Posted on 19 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

I’m tired, and I’m soooo far behind. More details on why below, but I do want to finish my impression of this season, but with so many series looking like each other I’m going to do a quick version of the shows that I missed. I’ll try to catch up on the second episodes the upcoming week. I’m really sorry for all the delays.

No-Rin: This one really was terrible. Beyond moronic characters, incredibly annoying acting, and an incredibly pandering premise.

Sakura Trick: I like yuri because for some reason, creators know how to make some really fascinating series when they have lesbians in them (or even better, bisexuality), not just for the sake that there are lesbians in them. Sakura Trick is a show about girls making out. I’m not kidding: so much of this episode was about the awkward moment of the first kiss. Stupid premise, boring characters. Moving on.

Sekai Seifuku: This one had me intrigued for a while. Who are these people? How are they related? Why do they want to destroy the world? However, then the giant monsters showed up and everything turned generic and characters started wearing the most ridiculous outfits. Uh, the women, I mean. Also, as for why they’re conquering the world? It’s all instigated by a little girl. I see no potential in them developing this into anything worthwhile

Wizard Barristers: This was actually not half bad, for a first episode. Especially the animation here surprised me, coming from Arms. This just shows how much good production can trump a production studio’s reputation when it’s really trying, because this probably contained some of the best animation of the season. My big worry is consistency, because the creators here totally aren’t known for that. I know I have this cynical view now, but there have been too many series in 2013 that betrayed my trust for a good plot and characters. I really hope that 2014 will get rid of this cynicism…

Nisekoi: Oh boy, a shaft-series that actually doesn’t feel like an animated slide-show and the characters actually talk about stuff that’s relevant for once. It’s just too bad that this is the most generic premise for any series they’ve done so far (boring high school romance love triangle). Heck, everything that happened in this episode was standard romance fluff that we’ve seen done hundreds of time before. They did recycle the Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei despair-look, but hey. At least it’s a move in the right direction…

Inari Konkon: Oh thank god, finally! A school series that puts emphasis on thinking and learning. It comes up with situations that actually challenge the characters instead of being so mind-numbingly bland. With the current season I was really fearing that my taste had completely changed with how so many different series bored me to death. Now, this is obviously similar to Gingitsune, which I in the end found to be a bit too corny to work. This series doesn’t have the instantly likable characters, however it puts the characters in interesting situations. It’s about bloody time a show does that. You’re supposed to take characters and think: “what situations would get the best out of these characters?” – not “how can we make this character instantly likable outside of any context whatsoever”. That’s not sustainable in the long run!

Oneechan ga Kita: Yeah, the very first scene we see is about the main character walking in on his sister changing. Aside from that, this this was disturbing and weird when they turned the sister into this obsessive stalker.

Silver Spoon: A big reason for the past delays… was the first episode of this season. I have no idea what happened, but I set myself to watch it, and I just could not force myself to sit down and watch it. Why? This has some obviously good characters and it’s a look at farming… and yet something inside me just did not want to watch it. So thank god I finally managed to sit through it. And yeah, it was okay. The romance was a bit annoying (misunderstandings are rather boring…), but you know? It offered a look at school life in a far more detailed way than the other school shows, and the characters remain very versatile and down to earth. And yet, something inside me keeps yelling that I do not want to watch this…

Silver Spoon is objectively good, but I think that I’ve been to objective this season, and need to go back to my roots: creative and engaging series that most people gloss over. When criticizing, some parts indeed boil down to “does it make sense, does it know the writing rules, et cetera”, but the most important part that’s about whether you really like it or not is entirely subjective and incredibly difficult to really describe well. It’s this X-Factor that some shows have and others just don’t. I mean, say what you want about Nobunaga the Fool, for me it was one of the most entertaining first episodes of the new season due to how amazingly pretentious it tried to be. People made fun of me when I gave it such praises, and I realize that even though I’ve been blogging for a long time, I still notice that I still take all my comments very personally to the point where I’m trying to please everyone, instead of doing what I really want to do.

The thing with taste is that there are very different ways people look at anime, and connect with it. And I’m not talking about that “Type A and Type B otaku” that you see at places, that’s way too simplistic, not to mention that I never really considered myself an otaku (though granted it’s a term that many people have different definitions of). In the end what I really noticed is that I love series that are ambitious and combine storytelling, characters, animation, music, setting and symbolism into one whole that is larger than the sum of its parts.

And I need to really convince myself: only you know your own taste best, every taste is unique and worthwhile, and judging others for their taste in anime is most often… quite immature.

Sorry what you had to witness these inner ramblings of mine.

45 Responses

  1. Kiraly says:

    Nobunaga the Fool had a really good first episode. Before this season started I got really, really bored with anime. A sort of ennui that made me seek out western entertainment, although I still followed anime blogs out of inertia.

    Nobunaga the Fool was really the only thing I was interested in, although only because I really liked how the title sounded.

    So I checked out.

    It reminded me why I am an anime fan and why western entertainment will never satisfy me. It wasn’t perfect, but it was incredibly *anime*.

    Since then I caught up with Kingdom and Magi (which are both beyond fantastic right now, it’s really a pity you dropped them) and watched an older series from 1999. That older series wasn’t that good (7/10), but it had a certain charm that anime lost in its effort to become more commercial.

    I decided I’ll only watch the series I really, really like from now. Watching everything is a waste of time. Sure, a series might be mediocre-good enough to keep me watching it, but I’ll forget it anyway in 6 months so what was the point?

    Then again, most series that left an impression on me were things I didn’t expect to (like Kotoura).

  2. unknown says:

    If there isnt anything you like this season, watch Yamato 2199 which is an excellent space opera.

    Also more people should watch Gundam Build Fighters, because watching their favorite Gundam beating the shit out of each other is glorious despite being aimed for a younger audience.

    • boku says:

      Have to agree with that. There isn’t much I like this season, so I started watching Yamato 2199, and even though I haven’t watched a space series since Nadesico aired, so far I’m finding it surprisingly solid. Makes me wonder why more series aren’t this solid.

      • JaK says:

        probably because it was released bluray releases and the studio had months of time to sharpen and polish each episode after the movie segments so the animation was very very solid though it really was enjoyable

  3. Flawfinder says:

    Sekai Seifuku is all about why you’d want to become a minion of an evil organization, as well as a satire on how otaku-pandering is taking over the world. How is that not ambitious? :D

    • Deadlight says:

      Yeah, I agree. Sekai Seifuku was awesome :P

    • cladinblue says:

      Yeah, if you look past the cliches and their costumes (if you don;t find them entertaining), there’s really something here. Pay more attention the script/dialogue and you’ll see interesting things.

    • Shadell says:

      Sekai Seifuku is the antithesis to Samurai Flamenco. They’re both lighthearted takes on the superhero/sentai genre. Instead of the heroes, Sekai Seifuku seems to be about the people following the surprisingly average behind the scenes of a cliche sentai villain group.

      To that end the silly outfits are another party of the parody, though there’s probably an element there aimed at catching the creepyish loli obsessed demographic of the otakudom.

  4. AidanAK47 says:

    “And I need to really convince myself: only you know your own taste best, every taste is unique and worthwhile, and judging others for their taste in anime is most often… quite immature.”

    And this is where I beg to differ.(I am sure you seen that coming) There is such a thing as people with worthless taste in anime. Otherwise harems, sword art online, etc wouldn’t sell nearly as well. Judging a person by there taste isn’t immature so long as you have good reasons. Cursing the hell out of someone for their taste is immature.(But sadly fun)

    But Psgels, and take note that this is a pretty big deal coming from me of all people, I do not think you have bad taste. For the most part I trust that you know whats good to watch and what is just a waste of time. Really saves me from having to check out each seasons lineup for myself. Sure you tend to get a bit too excited about shows with unusual animation and you have your odd guilty pleasures that no one can really get. Nobodies perfect. I for one certainly cannot explain my absolute love for gurren lagann and type moon to anyone which leaves me in a bit of trouble when it comes to defending them. And at times you can bring up points which I myself missed.
    As for the internet, we tend to take any opportunity to rip a opinion in two. As hard as it is it’s best not to take it too personally. My way of things is to say whatever the hell I want and not give a damn what people think. And it’s worked well so far.

    • guest says:

      I dont even know where to begin…

      “There is such a thing as people with worthless taste in anime” – Yes, you are obviously. That is of course – bullcrap. How they say – You cant argue about taste. What are you even doing that for? Its a waste of time. I mean, I can even say you’re completely weird for liking anime. And – according to you, now I have the right to call you worthless.
      Of course, since Im not saying what you are, Id never say that and Id never think that either. To tell the truth – yes, you are quite immature.

      Take this sentence as further evidence:
      ” My way of things is to say whatever the hell I want and not give a damn what people think. And it’s worked well so far.”

      So why even say anything if you dont give a damn about the reactions? Thats failed communication! You fail at communicating. And also you like insulting without caring what the insulted one thinks? Well, you know how people that behave like that are called.

      Dont bother replying. But I dont think youd want to – you dont care about other peoples reaction anyways, do you? Also I wont read your response – I wont come here again, and also for once – I really dont care about someones opinion.

      • AidanAK47 says:

        Of course you can argue about taste. That’s all people on the internet do. And yeah, you can say I am weird for liking anime but that’s not relevant, because that’s not arguing taste that’s simply dismissing something. I can just say it’s just not your thing. But my silly little friend, media has levels of quality. There are bad anime and good anime. That is not even debatable. If someone told you that his favorite animes were dime a dozen harems and guilty crown would you honestly tell me this person does not have bad taste? You would probably say something like “Everyone has different taste” but that’s just dodging the issue. Because every anime, no matter how bad, is to someones taste. But that’s doesn’t mean there are no bad anime.
        Silly fellow, faking maturity is true immaturity.

        “And also you like insulting without caring what the insulted one thinks? Well, you know how people that behave like that are called.”

        Hypocrisy is a funny thing. So let us take your words and put them back to you. You are insulting me, don’t deny it. You may not use the word f*ck or an equivalent but hell what you are saying is equally as demeaning. Yet you yourself have stated that you don’t care what I think about this, state you will not bother to read my reply and I should not bother replying. That is exactly the same as me. But at least I am more honest about it. Well isn’t that funny?

        Have fun old chap. You won’t read this but like I said. I don’t care. I just love pointing out peoples mistakes. Thanks for the entertainment. Now to get back to torchlight 2….

        • Sword Testing Cliff says:

          Totally agree with everything you said Aidan, Its funny, I’ve gotten used to the internet and before someone even STARTS saying something plain wrong, or more appropriately, moved by emotion to state somethign rather than pure facts and observation, I can quickly scroll past the guy. Like the poster above, I saw like the first five words, and alreayd KNEW that he was:

          1)Upset at your comments

          2)insult you in some sort of way (which he did)

          3)have nothing really worthwhile to say. . .that hasn’t been said by the same types of people who have quick emotional reactions to discussiosn on the internet. It;s really just the same thing being said over and over.

          Anyway, glad you took the time out to call that guy out on his B.S. I’ve gotten so good at sussing people like that pretty quickly that I just don’t even recognize their existence haha.

  5. Spike says:

    I think the main problem you are running into is that you are looking for ‘art’ (shin seki yori, Evangelion, etc) while most of the Japanese public/otaku are looking for ‘entertainment’ (Code Geass, Kill la Kill, One Piece, Negima) When you come into an ‘entertainment’ piece looking for ‘art’ – of course you will be dissapointed, crossover is really really rare (cowboy bebop imo is my best example) That’s why I always check out 2 or 3 preview guides for the upcoming season so I know what to expect and set my bar accordingly. That’s why many people so are pissed at Samurai Flamenco, we thought we were getting ‘art’ and got ???? .

    When I see a harem show, I don’t bash it because its a harem show, I either watch it because I want to watch a Harem show, or I skip it. It’s when I’m expecting a serious show and end up with a harem show I get pissed.

    Perhaps it might be best if you research and simply skip shows you KNOW you will hate instead of forcing yourself for the sake of the blog, it might actually help with your anime ‘burnout’. It’s really not that helpful/interesting to read you bash the latest installment of “sister falls in love with brother” or “Highschool kid builds harem” anyway.

    • kero says:

      I think Spike makes a good point here. Maybe don’t force yourself to view/comment on Harem/incest shows that you know you’ll dislike, and only comment if you see one that you think is good?

  6. kero says:

    Thanks for posting. I’m going to check out Inari Konkon on the basis of your short review.

    I’m sorry that you’re getting upset due to dickish behaviour from people who come onto this blog for no reason than to act like dicks (IMO)

    I really liked Nobunaga’s first episode.. so you’re not alone, and I went back to add in the comments for that review. There were good things about it: the artwork and the way they framed some of the scenes.

    _

    I am surprised that you couldn’t get into Gin No Saji, because it’s one of my favourites, are you going to drop it?

    • JaK says:

      i been following inari manga for a while, if the anime is anything like the manga it will take like 3-4 episodes to take off but when it does it really is charming especially uka x the older bro ( much more intrusting then the main pair)

  7. alicelights says:

    I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve not been enjoying Silver Spoon. I had been looking forward to your review of it. I like reading intelligent and insightful reviews after watching shows.

    I’m still really loving it (even though I already read the manga). I find myself really wanting to watch it too.

    I think I agree with Spike though about you maybe looking for ‘art’ amongst ‘entertainment’. I watch anime rarely now since I’m too picky. Do you watch live action or other dramas? The only television I am watching these days is the second series of ‘The Bridge’ (Swedish/Danish show) which I am totally in love with. Have you seen that? I think might like it based on your past reviews.

  8. Pouf says:

    Please try to catch up with Hunter x Hunter. The first two episodes of 2014 were truly excellent.

  9. Sobakus says:

    I don’t know why, but for some reason it wasn’t exciting for me to watch Silver Spoon 2S too. It’s still good, but… Nothing special about it. I haven’t felt a single thing watching it – no thoughts, no emotions. It seems I can’t relate myself to anything that’s happening on the screen.

    Meanwhile was watching Steins; Gate The Movie and Makoto Shinkai’s The Garden of Words. Both awesome. Makes you believe anime is still alive and breathing.

  10. Jalapeno Bagel says:

    I personally think this is a good direction for you to go into. If you try to be objective with anime, then reason your way through it, that’s akin to trying to have objective “taste,” which isn’t going to happen.

  11. Bur says:

    In the end this is your blog. You’re under no obligation to please us. I think most of us are here because we respect your opinions in the first place, even when we don’t always agree with them.

  12. Elkon says:

    psgels started to grow out of cartoons, sway from path and becoming a adult. it’s time to make family, grow a tree and build a house.

  13. Lamarck says:

    You seem to be getting really burned out on anime. I’d advise taking a holiday from it for a while. Watching anime should not be a chore it should not feel like a job and when you treat it as such you pull the industry down.

  14. Rednights says:

    Nagi no Asukara which I see you left at ep 7 probably the strongest in story, or at least emotional pull, I’ve seen far, it’s going super strong at the moment. None of the new shows are holding my attention either, besides buddy complex i suppose, that’s a semi traditional mecha ..

    • Mormegil says:

      Yeah. Nagi no Asukara has been great. Thankfully, we have a few good shows that are carrying over from the Fall season.

  15. K says:

    Psgels, I agree with the other posters who wrote that you seem to be looking to anime for art more than entertainment. I always read your reviews to decide which shows I want to watch each season and I’ve been following your blog for years. I think you definitely have good taste in anime and while our tastes may not align 100%, I trust your judgement. With that being said, perhaps, as Lamarack mentioned, you should consider taking a break from anime. I would rather you take a posting hiatus than cease posting altogether. And please don’t force yourself to review series you already know you will dislike. Focus on the series that show promise and that you have passion for. I wish you the best and look forward to reading your reviews in the future. :)

  16. cladinblue says:

    I think this is evident from this post, but a lot of us who do respect you and your taste rarely comment. Many of us only comment at times like this or on titles we have somewhat strong feelings for. These “immature” people are always vocal but they’re actually very few compared to us who respect and trust your judgements even if we don’t agree with them.
    btw, I also didn’t like Nobunaga the Fool

    • hoiut says:

      I second this. Although I won’t say anything about my maturity level. :P

      “Any writing that you produce is worth reading.” When you realize some people think like that (I’m pretty much among them), writing becomes more enjoyable and you don’t hold yourself accountable for pleasing such-and-such. That said, it’s easier to stalk the blog than comment in it, so that’s what I do mainly.

  17. lol says:

    Im certain many people who enjoy reading your blog just dont comment like me. Ive come to this blog for over 2 years and havent said a word.

  18. tetsuo says:

    Same here i read this Blog for a few years now and its my nr1 spot for information on new series to consider, altough our tastes are not entirely the same and im looking more for entertainment in animes then art there where a lot of series i would never had considered watching if you hadnt blogged them.

  19. Juno says:

    “…and the characters actually talk about stuff that’s relevant for once.”

    lol Don’t blame SHAFT for NisiOisin writing. NisiOisin is one of my favorite writers, so I’m very confident the “irrelevant topic” tradition is his–not SHAFT’s… though I’m also confident the “irrelevant topic” accusation is a bit exaggerated, even there. Much of the time, especially as a series moves on, the topics start focusing heavily on the psyche of the characters and everything that is relevant to them as a person, and that’s what I really love about his work. As for SHAFT, as Madoka (among several other series) has shown, they’re very capable of avoiding irrelevant talk when it’s not a subject of the series.

    Regardless, do what you want to do, psgels. Even the people who do get frustrated at your views still respect you and they won’t leave or do anything bad just because they disagree. The more honest you feel about what you’re saying, the more we tend to trust and enjoy reading your words. Your taste isn’t like everyone else’s, but it’s still trustworthy. Keep it up!

  20. HunterWulf says:

    Wizard Barristers actually isn’t fantastic looking becasue of ARMS alone, it IS Umetsu Yasuomi, this series has his fingerprints and style all over it .. after all he is doing the Original Plan, Direction, Series Composition and Character Design for this series (pretty much everything XD).

    I mean after all Kite and Mezzo Forte (minus the sex-scenes) has some of the most impressively animated/choreographed set-pieces, they were some of the most funny and over-the-top action scenes i ever saw (despite being gory), so it’s good to see his skills being used for a normal series where he is in full control (well he did work on Galilei Donna, but it’s wasn’t really “his” series), and i’m also interested in Wizard Barristers becasue mixing “magic” and “civil law” is quite an interesting idea and with such impressive animation it’s sure going to be a delightful watch even if the story and characters might not be perfect.

    So i’m kinda surprised you didn’t mention Umetsu Yasuomi’s name at all in the part about Wizard Barristers and just talked about the studio ?

  21. Hokkaido says:

    The only anime with potential this season is Mahou Senseou, IMO

    • KaZuHiRo says:

      Are you serious?? The first episode was horribly interpreted. I did watch the second episode and felt the same way. I do agree that it’s entertaining.

  22. cake says:

    psgels — you should watch what you enjoy!
    would be boring if we all had the same taste…

    what i’m liking this season:
    Hoozuki no Retetsu
    Inari, KonKon Koi Iroha
    Gin no Saji Season 2

    am checking out some others but feel undecided about them.

    still enjoying HXH, Log Horizon & Yowamushi Pedal ! :)

  23. Amy says:

    “And I need to really convince myself: only you know your own taste best, every taste is unique and worthwhile, and judging others for their taste in anime is most often… quite immature.”

    That last sentence made the post for me haha.

  24. Piotr says:

    I’ve been following your blog for two years, and I read a bunch of your archives. I am afraid you are burning out – either on anime or on blogging… it’s a shame, as I really like what you were doing – but that’s the only way to explain your recent rants :(

  25. hoiut says:

    I also want to point out that your general impressions of the season (including the whole feeling of tiredness or “burning out”) is actually shared by a few other bloggers I’m following. So with this backing, I think it’s safe to say it’s not you, it’s the season. This season is proving to be a bit less remarkable than “lackluster” so far.

  26. Sword Testing Cliff says:

    Also Psgels, As muhc as I enjoy your blog, I think you are being entirely too whiny about people giving you crap because you liked a bad show. For one:

    1)no one is perfect, even good reviewers get stuff wrong in regards to defining what’s good and bad (tase has nothing to do with it, that’s a copout plain and simple)

    2) You like a bad show. . .and?

    3)people said not nice things to you on the internet:

    I’m sorry but dude, you gotta get a bit more thicker skin than that, this is the internet, people say shit about everyone all the time, come on. . .Really please stop whining and crying abotu something so trivial! If you make a mistake and people shout at you. . .so what?

    I think you need to start eating some meat and hitting the gym (weight lifting) It sounds like you’ve gotta a little too much estrogen in ya.

  27. sarma says:

    I love your blog. *_*

  28. Perry Tanko says:

    The only thing more amazing than kissing a girl… is watching two girls kiss.

  29. The Hergula says:

    Looking forward to Wizard Barristers actually, and I liked ur two cents.

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 10:10 AM)
    @K-off: you won’t be disappointed friend.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 10:09 AM)
    @Emma: hey I would’ve been disappointed with myself if I hadn’t seen Trainspotting. It’s a landmark movie.and I also love old Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn and the other British capers such as Layer Cake.
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 08:31 AM)
    @Emma Hunger Games without the games, is what it’s called. But even the Hunger Games was called Battle Royale rip off, which I have to say, is probably true.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 08:26 AM)
    *let
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 08:26 AM)
    Detox your child from divergent with a revolutionary method they call mortal kombat. Het your child out of the sandbox and have them play in a sandbox game! =P
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 08:25 AM)
    Think of the children! The things we have them watch =<
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 08:21 AM)
    Ugh, I quit watching Divergent halfway through the film :/
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 08:09 AM)
    @K-off: I recall friend saying she wanted me to tear apart divergent lol
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 07:35 AM)
    @Taco: Its due for a reboot.
  • ThisIsTheTaco
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 07:34 AM)
    My favorite movie is the Fantastic Four series. Just kidding, it was poo

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Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

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Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

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Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

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Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

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Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]