass.

 

B-PROJECT: Kodou*Ambitious


The anime’s story follows Tsubaki, a new hire in the A&R department of the major recording company Gandala Music. Tsubaki is immediately assigned to oversee the idol unit “B-PROJECT,” which is made up of three idol groups: Kitakore, Thrive, and MooNs. This is Tsubaki’s first job, and she gets involved in various incidents and accidents as she deals with this group of young men who each have their own differing personalities.

 

Look no matter what this show is simply not for me due to my sexual orientation. Maybe it might go against expectation and show a story full of depth and character that would let me put aside that I am not part of the series target market. But I really doubt that would be the case. Either way the director has worked on nothing but bad anime and the series composer is simultaneously working on three shows this season including this one. I doubt this will be making much waves in the industry.

 

BINAN KOUKOU CHIKYUU BOUEIBU LOVE! LOVE!


 

 

HelghastKillzone Thoughts:

 

One of the surprise hits of the winter 2015 season, I was very surprised to be enjoying this anime despite all the warnings triggers coming from the title image and name itself. I expected to drop this show in the first five minutes but Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! Is actually a decent parody of the magical girl genre. My worst fear of the show devolving into something along the lines of the Boy Love genre did not come to fruition as it is more of a friendship between male high schoolers. With the second season, I can expect more of the same dynamic and for those who are into the magical girl shows, I would highly recommend this show as a  worthwhile lighthearted male-oriented distraction to the mainstream Pretty Cure and the grim seriousness of Madoka Magica.  

 

Cheer Danshi!!


 

The story revolved around members of a cheerleading squad at a men’s university.

 

This is in the same boat as that idol anime up there as I simply cannot judge something like this accurately seeing as I am clearly not the target market. The Directer basically has Snafu under his belt and I think the Series composer should better focus on that Koe no Katachi movie she’s working on as well. Either way the composer has a resume that for every good anime series she has worked on, there are three bad series to compensate. Looking purely on a superficial level I say for fans of this kind of genre that this looks to be the better of the two airing this season.

 

Kono Bijutsu-bu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!


 

The manga focuses on an art club in a certain middle school, and its members: Subaru Uchimaki, who is a genius at drawing faces, but only wants to draw the perfect 2D wife; Colette, a rich troublemaker who never stops making mischief; and the club president, who sleeps through sessions and collects sleeping aids. Mizuki Usami is the only person in the club who wants to do art club-like activities, and constantly struggles to do so.

 

I say K-Off below summarized it quite well. It’s a school life show about a art club full of eccentric characters who get up to hijinks. It’s not particular bad but  would likely be an enjoyable distraction at best. I can certainly see the “comedic” traits of the characters becoming tiresome as the show goes on.(In particular the boy who is obsessed with drawing his prefect 2D anime waifu) It lacks a unique punch to give it much staying power.

 

-K-Off Thoughts-

I actually used to follow the manga for this, it’s a decent slice-of-life with original characters that are fun to read about, but I just don’t see this working as an anime without turning really generic. The art style of the manga is its saving grace for me, and without it, in anime-form alongside the horribly bland premise, it seems pretty stale.

 

Masou Gakuen HxH


 

Hida Kizuna possesses the HHG (Heart Hybrid Gear) ability, but it is not strong enough to make him particularly important. His older sister calls him to transfer to a strategic defense school, where many of the students (many of which are large-breasted girls) use their HHG abilities to fight invaders from another world while wearing extremely skimpy pilot outfits. Kizuna’s fighting ability doesn’t measure up, but his sister has another plan; getting the girls to have erotic experiences with Kizuna, so that it will allow them to replenish their energy or power-up. It looks like his new school life is going to be full of embarrassment!

 

You know it’s somewhat nice to have a plot summary that makes my job all the easier. I mean just read that up there, do I even need to comment on it? It knows what it is and I don’t even need to check out any source material to confirm it. But let no one say I am not thorough when conducting these previews. I read the first chapter or so and I can certainly say I ain’t getting those lost brain cells back. Its pretty terrible. The main value you can get out of this is if you are looking for an anime that’s borderline porn. You want some bargain bin harem, well here you go.

 

HATSUKOI MONSTER


 

When fifteen-year-old Kaho Nikaidou leaves her sheltered home to start life anew in a Tokyo high school dormitory, the last thing she expects is to nearly get hit by a truck! Saved in the nick of time by a handsome stranger, Kaho falls head over heels for him and, after finally tracking him down, boldly confesses her feelings. Turns out Kaho’s mystery savior, Kanade, is the son of Kaho’s new landlord! The handsome object of Kaho’s affection agrees to go out with her, but her newfound bliss is short-lived when it turns out that her new boyfriend…is a fifth-grader?!

 

Here’s a title which pretty much justifies my hate for Shoujo. A girl falls for a guy and it turns out he’s a ridiculously mature looking elementary student who doesn’t act like a kid at all. Our protagonist is bland yet desired by everyone. Though she has a complex about being rich and getting everything she wanted then discovering that people were only nice to her because she’s rich. I say boo hoo, wish I had that problem. It’s a very shallow title and the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when a guy attempts to rape her and is stopped by the underage mature looking kid. But the rapist has the gall to lecture her in the very next chapter about how she’s a hypocrite. Hey, buddy you should be glad she’s too stupid to figure out she should have called the cops on you. Even if you are a shoujo fan I say this isn’t worth your time.

 

PUZZLE & DRAGONS X


 

An anime adaptation of the Nintendo 3DS game Puzzle & Dragons X.

 

Words cannot describe how little I care. I can’t say I have played Puzzle and Dragons but I am certain it didn’t have a story worth a damn and we have studio Perriot behind this so we are not getting any eye candy. No info on staff so I can pretty much say this likely won’t be anything worthwhile

 

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars


 

Twelve years ago, in the country of Rimguard, a big incident left an unsolved mystery that has begun to fade from people’s memories. Time passes, and sisters Yui and Rena are living peacefully in the Enastria Empire. However, one day, a large mecha attacks Enastria. This day marks the turning point when the two girls get caught in the vortex of fate.

 

This is the studios first real anime and the directors first new anime so I don’t really have much to gauge on here. The trailer shows girls and mecha which doesn’t feel too groundbreaking but who knows. I don’t expect this to be a highlight of the season but it could very well be a small enjoyable show. Possibly.

 

Rewrite


 

Rewrite is set in the fictional city Kazamatsuri, where treeplanting and afforestation have caused the city to become overgrown with trees and flowers in much the same way that other cities are filled by buildings. However, while most of the city appears to be rural, there are many traditional city elements as well. While set in a modern setting, the city also gives off a strange sense of nostalgia.

Tennouji Kotarou lives here. He’s a high school student who has the ability to rewrite his own body; he can become stronger and faster at any time he chooses. He investigates supernatural mysteries with five girls from his school.

 

This is information I am not quite certain of but I believe that Rewrite is considered the black sheep by KEY fans and having played it myself I certainly see why. It certainly has been an animation downgrade for recent Key works as we went from KyoAni, to JC Staff, to PA works and now 8-Bit. Considering how 8-Bit handled the Grisaia adaption I really don’t think this bodes well for Rewrite but frankly even with a top tier animation studio, this project is damned from the start. For Rewrites story is pretty unadaptable. Normally with Key Visual novel adaptations they splice together the girls routes into anime arcs and play them out one after another while removing the romance aspect except for the main heroine. Here that can not be done for ever girls route ends pretty conclusively with no possible way to jump to another route The world ends in nearly all the routes after all. Of course that could be handled by making use of an omnibus format, were they just rewind time and play out each girl’s route in order. However there is another problem which stops this from being good in my eyes and that’s because Rewrites story is truly, truly stupid and sadly I can’t blame Maeda for this one as he didn’t write it. The common route is the usual Key comedic school fluff which goes into a more serious story later on. This time different routes were penned by different writers. The Lucia route was penned by Ryukishi of Higurashi fame and as expected is the best route. The other routes are for lack of a better word, dumb. It involves two big organisations battling each other to either end the world or save it and it gets real silly. From forest fairies, the mains wolverine claws, telephone pole swinging tsunderes, twintails eye patched girl with twin uzi’s and even a bloody talking dinosaur in the true route. It’s possible for some to be moved by parts of it but considering the lackluster rushed adaption we will likely be getting I think many will considering this Key’s worst work by far. It will make Charlotte’s last episode look like it was somewhat competent.

 

SERVAMP


 

When a stray black cat named Kuro crosses Mahiru Shirota’s path, the high school freshman’s life will never be the same again. Kuro is, in fact, no ordinary feline, but a servamp: a servant vampire. While Mahiru’s personal philosophy is one of non-intervention, he soon becomes embroiled in an ancient, altogether surreal conflict between vampires and humans.

 

This would be a fairly average show if not for one thing. This story focuses on comedy and the comedy is terrible beyond measure. It’s of the “Shout till it’s funny” variety and it just makes the story a pain to read. Because all the characters are busy trying to be “Hilarious” it make them rather irritating. The vampires embody the seven deadly sins and I am getting really tired of that concept. Our main vampire embodies sloth so naturally he’s lazy and annoys the main because he doesn’t want to do anything. Then you have the likes of the lust vampire who strips at every given opportunity and annoys the owner. Here’s a tip, making your characters annoying for the sake of comedy only works when you don’t annoy the viewer as well. If you can find some charm in the jokes then perhaps you might get something out of the shounen battle anime styled story. Otherwise I will give this one a pass.

 

Scared Rider XechS


 

In the otome game, a world of godless people was being menaced by Nightfly O’Note, a mysterious alien invader from a crimson world via the crimson barrier Scared. To counter the Nightfly O’Note’s threat, the humans establish the LAG defense agency at the Ryūkyū Islands. The anti-Nightfly O’Note fighting unit Scared Rider valiantly stood against the threat, but was completely wiped out five times.

And so, the sixth and latest unit, Scared Rider Xechs, was assembled from five young men. However, at nearly the same time that SRX was formed, the Nightfly O’Note invasion stopped suddenly.

Without the enemy they were supposed to fight, the SRX members spend their restless days dealing with ordinary life. The SRX members establish the musical band Odd-l’s to deal with their low spirits and restlessness. Meanwhile, a young woman is assigned to LAG as their instructor and commander. A new life begins for the young woman and the SRX. The tagline of the game, “That order, is it for love, or for death?”

 

At this point I have become somewhat averse to Otome game adaptations. While there are likely examples of ones with some merit, I find that much like light novel adaptions, the bad often outweigh the good. Staff is fairly inexperienced as the director mainly worked as an animation director and this is his first series as a full director. It’s only the series composers first show so I don’t think this has much going for it. The trailer makes it look rather silly and the synopsis up there causes my brain to zone out just from the excessive backstory detail making use of meaningless terms. This doesn’t look to be changing my mind about Otome adaptions.

 

TABOO TATTOO


 

The manga which this will be based off follows Justice Akazuka (nickname Seigi), a young man who is good at martial arts. Seigi rescues a homeless old man on the street one day from some thugs, and the man gives Seigi an object that imprints a tattoo on his palm. However, it is not an ordinary tattoo, but a special weapon that gives Seigi supernatural powers such as warping space-time. Seigi then meets a female American agent named Ijii, whose duty is to recover the tattoos. Seigi decides to help her and gets wrapped up in a cross-national conspiracy.

 

This fails under the category of not being bad but just being unremarkable. Given the improvement in anime fight animation as of late it’s possible that through pure presentation this series could rise above it’s mediocre premise. But don’t expect to be impressed by what this story has to offer. It’s a pretty standard shounen battle manga with little innovation. I expect reactions to the first episode of this would be fairly indifferent.

 

Tales of Zestiria the X


 

Sorey is a human youth who grew up among the seraphim, spiritual beings not visible to humans.

Sorey believes in the folklore that says “long ago, every human was able to see the seraphim” and dreams of unraveling the ancient mystery to make the world a place where people and seraphim can live together in peace.

One day, Sorey visits the human capital for the very first time. He becomes embroiled in an incident during which he pulls out a holy sword embedded in a rock and ends up becoming a Shepherd, one who casts away calamity from the world.

He begins to realize the gravity of his mission, and his dream of coexistence between mankind and the seraphim becomes more intense—

And thus, the Shepherd embarks on a journey with his companions.

 

I am currently playing through Tales of Zestiria specifically to write this paragraph and while I haven’t finished it I at least can see how the first few episodes are going to go. Now my experience with Tales games is limited and I can’t say I am impressed with what I have seen. Tales of the Abyss is pretty much the only tales game I finished and I was truly not happy with that one. It’s long been a hope of mine to see just what part of these games gives them such a draw for some people. Sadly Zestiria isn’t going to change my mind. Storywise it’s boring and far too slow paced for my liking. The characters lack interesting traits and is basically a lineup of tired anime tropes. Even gameplay wise it was dull and repetitive. I can’t see this standing out by removing gameplay and forcing the story to stand on it’s own. However we do have Ufotable producing this and they certainly have proved themselves to be a top teir animation studio. However I feel this would be a similar case to God Eater, which is a title that doesn’t really deserve this level of quality animation.

 

-K-Off Thoughts-

Having played the snore-fest that was the game, I have to say I can’t get very excited about this one, but anime adaptations of Tales games have all been fantastic in the past, so I want to give this the benefit of the doubt at least. It’s not going to be as good Phantasia, but maybe this story can work better as an anime.

 

Time Travel Shoujo: Mari Waka to 8-nin no Kagakusha-tachi


 

Time Travel Shoujo is based on a 1983 book titled Jishaku to Denki no Hatsumei Hakken Monogatari by Japanese educator Kiyonobu Itakura. It is part of the Hatsumei Hakken Monogatari Zenshuu series which describes the story of various scientific discoveries and inventions throughout history. The 1983 book focuses on discoveries related to magnetism and electricity.

 

I wasn’t able to check on the source for this one but regardless I don’t hold much hope for it. The director has Toward the Terra under his belt but not much else. The animation studio is abysmal and we have them to thank for Mars of Destruction. To the uninformed that anime was not very good…putting it charitably. There’s really no other information to work with as all that’s really given is the director and studio. But if this was to turn out to be a surprise hit then I am going to go ice skating in hell.

 

TSUKIUTA. THE ANIMATION


 

An anime adaptation of Tsukiuta, a music and original drama CD series about anthropomorphized months, has been green-lit.

 

I may not be the target market for this but it looks goddamn awful. The Writer and director have nothing but bad anime in there resume. And it’s by Studio Perriot. I can safely say with certainly that this is gonna be bad.

 

Series I am middling on

Amaama to Inazuma


 

Having lost his wife, math teacher Kouhei Inuzuka is doing his best to raise his young daughter Tsumugi as a single father. He’s pretty bad at cooking and doesn’t have a huge appetite to begin with, but chance brings his little family and one of his students, Kotori Iida, together for homemade adventures. With those three cooks in the kitchen, it’s no wonder this dinner table drama is so delicious.

 

Provided that they don’t go overboard on food porn this could be a rather heartwarming story about a single parent learning to cook in the kitchen in order to make his daughter happy. It’s fairly harmless and can provide that fuzzy feeling. It’s sort of like Usagi Drop, except without the creepy manga ending conesques. Though there is this budding relationship with the father and a student whom both work together to cook for his daughter but think of that what you will. I compare this kind of show to the likes of Flying Witch airing this season.

 

Amanchu!


 

Hikari Kohinata is a cheerful 15 year-old girl who lives near the ocean and she spends much of her time diving as a result. On her first day of high school, she meets a teacher who also likes scuba diving. There’s also a 16 year-old classmate, Futaba, who gets dragged along in Hikari’s maelstrom as soon as they meet at school.

 

A tale of friendship and scuba diving trivia. Basically details about two girls becoming friends and joining the Scuba diving club at school. One main character does have this weird trait where she is drawn like a puppet at times and her hyperactive nature could become annoying if done incorrectly. The other min can be rather endearing with her shy demeanor and acts as a good beginner to help clue in the audience with some Scuba diving knowledge. The knowledge presented seems legitimate so I now know how to properly clear a scuba diving mask. Pity I will never go Scuba diving…ever. Overall it’s enjoyable though not the kind of show you would hail to the heavens.  Series composer is currently working on Flying Witch at the moment and considering this is a similar kind of show I say she would do a good job here.

 

BATTERY


 

Asano’s novels revolve around Takumi Harada, a young man who moves to a mountain town in Okayama prefecture during the spring break before he enters middle school due to his father’s job transfer. Takumi is a pitcher, and after the moves he loses faith in his own talent, when suddenly his classmate Kou Nagakura appears in front of him. Kou has a strong desire to form a “battery” (a combination of a pitcher and catcher) with Takumi.

 

This is the first anime of the studio and the Director is also the series composer and doesn’t really have anything of note to talk about. This story is pretty typical for a sports anime and I say it will be overshadowed by the other sports anime airing this season, Days. Though Battery is more a character driven drama than Days is. They both have their merits but I think Days is a more enjoyable show as Battery can get dragged down a bit by it’s drama.

 

DAYS


 

The manga centers on two boys who were never meant to meet: Tsukushi Tsukamoto, who has no special skills but secretly hides a passionate heart, and Jin Kazama, an isolated soccer genius. On a stormy night, the two meet, and that meeting creates a whirlwind in the world of high school soccer.

 

It’s a typical but well executed sports anime. The main character is pretty dull seeing as he’s the generic stereotype for this kind of show. He reminds me a lot of Ippo from Hajime no Ippo in that regard, which is a great show but I never was fond of the protagonist. The driving point for these shows is generally the sense of skill progression and Days has plenty of that. It does have that tendency to over exaggerate the sport for dramatic effect like most other sports anime do. The characters have good chemistry and for the most part it’s a fun story.

 

DANGANRONPA 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen – Mirai-Hen


 

The anime is the conclusion of the “Hope’s Peak Academy” series’ original story and will air in 2016.

 

DANGANRONPA 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen – Zetsubou-hen


 

The prequel to the 2012 PSP game, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. It will tell the story of the Remnants of Despair, a group featured in the game, while the other anime airing alongside (Mirai-hen) will act as a sequel to the game.

 

I am going to put tackle both of these here as they are by the same studio. I am a fan of the DanganRonpa games. However I am not a fan of the anime directed by Seiji Kishi which I feel didn’t do the games the justice they deserve. Sadly Seiji Kishi is back to direct these but we have something which gives these animes hope. The creator of the games is coming in to write the script for these anime. Some of you may be wondering why they skipped to 3 when they haven’t done an adaption of the second game. Well these animes are anime original, so they are not based on the Danganronpa 3 game that is coming out. These are intended to be a swan song for the story of the first two games so the writer can start the third with a brand new cast and setting. These are intended to tie up any lingering questions the first two games had. Personally I am rather interested to see what these series will show as the world outside the death games of Danganronpa has always been vague. Though I would like to make the point clear now that these shows have been confirmed to be for fans of the games. Thus if you haven’t played the games I would recommend doing so before watching them. Besides the games are great, well worth your time and are on steam now. Lerche has been doing a good job lately so I actually have quite a bit of hope for these series. But it is a wonder if the writer can work within the smaller timeframe of an anime and keep it more a traditional murder mystery style. As apposed to Kishi’s style with his mystery series which has been sit down and let me shove the answer into your face.

 

Fukigen na Mononokean


 

Ashiya has spent the first seven days of high school stuck in the infirmary because of a youkai attaching itself to him. He ends up asking the owner of a small tea room called the “Mononokean” for help. This is a tale involving the very morose owner of Mononokean guiding the youkai that happened to wander into this world go to the next world.

 

Easiest way to explain this one is that it’s pretty much Natsumes book of friends in a school setting. It has a lot of the same themes where a person is tormented by the fact he can see Youkai, then starts helping them and becomes a somewhat supernatural consultant. With a good execution we could have a pretty entertaining show here but I can’t say I was quite as enthralled with Natsume as Psgels was. I thought it was a fine show but lacked something to really catch my interest. With the right execution this could become a nice little show but we have a fly in the ointment and it’s name is Perriot plus. Pretty much everything these guys worked on was pretty terrible and the staff doesn’t inspire hope either. In that regards we are likely looking at a very poor adaption.

 

Love Live! Sunshine!!


 

Uranohoshi Girls’ High School, a private school in the seaside neighborhood of Uchiura at Numazu city, Shizuoka prefecture.

A small high school in a corner of Suruga Bay, it is home to nine teens,

led by second-year student Chika Takami, driven by one seriously big dream:

To become the next generation of bright, sparkling “school idols”!

As long as we don’t give up, any dream can come true…

All we have to do now is keep pushing hard for fame and glory!

Now their “School Idol Project” begins to make their dreams come true!

 

Fairly recently I was talking about the new season with a friend and Love Live came up. I had never seen the show and treated it like a plague based on it’s ridiculous popularity and pandering tendencies. However this friend of mine actually said it was good and considering their tastes that was quite a shock for me. So I decide to give the show a fair shot and watched the first episode. And hated it with every fibre of my body. However I didn’t let that stop me and continued to watch it. And something unexpected happened, something I am rather ashamed to admit. While watching the show I begin to notice that I was enjoying it. I know, I am just as disappointed in myself with this revelation. I hold no love for idols, I think the music is god awful and the industry to me is just exploitative. But I must admit that Love Live has a certain charm, much like Sailor Moon. It’s dumb and cheesy but it has an endearing quality to it’s positive atmosphere and  silly characters. Having finished I admit that I might be interested in seeing what the sequel has to offer and wondering if it can continue to avoid the dark side of the Idol industry. Also whether the new cast of characters can capture the charm the original love live cast have.

 

Mob Psycho 100


 

The story revolves around “Mob,” a boy who will explode if his emotional capacity reaches 100%. This boy with psychic powers earned his nickname “Mob” because he does not stand out among other people. He keeps his psychic powers bottled up so he can live normally, but if his emotional level reaches 100, something will overwhelm his entire body.

 

Let me start by saying this isn’t the second coming of One Punch Man. Though the writer of One Punch Man is behind this one and there are some similar themes, I can say that Mob psycho is a different kind of show. The trailer gives the impression that the show will be full of action but this is very far from the truth. Mob Psycho starts slow and is more a slice of life than an action show. Personally I would put one punch above it but Mob psycho does get more merits as it continues. What interested me most here is the artstyle Bones is going with, which seems to be a dynamic version of ONEs artstyle with a very sketch like presentation. It should be quite visually interesting, especially with the few action scenes present. My biggest concern with this one is whether the story will be able to hold people’s interest as I felt it took until chapter 30 to start get truly interesting.

 

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin


 

The Katvarna Empire is at war with the neighboring Republic of Kioka. In the Katvarna Empire, the lazy, woman-admiring Ikuta hates war, but due to certain circumstances, he grudgingly takes the High Grade Military Officer Exam. No one would have expected that this 17-year-old young man would eventually become a soldier called a great commander by others. Ikuta survives this world engulfed in war with his superior intellect.

 

This is….hmmmm. It’s an odd duck. It bears some annoying Light novel cliches such as the main character being far too overpowered and always in the right but lacks a school setting and treats it’s story with a little more dignity. Though one thing I find most odd is these strange goblin like creatures in the story that clash completely with everything else and serve no real purpose. The villains are also far too one dimensional. The main goal once it’s revealed is interesting as it involves climbing the ranks to a high position in the military so they can change the country in a unusual manner. Madhouse is a dependable studio when it comes to adaptions so I suspect this will be given the treatment it deserves. Though whether it will be good is something I am not certain of. The story has it’s interesting points, such as having the group stuck behind enemy lines and bluffing through a checkpoint by making up a hostage situation to force them though. But it does have a certain lack of finesse when it comes to the writing which give me the impression that the writer isn’t really good enough to make full use of the admittedly intriguing setting.  If it reminds me of anything, it’s a lot like Valkyria Chronicles. The staff is fairly inexperienced so it’s up in the air if this will be good or not.

 

NEW GAME!


 

Meet Aoba Suzukaze, a fresh high-school graduate easily mistaken for a middle school student who joins the game company that produced her favorite game as a 3D artist, and her cute antics as she gets her way through work and deals with her rather wacky co-workers.

 

It’s a four Koma manga about a girl working in the game industry so that basically means plenty of comedy gags. My basic consensus is well…meh. I have said many times before that anime comedy doesn’t quite gel with me and while I don’t think the comedy in this is terrible, I also don’t think it’s all that amusing either. I will give this points for taking this out of a school setting and having it be about working adults but in truth this is very much a “Cute girls doing cute things” show about working women.

 

Orange


 

Everyone has regrets in life. So who wouldn’t take the chance to change the past if given the opportunity? When sixteen-year-old Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter, claiming to be from her twenty-seven-year-old self, her life is suddenly thrown into flux. The letter tells her that a new transfer student by the name of Naruse Kakeru will be joining her class, and to keep her eye on him. But why? Naho must decide what to make of the letter and its cryptic warning, and what it means not only for her future, but for Kakeru’s as well.

 

Time travel has become a bit of a common theme with recent anime seasons. We had Erased, then Re:Zero and now we have Orange. I am not bemoaning this particular tend as while these shows do have a common theme of time travel, it’s not done in the same way or even in the same genre. Erased was more a character drama about an adult time traveling to his past childhood self. Re:Zero is more a fantasy adventure about a boy experiencing a time loop. This in turn is more a school life show with a small time travel twist. It’s mostly about this girl being given a letter that details events she will come to regret in the future and asking her to not relive her mistakes. She’s not fighting against serial killers or anything drastic but rather dealing with the consequences of the butterfly effect as she changes small details of her school life. It’s by no means a masterpiece and I feel the story doesn’t make full use of the premise and settles for a more traditional love story. For those who don’t expect that much from it, this could be an entertaining watch.

 

QUALIDEA CODE


 

The anime takes place in a world where humans are continuing to fight a war against an enemy called UNKNOWN. UNKNOWN invaded several decades ago, and children entered a cold sleep to escape the invasion. When the children awoke, they found themselves with supernatural powers. The children set up defense cities in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba in order to protect the country from the UNKNOWN, who appear through the Tokyo Bay Gate.

 

QUALIDEA has some strange source material. Basically it has three different writers and each volume seems to be a completely different story with the first being a school life comedy about a girl who acts like some kind of loan shark. But those don’t matter because they have nothing to do with this anime series which looks to be only slight based on other volumes. We have the writer of Snafu on board. Director has only one anime under his belt, SoniAni. The trailer makes the story look very typical of a Light novel adaption but does seem to have better animation than usual.

 

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan (TV)


 

The manga centers on a high school boy named Kusuo Saiki. He possesses supernatural powers that cause unfortunate events in his everyday life.

 

This is alright. It holds the same sort of appeal as One Punch Man as the main character is very overpowered. However this guy lacks the charm of Saitama and can come off as far too conceited and unlikable. I find it amusing how the protagonist points out the inherent flaws of desired psychic powers. Such as he points out that he has x-ray vision and can see through women’s clothing. However the thrill of such a power wears off when you can see naked women all the time. Plus if he goes too far he can see inside peoples skin which is hardly a pleasant sight. The story is primarily gag focused and is very slapstick in nature. Could make for a pretty decent comedy.

 

Series I do look forward to

91Days


 

The “classic mafia drama” takes place during the prohibition era. In the Lawless district the law has no power, the mafia rule the streets, and the illegally made liquor flows freely. At one time Avilio lived in this district, but after a mafia dispute ended in the murder of his family, he went into hiding. Later, Avilio receives a letter from a mysterious person that ignites his passion for revenge and leads him to return to Lawless. There, he infiltrates the Vanetti family and gets close to Nero.

 

Based on the premise alone I am on board for this series and that’s mainly the reason why it’s on this section. Mafia drama’s may not be a rare thing within the film industry but when it comes to anime it’s practically new territory. The closest thing I can think of to a Mafia drama would be the video game Adaption of Gungrave which was surprisingly good. But despite my enthusiasm for the idea, I do have reservations about whose doing it. For one this comes to us from Studio Shuka who are mainly known for the Durarara sequels and partly worked on Terror in Resonance. The second one is what really makes me wary as it too was a great idea which was put down by lackluster writing. However this series contains none of the staff from that one. The director really has nothing quite of note under his belt besides a shoujo series called Kimi ni Todoke.(The wallfolower hmm…believe I read the first few chapters of that.) The series composer is more notable being the guy behind Erased and Silver spoon. Though he’s also behind Joker Game which if you have been reading my coverage of it, I am not too happy about. This is his first anime that’s not an adaption and therefore a good gauge of his actual talent. Considering that he’s had more hits than misses I think this has a chance.

 

BERSERK (2016)


 

Miura comments in the magazine that the anime project will depict Guts in his “Black Swordsman” appearance, which is only revealed in parts of the manga that go beyond any previously animated Berserk story, and is only briefly hinted at in the first and last episode of the 1997 television anime series.

 

If you have been an anime fan for a certain period of time then it’s pretty impossible to not have heard of Berserk. Berserk has a pretty high reputation within the anime community though the anime of berserk wasn’t perfect. It suffered from fairly poor animation and a cliffhanger ending but the story made it well worth watching. There are few stories like berserk and the manga to me is a high quality product marred by the fact that it’s simply is nowhere near an ending and the author has clearly lost all interest in it. Strangely to this day only the golden age arc of Berserk was animated and the rest of the material only remained in manga form. At least until now. While I feel Berserk hit it’s peak with the Golden Age arc, the rest of the material is hardly anything to scoff at. Gut’s desperate battles against demons make for some brutal and bloody confrontations which I would most certainly like to see in full animated glory. Though much like the original Berserk anime this too has a problem with presentation. Namely when the old Berserk anime was degraded by subpar animation, this anime will feature full CGI models and animation. Considering the quality of CGI in the Berserk movies this is cause for concern. A even bigger concern is the studio, who has only made TV short series up to this point and pretty much all of them were teekyuu. Staff wise the directors been all over the place and his main contributions are Ben-To, Devil May Cry anime and Black Cat. The script supervisor looks more promising, seeing as he did School Live. From a production standpoint this doesn’t look good. I would like to remain hopeful as there have been series which have managed to still be quite entertaining despite shaky CGI and the story of Berserk has proven to be compelling even with less than stellar presentation.

 

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA 3rei!!


 

Direct sequel to Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA 2wei Herz!.

 

Your eyes do not deceive you, I did indeed place this in the looking forward section. Now now, hear me out. I know the last two seasons of this show have been…unsavory to put it mildly. But provided this season is given full effort by Sliver link this could be something quite special. More so for Fate fans than anything else. For this is the point where the Yuri fanservice is toned down and the Fate fanservice is toned to high heaven. This season will have more action, a darker plot, all annoying characters removed to be replaced with better ones and more call outs to fate that could make a fanboy squeal his heart out. Their are some who consider this to be prisma illya’s “Heavens Feel” and there are some things that justify that claim. I hope Sliver link prepared a big budget cause this is going to be quite a showdown.

 

ReLIFE


 

The story follows Kaizaki Arata, a 27-year-old jobless man, who fails at every job interview he had after quitting his last company. His life changes after he met Yoake Ryou of the ReLife Research Institute, who offered him a drug that can change his appearance to 17-years-old and to become a subject in an experiment for one year. Thus, he begins his life as a high school student once more.

 

It’s no secret that I have shown a level of contempt for school settings. Perhaps with this title I can put that into more perspective. I don’t truly hate the school setting but what I really hate is how a school setting is mainly used for lazy writing. For example, why does Hero Academia have a school setting? True it’s in the name but when you think about it the school is mainly just an excuse to gather same aged superheroes. The school itself seems rather unnecessary when you take into account the plot. There is no reason why it had to have a school environment and likely would have been more interesting if it didn’t. In most cases a school setting is put into place to make use of tired old cliches and school events. ReLife however is about a 27 year old man returning to the school environment so the setting is more than just a device to pad out length. It won’t be impressing anyone but what we have here is a pretty solid character drama with some pretty good humor.

 

-K-Off Thoughts-

Currently following the web manga, and it’s a mixed bag. On one hand the premise, the cast, and comedy are pretty refreshing. Yet on the other hand the writer’s inexperience shows through when he begins overloading the story with backstories and flashbacks. But ultimately I look forward to seeing the story getting polished as an anime.

Posted by SuperMario on 19 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Mayoiga pretty much wraps up its story this week and for the series that focus much about anti-climaxes and inconsistency, this ending neatly conclude all of its main loose end. In the final twist of Mayoiga, it turns out that Koharun is God’s daughter (now I understand the inclusion of him in Mayoiga) and all she does was to prevent a Nanaki from fading so she could take her father’s Nanaki back. Sounds vague, right? But this is Mayoiga we talking about so I have no complain. The thing I notice in this last episode was the main confrontations this week: from Mistsumune and Hayato, Koharun and her father, to Masaki and Reiji; are not at all feel ridiculous but are quite emotionally effective. This result for me not come from the writing, but comes from the director who knows how to make a shot that bring out the most effective drama.

But also true to Mayoiga, the amount of ridiculous and (un)intentionally hilarious moments are still all over the place. Lovepon again proves that she’s one of the most consistent character in the show, with her remark “We’re going to be executed” while being chased by Hayato’s Nanaki. I also enjoy the way Dahara keeps betraying himself, telling people that he’ll stay one moment, then completely change to go back like nothing happen. Or the fact that Yotsun appeared in God’s house at the end credit, where previously he was stuck in the bus in the Lost Village, but then, Who Cares? Or many out of nowhere but equally hilarious punchlines “so her dark past was a boy” / “Guess I‘ll call off the engagement when I get back to reality” – “So you coming back?”/ “Koharun is a villain” that really explain why Mayoiga is one of a kind anime series out there. I also love the fact that after going through all kinds of Nanaki troubles, personal conflicts, all the cast reflect were people having the same painful experiences, so we might be not that unlucky to begin with. I’m still amazed with the train of thought this group has. Moreover, the decision to split, majority of them leave, some of them stay, was natural for me but seems so random as well.

So in the end, as far as the last episode goes, I’m happy to say that Mayoiga succeed. The episode tied up all the narrative loose end here, while still maintaining its own silly beat. All the things that shouldn’t work in other anime: namely the over the top characters, awkward conversations, silly themes and most of all ridiculous situations; all worked here. I won’t go as far as saying the whole thing is a success, because damn sometimes I still can’t put my finger on whether all the silly incidents are intentional or not; but it is really a feast to witness a series that offer something so different than the rest of your typical anime out there.

~SuperMario~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 18 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kiznaiver

I believe I finally figured out something much like Agata of this episode did. Over the course of watching Kiznaiver something in the back of my mind bugged me about it. It was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on but after watching this episode I believe it’s finally hit me. I now know what’s wrong with this series and it’s truly it’s most evident here. For you see, I don’t think Kiznaiver was truly planned out. I think they had an idea of the themes they wanted to touch and knew what the quirks of what the characters were going to be. I believe they had a vague concept of how they were going to go about this but didn’t actually plan it out. So they took these concepts and just stuck them together and hoped the end result would make a tuned out narrative. For looking at just how this show has conducted itself and now seeing the endgame I truly see that it’s was floundering around for a concrete plot. This all feels unplanned and not thought out with how it sets up foreshadowing of future developments only to disregard it entirely. But let us cite some examples.

Take Hisomu for instance, he was given an episode to be fully introduced which highlighted his tendency for masochistic behavior and moral ambiguity. Taking into account how the series showed him in the beginning, one would assume he would be taking an antagonistic role. After all he is an outsider from the original group gathered and purposefully brought in by the project supervisors. His masochistic tendencies gives him good reason to incite discord among the group and stand as prefect example of why forming bonds with people can be dangerous. Because some people want to hurt you for their own pleasure. However then Hisomu proceeded to have no bearing on the plot at all, only bring discord when he pointed out Maki being selfish. Now in recent episodes he is doing the exact opposite of what his introduction suggested and is playing a supportive role in bringing everyone together. This truly feels like they didn’t really know what to do with him once they introduced him.

There’s also the male teacher who at first was playing the role of a supporting comic relief character before being shoved into an antagonist role and now suddenly he’s acting as Noriko’s support. Shouldn’t that role be for Noriko’s sister? His motivations just seem jarring because if his role was to help Noriko then why was he so antagonistic last episode towards the Kiznaivers? Maki, started off as someone with a dark past, spent two episodes getting her out of her shell and two episodes later they shove her right back into that shell. Niko, started as comic relief, then a foil pushing the group together, then shoved into a love triangle out of nowhere and now she’s back to comic relief? Now we have Noriko, started as a well intentioned mysterious girl, then acted as a love interest, then pushed in a victim to be saved and now she’s a full blown antagonist. If you look at all the characters they all have haphazard character arcs like this with the only consistent ones being Agata which has focused on him getting back his emotions and Chidori which has been all about getting together with Agata. This really does feel like the writer has been throwing ideas against a wall and looking to see what sticks. That’s why I wasn’t able to see where this show was going, because the show itself honestly has no idea where it’s going.

I probably went on about that too long as this should be about the episode itself. Though maybe that’s because this episode was rather uneventful. It mainly detailed about Agata thinking a lot and then just gathering everyone together to tell them to all be friends again. With lots of speeches about feelings which I find somewhat irksome. For you see most of the expression through this episode was done through dialogue and let me tell you something. For something like Books and Manga, expressing emotion through dialogue is somewhat of a necessity, however it is a fact that 55% of human communication is through body language. Anime is a visual medium and there should be no need to rely so heavily on words yet most anime forget this. They have the characters make big speeches on how they think and feel, basically articulating their emotion to the audience in painstaking detail which isn’t right. For some of the most powerful emotional moments of cinema and anime are points where the characters don’t say a word. That’s the problem here, characters are telling the audience how they are thinking and feeling when they could simply show it. As an experiment try this, in this episode it showed three characters saying out inner monologues to themselves in sequence.(Those characters being Maki, Yuta and Tenga) At that scene turn off the subtitles, turn off the sound and tell me if you really need that monologue to understand what the characters are feeling. There’s power in motion to show emotion so to disregard it and focus on conveying through words loses half the impact. I think I will leave this with one last thing, took you long enough Chidori. You selfish idiot.

~AidanAK47~

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  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:40 AM)
    There is a hipster movement of contrarianism, that they just like to hate on whatever’s popular and deemed kinda mainstream. I get defensive when they shit on classics like Akira, Berserk and Ghost in The Shell. I see that wasn’t the case here. Anybody can sincerely dislike Anything; that’s fine.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 AM)
    I see your point too. We can certainly take the stance of judging a thing by its own merit, unobstructed by social influences and constrains of time. Yet even at that Evangelion is a fairly slick piece of science fiction, and an interesting watch. At worst it’s boring and contrived, but that’s harmless. Never really fair to call it shit.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:20 AM)
    @Aidan: looking back soberly I did come back a little too heated. That’s uncalled for and I’m sorry for that. I usually don’t lash out of unrelated daily stress, but there are mistakes here and there.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:22 AM)
    @Aidan hahaha can’t wait for the episode reviews for Orange. It’s gonna really test you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:58 AM)
    Look I knew how this would end before it began. We have done this already and neither of us are changing our stance. K-Off laid out things perfectly with his response so I see no reason to elaborate. Only reason I jumped in was because you brought Fate into it and if that was the bait then congrats, you won. I see no reason to continue the farce with no compromise in sight.
    In other words, need sleep. Goodnight.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:53 AM)
    @Bam,”I never said the problems it has gets erased by its early release or cultural significance”
    Neither did I. I said you are hand waving it’s problems by stating so, which you are.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:32 AM)
    …And orange is still top of the poll…ugh. Seems like this is going to be torture for me. Kiznaiver was already trying my patience with those speeches but if Orange is even worse…oh boy…
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:35 AM)
    Anyways I’m sure an emotionally manipulating soundtrack will make the anime a bit better :)
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:34 AM)
    @Aidan, it got to the point where I had to take 15 minute breaks because it was so physically cringing lmao. I started sending screenshots of pages to my friend because we were cackling at how embarrassing it was. Like I shouldn’t be laughing at such serious topics but the execution is just terrible.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:32 AM)
    eh I thing my post just died when I hit send. Must’ve hit the character limit

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