Unbreakable Machine Doll
Short Synopsis: Our lead character’s girlfriend is a magic fighting doll.
Wel… it’s not the worst thing of this season. Its plot at the very least is guided by “some” logic. Not much, but I’ve seen worse! I still see no hope in this one though, for the usual reasons: bland cast, bland premise, no hints whatsoever that it can get some good things out of its characters nor plot, and the action itself also has nothing to write home about. Beyond that, the characters remain really stereotypical without much soul, and all of the action scenes make no sense whatsoever. I know this series uses magic and all, but even then there are some thing sthat you just need to hide better. To me this feels like the creators were just animating it for the heck of it without really spending time on thinking how to make it work or how to polish it. Moving on.
ED: Bad song, bland animation.
Non Non Biyori
Short Synopsis: Our lead characters live in the country.
Quite unexpectedly, Non Non Biyori was a huge nostalgic trip to my childhood for me. At times it lost itself a bit in its comedy, or attempt to be heart-warming, but at its best points, this episode just forcefully dived into my head when I was a child. I personally grew up in the countryside, so I can really relate to some of the things they talked about, like not locking your doors, having small schools, or how if you drive 50 km per hour, you will reach 50 kilometers after an hour (shut up, I was young!). My point is: this show captures being a kid more than any other series of the recent years about just a bunch of kids growing up and nothing more. It doesn’t aim at the complete picture, but it doesn’t lay things too thick or too thin. It doesn’t focus on the darker parts of being a kid, just the random ones and with that it doesn’t lay things on too thick, which is a problem that most other series of its caliber have; even Tamayura wasn’t really realistic due to how forced its drama was at times. And yet despite that, I had trouble to not fall asleep.
OP: Not bad. I like the singer of this, but I forgot her name.
ED: Oh boy. Next time try to leave the singing to people who can actually do it…
Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Ars Nova
Short Synopsis: Our lead character gets to command a cute girl. And a submarine.
Arpeggio is cell shaded 3D CG. Okay, I did not expect that. The creators did well in their attempts to hide this… but it still stands out and the animation is in this uncanny valley in which the characters all have these creepy stares. Now, if the rest of the series was good, then this could be perfectly excused… but I’ve got a big “meh” impression from all of it. Yeah, the action is decent, but nothing special. The characters are virtually nonexistent aside from the lead couple, and they… just interact with each other. Nothing more nothing less. The story is the standard Yamato-inspired series: humanity is screwed until a single traitor from the bad guys joins the good guys giving them superior technology that kicks ass. There’s nothing that really stands out in any way here. If you want a good series about submarines: watch either Blue Submarine No6 or Fushigi no Umi no Nadia. This one… this episode was bland and I saw no hints about it not being bland in the future.
ED: I assume that this will be the OP for this series, and it’s just copied and pasted from other OPs. Seriously, what the hell happened to the awesome OPs here? Even the best OPs this season just stood out due to animation. Gone are the openings based on great ideas or with a strong artistic vision behind them. What gives?