Posted on 30 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

Not much to talk about this episode as it was mainly set up to the next. The army’s reputation looks to have risen after driving off a dragon and looks to have caught the attention of our new female character. I was about to sigh when I saw the old anime staple of a bath scene but honestly from a fanservice standpoint it was barren. Alright, there was one shot of the elf girl but frankly it was only a second long and not too gratuitous. It’s nice to seen a anime take the higher road and not just shove in fanservice disregarding the tone of the show for the sake of pandering to otaku. (Looking at you, Ranpo Kitan) the main bulk of the episode was about our three heroines integrating into the army camp. Rory looks to be going with the flow, while mage girl is taking steps to better communicate and understand them. Though elf girl is reserved and avoiding the army. Partly because of her trauma involving the dragon attack on her village and partly from getting thrown into a world so different from her home.

Admittedly when the show shifts to show countries other than Japan discussing the gate its a little one dimensional. Though truth be told if a gate to another world did open then its true that every country would be itching to get their greedy hands on it. Thing is that Japan wouldn’t be the exception in this case, they would be just as greedy. An interesting point did come up in this episode that if the gate is a paradise of bountiful resources then it could lead to Japan taking on the world to hold a monopoly on it. Though I question this as the gate only has a single point of entry not making it the best way to farm resources considering that all resources would need to pass through this one small gateway. That’s going to be one big traffic jam in the making. I know it’s not exactly new for me to say this but the weakest part of the show happens to be the comedy. Itami’s otaku nature is often used for jokes but it’s ultimately the same punchline, that Itami is a massive otaku. The other jokes unrelated to that can have rare moments, such as a general calling a dragon a one headed Ghidorah. The next episode looks to be when the princess of the kingdom and Itami’s squad encounter each other. Sparks are inbound.

Posted on 26 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Here it is, a flashback to the beginning of the outbreak. In a market as over saturated with zombie media as ours it’s rather hard to do this kind of story without treading on old ground. The start of the outbreak is the focal point of every beginning for a zombie movie. Rarely is it explained and always during an unsuspecting day. In this case a day in the life of Megumi, a teacher at the school. But I think this stands out in how it was presented, namely this episode focused on Megumi’s day. We see her go to work and teach as well as help out students all the while waiting for hell to be unleashed. The thing is that this is likely the way anyone would act in a zombie outbreak. Going about the usual routine while ignoring the likes of Sirens and news reports cause you got your own things to deal with and it’s not as if those things affect you. It’s only when it hits you headfirst that everything comes crashing down. This episode gives good insight into just what our characters were like before the outbreak and from the looks of things Yuki’s pre-apocalypse life wasn’t quite as rosy as her delusions made it out to be. She’s certainly more depressed and from the looks of things, bullied. It’s rather depressingly morbid to see that Yuki is happier after the tragedy and after going insane than she ever was before it all happened.

We didn’t see her go insane yet but it looks like its beginning with her freakout on the roof. We did see however how Kurumi got her shovel and how her killing of the zombified senpai really went down. Some people say this show is censored but from the way I see it these cuts to black are more a stylish choice and they are much better presentation that simply showing gore. In these kinds of things less is more. This show isn’t about going around kicking zombie ass, it’s about these girls running away from a harsh reality. So cutting to black and reaction shots to Kurumi beating her crushes skull in with a shovel does so much more than simply showing it. In the end imagination fills in the blanks better than visuals ever could. One thing I might say is a flaw is when the series moves to portray the Moe side of things such as here where the girls camp together inside the building. Unlike other shows the Moe does have a point which makes it at least tolerable but even so it is fairly standard drivel to put up with.

Speaking of direction, it remains fantastic. I am not sure whether I should attribute that to the director, Masaomi Ando, or to the script/series composer, Norimitsu Kaihou, who just so happens to be the creator of the manga series. That may be just why this series is turning out so well, as we have the original creator on the team to make his story work within a new medium.  A lot of anime suffer from being too constrained to the source material which normally has to use different methods of showcasing action or visuals. The most common case is in Shounen anime where you have characters describing how a attack works during a fight instead of just showing it. But by giving the author creative control over the anime it allows him to better change the story for a visual medium. After all, he created it so naturally he would know the best way to present it, instead of an unrelated director attempted to place their own creative filter over someone else’s work. It’s the little touches in the episode that really rewards those who keep a close eye, one such example being a point on the roof were Megumi just realized that something was wrong and there’s a perfect shot showing the shadow cast from the building covering Megumi while the two other girls remain in the light. This series remains solid though the real turning point will be when Yuki’s imaginary world is broken. I complain that the moe drivel of this series is something bothersome but it’s undeniable the factor that heightens the dark side and prevents this from being just another zombie show. It shall be a dangerous act of juggling two opposites in perfect harmony and keeping that act interesting is something that I truly hope this anime succeeds with.

Posted on 25 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

I have said it before but these twilight characters rub me the wrong way. This group of superhuman individuals just sticks out like a sore thumb in a grounded setting such as this. They are a Shounen element in a otherwise Seinien show so when they come out and start leaping on rooftops this just becomes another show altogether. While Black Lagoon had its share of superhuman individuals such as Roberta, at least the show recognized that they were indeed completely ridiculous. Here we have a kid wall jumping about the place and the main characters just treat it as another day in the office. It really undermines the skill of our main swordsman when you know that there’s a whole group of people with his level of ability, all of whom got it from some experiment. That’s one of the reasons I would respect a hero like Batman more so than Captain America, one was forged with skill and the other got it handed to him. Woricks photographic memory also runs on the borderline of being supernatural. True a person can have a good memory but you just cannot collect and process information just by flipping through the pages of a book. The father figure to the handymen looks to to be a old Cop which is admittedly a bit of a cliché. The crook that happens to have a mentor/guardian in the police is something that’s seen a bit too often. That said he seems like a decent enough character being kind to them in his own way while not such a morally upstanding person to not take advantage of their skills.

Woricks past suffers from characters who I will for now refer to as forced drama devices. The maids talking trash perfectly within earshot of him and the teachers being obstinate to teaching a boy who has already been taught. I have never been fond of these kinds of characters, they are less people and more the prodding hands of the writer. It’s lazy and merely a means to get the characters and audience to feel what the writer wants them to without putting in the effort to make less one sided characters or situations to do the same. But it at least reveals how the two met though it doesn’t quite explain why he killed his parents. Thought Worick does seem to have some paranoia that maybe he was given a deaf bodyguard on purpose so that he’s more easily killed off. Alex looks to be haunted by her experience with her pimp as it does seem like she started in a similar manner with them as she has with the handymen. It would make sense if they took her in and slowly pushed her towards prostitution. Its nice to see her get some development though I wish there was a bit more to her. At the moment she’s acting as a plot device to introduce and develop other characters so it would be good to see her gain more personality. This new twilight kid isn’t the most interesting, he mostly just comes off as a one time villain. Acting cocky, decimating the minor background characters and soon to be taken out by our main protagonists.

Posted on 24 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

This episode introduces what looks to be the main trio of girls for the cast. A elf girl, a mage girl and a Goth lolita girl with a giant axe. The Goth lolita, otherwise know as the Apostle of a death god, Rory is so far the most interesting of the bunch. Though mainly because the elf girl was unconscious for the majority of the episode and the mage girl is a bit too bland. Rory is one man killing machine with a halberd who is most certainly the type that looks younger than her age. She looks to be having fun with the army as they are oblivious to her true destructive power, she’s rather mischievous in that manner. But there’s a flaw with this episode in how Rory helped to defeat the dragon. When a rocket was shot at the dragon they seen that it would miss and in the span of time it took for the rocket to reach the dragon, Rory jumped out of the back, landed on the roof and threw her halberd faster than a rocket to hit the ground and cause the dragon to stumble. All in about three seconds at most. No matter how incredible this girl may be, that seems downright unfeasible.

Thus the army managed to defeat and drive off the giant monster. When I thought that, I took a moment to ponder just when was the last time I seen that happen. As the army man said, the JSDF has a (Fictional) history of fighting giant monsters. They do not however have a history of winning against giant monsters. Any time the army is brought out to fight some supernatural threat they have always proved to be ineffective and often obliterated. In fiction armies are often brought in to show the depth of the threat by getting destroyed so that the heroes victory is all the more impressive. The most recent example of this I have seen happened to be in the Aquaman DC animated movie when the army are brought in only to be completely useless and are saved by the heroes. So even if they got a little help from Rory. It’s nice to see the army have a win for once. The dragon used a style of CGI which was rather different, were they tried to fuse hand drawn texture with a CGI animation model. Alright, it didn’t quite work as the dragon still looked awkward but well it’s nice to see some experimentation.

What I really liked about this episode was the situation the army was in. They have the resources to easily take down a dragon but due to the delicate nature of bringing excess force too much into enemy territory it leaves them in the position of guiding refugees away from their village. They could only help out in small ways and even with that a lot of people still died. The funeral scene was really well done and from the looks of things they not have a group of people to care for. The next episode looks to be seeing how they integrate with the armies base.

Posted on 21 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

I really don’t understand Mangalobe’s thinking on this changes, for you see this episode was an adaption of the second chapter in the manga. I don’t see the reason why they felt that they needed to mix around the order of these episodes but I suppose it’s no harm done. To be honest I found this episode to be far more entertaining than the action episode of last week. This episode mainly acted as a character development episode for Worick, where we learn he was abducted by Nicholas after he killed his parents. There definitely feels like a lot missing from the point where Worick and Nicholas became friends but at least it shows just how much the city changed him. The underlying point being that this city is the kind of place that once you become used to it, you will find it difficult to leave. Alex is really playing the same role as Rock in Black Lagoon, being a relatively normal person thrown into a crime filled place. But she shares a strange connection with Worick seeing as both were forced into prostitution.

Their thoughts are quite different however as Alex greatly resents her occupation whereas Worick thinks nothing of it. But one really telling thing was just how angry he got when Nicholas was brought into the conversation. His client seems to desire a less professional relationship while Worick keeps his distance but when she suggested a threesome with Nicholas he got quite irritated with her. And when someone mocked him for being his friend Worick got downright murderous. There’s a disconnect here as with the opening scene it was shown that Nicholas threw him into this world after killing his parents so why is it that Worick regards him so well when by all accounts he has every reason to resent him?

Another part of this episode was Alex and Nicholas making deliveries of what looks to be drugs for these people known as Twilights. A decent way of introducing the main players of the town who will likely play a much bigger part in things to come. It really pointed out how abnormal this town was as Nicholas was having fairly normal conversations as people were getting shot dead in front of him. Seeing Nicholas interact with people in general was quite interesting, as deaf characters in anime are rare. Generally he tries to avoid talking as much as possible hence his character has a lot of body language in the animation. Alex seems at a loss on how to interact with him and it’s actually a flaw on the animators part to have her say in the episode that she was afraid of him yet here she doesn’t seem all that threatened by him. Though Nicholas doesn’t look to like her very much and a lot of his interaction looks like he’s just putting up with her for Woricks sake.Also on the matter of Nicholas it seems the dying girl at the brothel they were delivering drugs to has some connection to him. All and all we have lots of setup this episode and that’s good. Three episodes in and Gangsta is proving to be a solid show, more so than Jormungand the other Black Lagoon styled show. I really need to come up with some sort of term for these kinds of shows as I am sure the Black lagoon comparison is getting worn out.

Posted on 19 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

 

So despite saying I would cover Chaos Dragon in my summer preview, I have decided to cover this instead. The reasons for this is simple, the obvious one being that Chaos Dragon is a poorly written, badly animated and jarring mess of an anime. But the main reason is that after the second episode I tried to seek out the source material to see why Chaos Dragon was such a mess. I actually managed to find it and to my relief its actually pretty good. But I also found out that the anime doesn’t resemble it in the slightest. The difference between the anime and source is night and day. I found out that none of the writers in the game have creative control over it and it was intended to be loosely based. Though loosely based is an understatement, from the looks of things the anime writer took the character designs and the setting and that’s it. So who decided they could twist this collaborative project into their own little script? The answer is Shou Aikawa. Shou Aikawa happens to have the strangest portfolio of work that ranges from really good(Fullmetal alchemist, twelve kingdoms,RahXephon) to horrendously awful(Angel Cop, Eureka Seven Ao, Violence Jack) and unfortunately for us Chaos Dragon fell in the latter category. I don’t know what he’s really thinking by taking this interesting project and turning it into a poor man’s Akame no Kill, especially seeing as Akame no Kill is a downright embarrassing plodding mess of an anime. The fact of the matter is this anime is now destined for failure as when someone attempts to take someone’s idea and twist it into their own, the result is rarely successful. My second choice for covering this season, Ranpo, also put me on the fence with its second episode as the mystery left no room to be solved by the audience and there is odd placement of comedy. And with Kishi at the helm my expectations for this show have dropped. So with that I plan on covering this anime.

The combination of light hearted moe antics and grim apocalyptic horror remains strong with this series. In many ways stronger than the manga and this anime has some truly fantastic direction so far. In particular the way the camera never truly puts a zombie in clear view does heighten the effect of them. This episode only has the girls dealing with one zombie at a time yet the tension is thick throughout the scene. Perhaps because our group of survivors are not the likes of the fully armed, big breasted combat specialists of High School of the Dead, but instead four little girls with a shovel. That is effective horror gentlemen, when your protagonist is at a great disadvantage against a huge threat. Also was lots of little subtext with heavy hints that the teacher is dead and nothing more than a part of Yuki’s delusion and that shovel girl may have killed the zombified girlfriend of her school crush who was lurking outside the barricade. In particular the teacher honestly acts like a part of Yuki’s subconscious, warning her and giving her ideas on how to help the group without breaking her delusion.

The animation at the beginning was very good as well with the peachy flowing movement  as she talked about her crush on her senpai. And proceeded to darken when her senpai was zombified and she had to kill him with a shovel. If you look closely there’s a frame where the boys hard reaches outside of the blacked barred frame giving the impression it’s reaching for you. The opening remains peppy but slight changes have been made and from the looks of it the opening will slowly get more and more demented as the show goes on. Even the meaning of the cheery lyrics have an alternative dark way of being read. Truly I am surprised at just how well this anime is turning out.

Posted on 16 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

This episode was certainly stronger than the first as Itami’s otaku tendencies were cut down and the focus was more on the conflict. The fight itself was brilliantly portrayed as we saw it mainly from the side of the other world. In the beginning when they were marching towards the army they were assured of their victory seeing as they had the bigger numbers. Just seeing the generals fight over who would take the front line so they could claim glory without knowing just what they were up against was amusing indeed. Only the main general found something off about the campaign. Then to see all that self confidence disappear and despair set it. You could really see when they realized the fight was unwinnable when their goal changed from beating the enemy to just hitting them with one arrow.It’s seeing it from their side is what made the episode interesting as to the army this wasn’t anything special but to the other world’s forces it was something akin to hell. The best moment was the general using a bow to fire one arrow in futility while his forces were getting slaughtered by the hundreds, then just reaching out his arms and laughing madly. I actually started to pity them there.

It’s nice that the episode didn’t take sides either as the other world’s moves make sense from a medieval standpoint and it looks to be using the war to solidify his position. Where as the army is simply responding in kind and even on there side there are those seeking to monopolise the new world’s resources. This isn’t an James Cameron’s Avatar situation where one side is clearly good and the other clearly evil. The armies were just doing their jobs and it’s nice to see the army not particularly care that they killed a huge amount of people. In any other show there would be some hamfisted moral of respecting human life shoved down the viewers throats. In a Gundam anime the main character would brood on and on about how war is terrible and killing people is bad. It is true that the protagonist Itami was rather disgusted by the aftermath it seemed more to do with how technological inferior the enemy was rather than some righteous morality. We all know that war is terrible and shouldn’t happen and we should join our hands in peace and harmony and etc, etc, so on and so forth. But sometimes war is just inevitable so its nice to see it just portrayed as it is. Not a giant fireworks festival or a overly sentimental don’t kill message set to the world’s smallest violin. The army was attacked so they responded in kind, they gave the warnings and the enemy marched regardless. That’s just how war works.

Thus after a bloody battle the army sets out to gather intelligence. Though I question how they managed to communicate with the locals and even managed to get a book translating their language to Japanese in a relatively short amount of time. Itami’s otaku-isms are still pulled in as a joke but at least now it’s rarer and at times funny. There’s just something endearing about a army rolling out after a dark battle with the squad leader and another soldier talking about meeting catgirls and waifus. But the story at least knows when to get serious s the group find a village destroyed by a dragon. Some might find it hypocritical that these people lament the deaths of the villagers when they killed far more in the battle but there’s a difference between killing defenseless civilians and armed soldiers. Next time, there be elf girls and dragons.

Posted on 14 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

As this show continues the Black Lagoon vibes only get stronger but this episode did present an issue. Namely the supernaturally strong dog tag soldiers which can jump ten feet into the air and pull out road signs. In a series that at least started fairly set in reality these elements are somewhat odd though at least still feasible. Anime has always had a rather lax grip on the laws of physics so this isn’t anything new. But when the little girl mentioned these people referred to twilight’s it was a cause for concern. Gangsta has things going for it because it’s a fairly gritty show set within a somewhat realistic setting but if it starts bringing super soldier experiments into the mix that illusion is lost. Another cause for concern is that Mangalobe has skipped ahead in the manga. It’s possible they might come back to it and really what they skipped wasn’t really important but this could be a problem in future episodes if they continue to do this. Mangalobe is fairly liberal with its adaptations and when they start adding their own quirks it’s usually not for the better but instead the worse. The World God only knows anime for instance is where they attempted to stretch two episode arcs into four episode arcs with little success. So the question is whether Mangalobe can stop themselves from changing the story too much.

The fight in this episode was well animated and managed to keep things interesting but something small just broke immersion somewhat. It’s a little thing but Gangsta, much like Black Lagoon, just seems off to be watched in Japanese. It’s no fault of the Japanese voice actors but when you have a American man mocking someone for being from the orient in fluent Japanese something is just wrong. Gangsta just seems like an anime better experienced in English as with the large amount of non Japanese people would likely be speaking English more than Japanese. Subtitle only watchers, sometimes it’s just the better in English. I know that’s hard to accept but its true and I don’t care how many times you try to justify it, Goku’s voice in Japanese is just wrong.(Off topic, I know. But seriously I can’t see Goku’s Japanese voice as anything but bad.) Though I am curious as to how they will handle Nicolas’s voice in English because I think it would be interesting to keep his voice in Japanese for the English dub. Seeing as he speaks very little, requires subtitles to be understood and is from Japan it would be an interesting way of showing his character. On a last note I find it quite amusing that the moral heart of the show happens to be a prostitute, I mean a member of one of the lowest rungs of society happens to be one of the few genuinely morally upstanding people on the show. Though that looks to be changing as she helps the handymen and much like the little girl in this episode she too might become accustomed to wrongdoing.

Posted on 13 July 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Aoharu x Kikanjuu

Short Synopsis. A girl dresses like a boy for some reason and gets in survival games.

The main character of this show confuses me, for she dresses like a boy, acts like a boy but isn’t transexual and wants to be more feminine. I don’t understand it and really when you get mistaken for a boy and forced into a survival game then really it’s your own fault. What’s also contradictory is that a man thinks she’s a boy yet keeps making suggestive advances on the main character despite clearly not being gay. I mean…I just don’t get it. Well anyway there’s not much to see here, we have highly over dramatic fights between people who act like they are having a live or death battle despite using toy BB guns. So really it’s just a show about the main starting to love survival games and trying to cover up the fact that she is a girl to the other team members.My interest is missing cause I generally know how this is all going to go, I have no interest whatsoever in surival games and the characters in this series don’t really interest me. For one the main character I find immensely annoying and while the host fellow doesn’t seem too bad I can’t really see him getting any more interesting. Might be some peoples kind of show but I think I will pass.

Potential: 0%

 

Joukamachi no Dandelion

Short Synopsis: A large royal family with superpowers must play games to decide the heir to the country.

Fairly decent I suppose, nothing really special but nothing that stands out too much. I find these shows the hardest to talk about. It’s not special but it’s not horrible either, just there. It’s a mediocre show that could interest but I find it just doesn’t have enough to get me to care. Though I must criticise that when you have the power to manipulate weight, that does not equal flight. In order to fly you need a means to propel yourself forward. The power of probability must be one of the worst powers as well considering that there are computers that can do the same thing. And the power to remember everything, so sort of a photographic memory? These are some truly useless superpowers. I think this one is something you can check out yourself and decide whether it’s worth continuing but I don’t think it’s something anyone will get really excited about.

Potential: 10%

 

Prison School

Short Synopsis. Five boys are forced into a school prison after trying to peep of girls changing.

There’s physical comedy and then there’s just pure sadism. Seeing this in animation as opposed to manga panel has had a strange effect on me, where the show is trying to make me laugh at these guys situation but instead I find myself getting filled with righteous indignation. While it is true that these guys are perverts with no redeeming value I find that the level of abuse thrown at them is quite potentially lethal and if their wounds didn’t magically heal somehow this would be a very different story. There are other problems with this series besides that, for one the cast of characters are all really unlikeable. The male characters are all desperate, pathetic sex crazed losers and the female characters are all sadistic superficial horrible people. The only exceptions to this is the main lead and what looks to be the main lead’s love interest, though the main lead is only just a small amount of good traits and the girl is fairly naive. The fan service doesn’t work not because of it being censored but rather because the female characters personalities are repulsive to me. Call me sentimental but I prefer girls that look like they would be fun to hang out with and looks aren’t everything. So the comedy is along the lines of gross out humor or sex jokes which I have seen every example under the sun and the fan service is ineffective so what does this show have to offer besides that? Not a lot it so seems. It is possible that maybe just the premise annoys me to the point that it stops me getting any enjoyment out of this. However this does seem like the kind of show that would only appeal to you if you like barrels of fanservice and low brow humor.

Potential: 0%

 

God Eater

Short Synopsis: Humanity lives inside walls and must send out teams to kill all the Titans…um…Aragami I mean.

Ufotable, I respect unconventional choices, I really do. It takes guts to adapt something that’s not really guaranteed to sell however I really wish you could have picked someone much more deserving than this. It’s clear that God Eater doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment, honestly it’s like presenting a five star meal to a hobo. The story is highly generic and the characters are fairly stereotypical with the main lead being the standard personality for this kind of show. But the visuals are certainly something, God eater sports a unique style where the characters all have this shiny look that reminds me of an oil painting. I am still on the fence on whether it looks good or not, as there are times when it looks impressive and other times when it looks just off. In particular I find the shading of characters to be inconsistent and not really adearing to where the light source is coming from. Music and animation are top notch but editing is a bit schizophrenic as some scenes have this jarring jump frame that looks like the film skipping on a projector. It seems to be there for a stylistic reason but I find it just distracting. This anime to me just looks like an experiment from Ufotable and while I think that it is interesting visually, I am afraid that story wise it has no value.

Potential: 30%

Posted on 12 July 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Durarara!! X2 The Second Arc

Short Synopsis: The adventures of the odd people of Ikebukuro

Second verse, same as the first. We still have another cour after this and Durarara doesn’t look to be changing its stripes anytime soon. So after being given a cliffhanger last season with Izaya getting stabbed and lying dying in the street we are straight away greeted by Izaya in a hospital bed, perfectly fine. This my friends is the problem with Durarara, the illusion of consequences. When the show constantly forebodes a looming threat and placing characters in dangerous situations, how can I care when I see Izaya brush off a stab wound to the stomach with a two day stay in a hospital? To me, none of these characters are in any true danger, and yet the show constantly tries to convince you otherwise. None of these characters are going to die, the author loves them too much do if there’s no real danger then what value does these dangerous encounters have. Durarara isn’t trying to put forward a meaning or a message, it’s just wacky people in a wacky place having wacky adventures and while that’s fun for a while there comes a time where I can no longer bring myself to care. Sure I still find the character interactions amusing but outside of that I am more or less watching out of obligation. In hope that maybe at the end of all this there will be true consequence.

Potential: 20%

 

Himouto! Umaru-chan

Short Synopsis: A brother needs to constantly deal with his demanding selfish sister.

There is a particular thing that comedy nowadays needs to take note of. When you make a gag in a comedy show or film, please take into account how that gag reflects the character of the person in the joke. There have been a number of examples of fictional characters who became horrible people just for the sake of comedy. One such example is Alan from the Hangover movies. In the beginning he was a strange but good natured person but when the third movie came around he became someone who didn’t even care when his own father died due to his negligence. Homer Simpson is another casualty as in the beginning he was a flawed person with best interests at heart but slowly became a dangerously impulsive person who never took into account how his actions affected other people. And so finally this brings me to Umaru, the star of this show. However instead of showing this character having good points we are immediately shown just how much of a selfish spoiled brat this person is and how she will go to any lengths to get her way. In another show this character would be a villain or someone pushed to reform but here the show seems to want us to be on her side even when she is treating her brother like a complete doormat. It’s hard for me to enjoy comedy when a lot of it is just mean spirited bullying by our ever so perfect Umaru-chan and the sad fact is that due to this shows nature as a one note gag that Umaru will never get that deserved slap in the face. This is a show about a spoiled brat that always gets her way. Feel free to enjoy.

Potential: 0%

 

Sore ga Seiyuu!

Short Synopsis: Voice actresses are so Kawaii!

My initial impressions remain true, Shirobako already did this and did it better. Plus with Gakkou Gurashi airing this season offering far more than this, this series just seems redundant. It’s like the quota for a standard cute girls doing cute things was not met so they just tossed this anime in. This anime has nothing to offer besides filling up an empty slot in the season lineup.

Potential: 0%

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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Kemurikusa – 03

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