Posted by psgels on 28 July 2012 with categories: Summer 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Phi Brain – 41: This was undoubtedly the single best episode of the second season. Finally the creators actually used the fact that Orpheus Rings distort the minds of their wearers well, by making them say things that they normally wouldn’t do. At this point, Ana Gram definitely is the most heartfelt character of the entire series, and the one who suffered the least in this series’ attempts to degenerate the entire cast, and this episode really showed that. – Excellent+)

#2: Kokoro Connect – 03: How? Why? When? Is this still the same show? Is this really Silver Link? With this kind of good acting? Seriously, this was a massive improvement and it went quite deep into its different characters. I’m impressed. – (Excellent)

#3: Hunter X Hunter – 40: Finally! The Yorkshin arc has officially started now after forty bloody episodes of waiting! The calling out names still is a bit childish, but the rest of this episode was excellent build-up. The new characters are all slightly different from what they used to be in the 1999 series, but they can definitely make this work. – (Excellent)

#4: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – 15: Well, this was a typical Horizon episode: it really doesn’t make any sense once you start thinking about it, but what went on was pretty damn cool and creative. This definitely was an interesting way to portray negotiations. There’s just one thing: a girl pretending to be a guy in order to avoid gender racism is a pretty interesting subplot. But in the context of this series? Really? – (Great)

#5: Tari Tari – 04: Well, thanks to Wakana and the three musicians this was the best episode of Tari Tari so far. It was quite heart-warming, with the only mitigating factor being the dead mother that has been done to death. Kids, whatever you do, don’t ever get kids! If you do, there is a 50% chance that you’ll die within a few years. – (Great)

#6: Total Eclipse – 04: A simple episode, and the side-cast still is stereotypical, but the two leads… they’ve got interesting chemistry together. It’s a bit overblown and angsty, but it can work. – (Good)

#7: Binbou-Gami ga – 03: This is one that I missed in my catch-up streak last weekend. Overall, comedy is incredibly subjective, but with this show I notice that much more, as people have many different reactions here. This episode was cute. It had “trying too hard” written all over it, but had some good jokes. The yelling however has gotten very dull right now, and it’s also one of those series that just drops references for the sake of dropping references, which also has gotten quite annoying. And it’s only the third episode yet. Ultimately, this just isn’t funny enough for a comedy for me, especially considering the competition it has right now. – (Good)

#8: Polar Bear Cafe – 17: This was one of the lesser episodes of Polar Bear Cafe. It still was funny, but it was pretty much about Panda and Polar Bear trolling again in the first half, and Rin Rin in the second half. It’s not really something new, and these jokes are starting to wear off now. – (Enjoyable)

#9: Binbou-Gami ga – 04: Sorry, Binbou-gami, but with this I’m going to drop you. The new character of this episode was just a collection of bad SM-jokes. For a comedy, this just isn’t funny enough. When I watch a comedy, I want to really laugh out loud, not chuckle once every five minutes. Comedy is incredibly subjective, so if you like SM-jokes and lots of yelling, then this series is for you. I’d rather watch Polar Bear Cafe and Poyopoyo, though. – (Disappointing)

#10: Tanken Drilland – 03: Anime writers need to realize the boundaries of stupidity. Running into a trapped room? That’s okay. Anyone can make such a careless mistake. A different matter is it when a character falls for the classic “money on a string”-trap. Especially when the “string” is a sticky spider thread. And he wraps it around his arms. And falls for the same trick twice. And that wasn’t even the worst in this episode: a character goes missing and instead of looking for him, they think that he has abandoned them and run off with the treasure. – (Lacking)

#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 16: It’s not like this episode sucked completely. The change of pace was welcome, we saw something different of the world for a change and this was definitely good to bring some diversity such a monotone series. But everything about the restaurant felt like an insult. Like “why are you still watching this? We surely aren’t trying anymore”.I can understand that fillers need to have light-hearted material compared to regular episodes, if you’re going to use them at all, but even with light-hearted things you actually need to try. – (Lacking)

38 Responses

  1. 祈是条母狗 says:

    tanken drilland is made for kids, and for that i think they did a good job. besides, you say this is stupid yet you still watch phi brain which is the stupidest show that’s ever come out in like 10 years.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Being for kids is no excuse. Sure, it may be more forgivable, but stupidity remains stupidity, and I’m still waiting for another kids’show that actually takes its audience seriously.

    Also, yeah Phi Brain is stupid. That’s indeed a flaw of that show, but I think it’s going a bit too far to call it just as stupid as what went on in this particular episode of Tanken Drilland.

    • boo says:

      I think you misunderstood why they abandoned Wallace. And I do think that you should take into account that it is aimed at kids, not because it treats as if kids are stupid and don’t understand “grow up stuff”, but because the characters behave like kids which And as stereotypical as it is, it’s not a bad thing, there are way too many shows that have kids behaving as adults.

      Mikoto is a pampered brat who until now at least follows Wallace blindly. When Wallace tells her “let’s go”, she follows him on instinct (it’s a completely mechanical reaction, like a puppy) it’s only afterwards that she remembers about Polon. She does so because Wallace is an advisor, someone older and someone she looks up to (if it will turn to be a romantic interest is yet to be seen)As a child she is at that age where she believes what she is told (she can’t yet read between the lines) so when Wallace tells her that a he doesn’t have friends and that she is not his friend, she believes him. Being dark and broody just doesn’t work with naive little girls with a puppy worship syndrome. Her turning her back on him is exactly the type of reaction such kid would have.

      And Polon… Polon is an idiot in his all 2d glory, no argument there. He will never learn, but at least the second time around the thread wasn’t visible.

      Could all this be handled better? Sure! But imo Total Eclipse had the most stupid episode this week, because while being aimed at adults it went full retard.

      • boo says:

        Oh and something that occurred to me just now. Isn’t having an idiot to repeat the same mistake in the book one of the oldest tricks as far as comedy goes? I think that’s what was the intention of the coin is. This show is build on old comedy and fantasy tropes, i just wish they pushed it a bit further, but it’s too early to tell, perhaps they will…

  3. Armpit says:

    Come on psgels is there really a reason to even waste a response on this guy? I mean he said Phi Brain is the worst anime in 10 years which really isn’t even a valid opinion unless you have only watched 10 anime in those 10 years. Yea the second season of Phi Brain is bad in my opinion, but the first season was leagues better than most of the sh;t that comes out these days that is targeted at young kids.

  4. Cytl says:

    “Kids, whatever you do, don’t ever get kids! If you do, there is a 50% chance that you’ll die within a few years.”

    There’s also a 40% chance that I will travel around the world.

  5. Bunny says:

    was that meant to be funny?

  6. jzar says:

    I am still not seeing any improvement in Hunter X Hunter. I’m not trying to spoil it for others. If you dig it, great. It’s just not working for me.

    The current production is like a show for the young kids of the same story. All the adult themes and edge have been glossed over. You don’t have anything left in the visuals to give it the grit and edge needed to the viewer the sense of how frighting the events are. It is just too clean.

    The female Nen user uses her power to enslave the dog manipulator but it is so badly acted and so toned down that it was almost comical instead of frighting. Then we have the over reactions from the characters watching the scene unfold. Having seen the scene done really well and then done so poorly, the whole scene really lost its sting.

    They still tell a good story mind, but as an Adult it’s like drinking watered down beer. Sure I could drink it, but why would I want to?

    So I’ll say goodbye to Hunter X Hunter Lite and just stick to enjoying the good vintage brew. Dark, scary and so enjoyable. This current hunter x lite just makes me want to avoid it.

    • Jeddek says:

      Okay bye have fun never experiencing the Chimera Ant Arc animated. This adaptation is following the manga as closely as it can while introducing the franchise to a new generation and the manga wasn’t always dark and frightening as Nippon’s adaptation. The manga was very inviting and has a clean art style so when the horror moments ,which I won’t spoil, happen it’s a shock. But hey if you like the first series more power to you. The whole point of this was to say treat each Hunter x Hunter series as it’s own and you’ll find it much more enjoyable.

      I have seen both series and read the manga btw

      • Chimeraruined says:

        “Okay bye have fun never experiencing the Chimera Ant Arc animated. ”

        Like that’s a bad thing lol! The chimera Ant Arc was the beginning of the end of Hunter x Hunter, all those animal people ruined it. It took the edge away from HxH and made it more magical. Now we have to keep seeing animal people like the zodiac dog face,monkey,etc..it’s so one piece! NO NOT A FAN! Really destroyed HxH!

        “The manga wasn’t always dark and frightening as Nippon’s adaptation.”

        Correct! I LOVE Manga but the anime surpassed it with its great music,scenes and the human touch.

        “he whole point of this was to say treat each Hunter x Hunter series as it’s own and you’ll find it much more enjoyable.”

        I completely agree! I stopped comparing and just flow with it. I still prefer the old one and i’m NOT keeping these HxH episodes. I’ll be honest i just want to see the spiders and their whole arc. Their appearances in the Chimera Ant Arc and well that’s it! I’ll try to give chimera another chance but it really destroyed HxH for me and god in the manga with the wish thing..JEEZES CHRIST RUINED!! :p

    • kamen rider says:

      Wait the scene with Instant lover is supposed to comedic. It was done almost the same way as the 99′ anime. I’m sorry but I don’t get this notion that the 99 anime was dark and frighting. Melodramatic sure. And Hunter x Hunter is not this totally dark seinen show you think it is. It’s still a shonen adventure that can be lighthearted.

      But take down your blinds and you’ll see that this version doesn’t shy away from those dark aspects. Kastro vs Hisoka(Magic trick), the butler getting shot to death.

  7. DmonHiro says:

    Oh come ON!!! The first 2 episodes were cute, but now they have a fight and they freaking leave him TO DIE?!!!! Right AFTER he saves their lives? What ungrateful BRATS!!!

  8. HunterWulf says:

    Psgels, i’m sorry but you complaint about Wakana’s dead mother doesn’t make any sense … people die … i don’t see any problem if one of the main characters lost her mother and had some hard time coping with that loss .. that’s something natural and happens a lot in real life .. specially if one of the parents die young.

    In the same logic “oh my god, all characters parents are alive, that has been done to death XD” … “oh my god, the parents of one of the characters are divorced .. that has been done to death” … seriously .. it has been done to death because it is part of everyone’s life .. oh .. and the sky is blue .. it’s always blue by the way .. done to death i guess XD

    • psgels psgels says:

      This is just something that has bugged me for ages, and I disagree with your logic that it’s the same as your parents being alive. The thing is, having dead parents as a teenager is highly unusual (aside from historical or dystopian settings), yet there hardly are any main characters in anime in which both parents are known to be alive. It’s an easy trick to get us to feel sorry for the characters.

      • HunterWulf says:

        While i agree it can be used as a way to”extract” sympathy from the viewers, i don’t think that’s the case here, this episode specifically proved IMO there is much more to this case than just artificially squeezing sympathy out of us.

      • wicked says:

        but main characters are meant to be set apart, both Harry Potter’s parents died, Bruce Wayne’s parent died, god knows how many superhero origins are orphans. It’s hell of an odd thing to call cliche, especially a lot of them arent about sympathy rather it mostly about a state of being. I dont feel bad for Kodaka from Bokuwa Tomodachi, or Tsubaki from Mysterious girlfriend, or the brother and sister in Ponyo. How many novels, television, and anime are base on a main character that’s a bit odd and an outcast?

        • psgels psgels says:

          Then try something different? There are many ways to do that, but the dead parent seems like the standard way for writers to insert some sympathy. Don’t get me wrong: there have been some great things done with dead parents, but does it really have to be done so often?

          • wicked says:

            It’s just a bit odd that you drew the line at Tari Tari where the dead mother seems to be an important plot device to the overall story, rather than something where that fact is a bit more trivial. There’s not a lack of wholesome families in anime lead though. Kimi Boku, Wandering son, Chihayafuru, Kimi ni Todoke all got functional core family units.

        • Scruffy says:

          @Wicked. I think you’ll have to agree that the presence of adults in these school setting type shows are still rare. Usually their presence is ignored, or they are used as a plot device.

          I liked Clannad for the fact that Nagisa’s family was there as a functional unit (family and belonging was a huge theme for Clannad) and the amount of screen time they got was awesome. But even there they were partly there to contrast against Tomoya’s disfunctional family and (you guessed it) his dead mom.

          • Scruffy says:

            One last comment about families and use as a plot device. It has been rare to see divorce being mentioned (this is not common to anime .. american TV tends to hate it as well), yet 1 in 4 marrages ends in divorce in Japan. However it does seem to be less of a taboo topic now. Personally I think that rather than the dead parent should be used more. As a single parent I certianly know that it has massive potential to generate drama!!

          • wicked says:

            It’s not uncommon in J-drama to see divorce couples. In fact a lot of slice of life/Josei mangas has it. Off the top my head, Taiyo no le is a recent one, Toradora too

          • HunterWulf says:

            Well, speaking of divorced parents, Kokoro Connect has that (i.e Iori’s parents) .. it’s not as common as the dead parent plot device .. but i remember seeing it in few series.

        • Scruffy says:

          Yup Toradora and the new Kokoro Connect spring to mind, plus ‘Kids on the Slope’ as well, all showing divorced parents. Still it’s not as common a plot device as the dead parent which for a school child IRL is not common at all.

  9. boo says:

    re: Total Eclipse. Oh Japan…. only you is capable of this.

    At first I was surprised to see that they actually showed how when you are of a mixed heritage you might end up being disliked by both ethnic groups and hate yourself for being of mixed blood, but then this being a Japanese production they really softened the Japanese xenophobia to only “you are disgrace to your Japanese side because you don’t take responsibility” (uh-oh) while immediately reminding the viewer that Japanese are “humble”, “polite”, “diligent” and showing that it’s the America who were actually even more xenophobic and bullied the poor protagonist to the point where he just hates himself for being half Japanese. (Plus I don’t think that calling Japanese “cowardly” registers as a valid/serious argument to your average viewer, be this viewer a Japanese or not.)

    But the above wasn’t the worst of it, you could say that however badly handled it sort of works and might be improved on in later episodes. The icing on the cake was the evil Soviet Union. The Soviet Union soldiers were so EVIL that that’s the only thing you needed to know about them, heck they don’t even need faces that’s how much EVIL they were. Of course the only “good” Russian is the abused little loli who pilots mecha and talks to teddy bear Misha (because what else a Russian teddy bear can be named?)and let me guess the only Russian who will see the light will be the other one? These caricatures made my head spin. This is 2012 Muv-Luv was created in 2003, why do we still have to rely on the Evil Russian Communists ™? (Not that the portraying of Americans was any better).

    • Taara535 says:

      I’m glad someone else noticed this. I was shocked by the crude interpretation of Americans – racists in the Southern backwoods (I think that is what they were trying even if it looked more like Southern England!). Oh the irony, falsely portraying the modern American South as a foil for racism while SIMULTANEOUSLY expressing ACTUAL RACISM and xenophobia towards non-Japanese.

      I love my anime, but I really get disgusted with the crude xenophobia deployed in some anime.

      The Muv-Luv adapters ought to have taken a look at Apollon, which was a much better and more realistic interpretation of racism (and at least that was set in the 60s when those views were definitely still held in sections of the Marines and the Army).

  10. Cytl says:

    Agree with you about Kokoro Connect, I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying. The plot is turning out to be quite interesting and the pace, interactions and comedy make it quite easy to watch (I saw the 3 first episodes in one sit, something).

    • wicked says:

      Maybe it’s just initial bias again moe design and the body switching jokes, but they had to get that out of the way first

  11. UltimateReaper says:

    I will watch Koko connect whatever, people say its interesting initially I thought it was called Koko. Concert, which is why I didn’t watch it, yes, I judge by title

  12. Green says:

    “I see no potential whatsoever in this one.”

    That was the quick assessment psgel gave (Kokoro Connect) after viewing half of the first episode. The bias against silver link and fanservice was/(is?) strong. It was almost dismissed as softcore porn and the initial impression would become a self fulfilling prophecy. I’m glad that he continued. He should thank the commenters for that. Kokoro might still turn out to be horrible though.

  13. UltimateReaper says:

    I feel the same way, psgels, I think has seen too much anime, far, far too much. The bias is a bit heavy with this guy but you can’t blame someone after seeing a bajillion anime over the years, even though I hate his dislike towards some of my favorite anime/characters, I do respect his opinion and come here to survey thoughts on some of these shows.

  14. RABUJOI says:

    Tari Tari – We liked this episode a lot, but still think the second episode as the best so far…so much happened in that episode, and there was a great sense of chaos. This episode contained a few too many coincidences regarding the band, along with the cliched dead parent. What we did like was Sawa rightly chewing out Konatsu for flaking out on the choir club.

    Total Eclipse – We derive most of our enjoyment from Takamura Yui’s no-nonsense, tough love approach to her subordinates. We hope she gets to pilot a mecha at some point.

    Binbougami-ga! – Yeah, aside from a “huh, how ’bout that”, the random references to other media DO seem to exist purely for their own sake…but it would be nice if they meant something more in the situations they’re used. As for the yelling, as longtime Sket Dance viewers, we’re pretty used to it.

  15. Dynellen says:

    “girl pretending to be a guy in order to avoid gender racism” she wears chains around her ankles and tells a bit too detailed story about Mary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_persecutions), who is supposedly locked up in the London Tower. So she has way better reason to avoid revealing her identity/gender to people than just avoiding racism.

  16. Cytl says:

    Psgels, about Horizon’s context, Psgels remember that the setting of the show involves a heavy reenactment of history; even Mazasumi had to go trough an (incomplete) sex change just for the sake of being “historically correct”. Still agree with you about this being a little jump of logic in the show.

  17. UltimateReaper says:

    Binbou-Gami ga is a strange mix of satisfaction and disappointment. Sunrise is always in somewhere in the middle of potential and realized potential, and every now and then they get it right, I just wish they were more consistent

  18. wicked says:

    Not sure Binbogami-ga is going to be just one season or not, because they’re really not pacing it that way. I see Momoo is the straw that broke the camel’s back, but both Momoo and Bobby ends up being pretty marginalized once all the girls comes out

  19. Eammy says:

    For me, Phi Brain is one of my favourite shows of all time. I don’t think psgels and others paid close enough attention to what is going on, hence why you think many of the episodes are stupid, especially the tournament arc. But even the most seemingly useless episodes have a purpose. What you see as character degradation, I see as plot buildup. Part of the payoff of this buildup is the latest episode 41, for example. Trust me, there’s more to it than what you think, guys. It’s a shame this show has its status degraded to a mere kaleidoscope entry.

    • kuromitsu says:

      I agree that Phi Brain is still doing great – I have no idea why psgels started taking it too seriously in S2, but I think it was a bad idea. This show is built on an inherently ridiculous premise with inherently ridiculous characters, and for all the drama it doesn’t take itself very seriously either.

      I also agree that unfortunately psgels has a habit of not paying attention to what is happening and what the characters are saying, not just with Phi Brain but other shows as well…

      • Rolca says:

        While some of the points psgels made are valid (such as ep10’s characterization), what he says also lets me think he often forgets or misinterprets what’s being said. It makes me sad to see my favorite anime gets bad comments when psgels didn’t get what was being said.

        Besides, Phi Brain runs on suspension of disbelief and not taking things seriously. From the first reviews psgels wrote, the charm seemed to work so I don’t get why it didn’t with S2.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 10:41 PM)
    @Wicked, think you hit the nail on the head there. The characters one of the main reasons I am not too gone on it.
  • wicked
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 10:04 PM)
    Mob Psycho is well paced for a 10 minute show I think. It’s got a lot of these pseudo cliffhanger to play for jokes. The stories get better, it’s the characters that’s not as interesting as one punch man in my opinion
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 08:46 PM)
    Hmm, haven’t read Mob Psycho 100 much(just checked what its art looks like) so can’t comment on that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 07:43 PM)
    @masky, it does have better art but a much weaker story. I get the feeling the Mob psycho anime will be a five minute show.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 07:17 PM)
    Dunno, Mob Psycho 100 does have better art than ONE’s OPMan. Its still rough, but yeah.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 03:36 PM)
    @wicked, I wonder how that will work out, as ONE’s style is a bit of an acquired taste.
  • wicked
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 12:59 AM)
    ah, they decided to go with ONE’s art style instead of really pretty it up with Mob Psycho 100
  • oldyang
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 06:36 PM)
    Ajin is interesting, but the character design is weird. Everyone looks lifeless and angry.
  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:55 AM)
    it’d actually be a shame for them to make it into I Wanna Be the Strongest in the World, or worst
  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:54 AM)
    @Aidan, Yeah that guy tries really hard to make it more than just fanservice though. I have a weird respect for people that can play ridiculous concepts straight.

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