Posted on 30 September 2015 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare examples of an adaption which improves its source material by making use of the animated medium. With visual subtext and better presentation this adaptation took something that could have ended up a mere gimmick of a show and made it so much more. The direction is simply marvellous with little details hidden throughout to reward those who pay close attention. Be it in the slight changes in the opening from episode to episode or the minor details hidden in the background.

The characters are likable though not particularly deep and I fear that shallowness might be a turnoff for some. In a twelve episode series building deep characterization is a challenge that even the often praised Madoka didn’t manage. But Madoka managed to keep the plot in center focus and didn’t wander between it’s two moods. Some of the plot developments are foreshadowed too heavily leaving little surprise when they are finally revealed, though the reveal is often great to see for execution alone. Music can provide the necessary mood though for the large part it’s fairly unnoticeable. Art and animation are adequate with the real effect of scenes being mostly on the presentation of certain scenes.

There are flaws with this odd combination of genres of course and Gakkou still makes use of a lot of the fluff present in moe slice of life, even if it has a purpose now. There are a two or three episodes dedicated to random hijinks that act more to delay the plot. But when the plot takes a dark turn it’s often very effective with some excellent scenes that make use of music and camera shots to the best effect. Ultimately I wish there was more darkness in this show and the manga does have scenes which could have remedied that problem. But alas they were not made use of and I blame the largely unnecessary pool episode for that. The ending is another issue as it does make use of far fetched plot contrivances to provide an ending which could leave viewers cheated or disappointed.

Gakkou remained a consistently good watch throughout it’s run and it is a series which would benefit greatly from a second season. Fans of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica who are looking for a similar show might scratch that itch with this series, for others however the mix of Moe and horror elements might be too off putting or schizophrenic to enjoy. But to me the juxtaposition of the two sides of the show are what make it the most effective. If either element was played alone this show wouldn’t be quite as interesting but with the two placed together it makes you appreciate both all the more. Or to put it in other terms, Despair is at it’s peak beside the greatest hope

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

The ending to Gakkou leaves me with a feeling similar to that I felt after watching Madoka’s final two episodes. The ending isn’t inherently bad but I can’t help but feel like I have been cheated. When you tease darkness and provide instead light its hard to appreciate. Contract to popular belief, not everyone loves a happy ending. There lies my problem with this ending, its far too happy. The grim situation is defused far too fast with Yuki making use of the zombies lingering memory to get them to abandon the school. It’s a bit far fetched of a solution but still feasible so I will leave it be. But the speech was rather cringeworthy. I understand the need for finality and the parallel to the first episodes words is a neat link but the cheese was far too much.

At least the show knew there had to be some grim turn in this last episode and here we have it. Just when I was about to roll my eyes at not just Kurumi, but Taromaru coming out of this alright as well, Taromaru dies in Miki’s arms. Well when you trip that many death flags its unlikely you would come out unscathed. It was a really well done scene and pretty effective. Being a man whose heart has been tempered into apathetic cold steel, I was surprised to feel tears almost well in my eyes over Taromaru’s last look at Miki being him saying thank you. Curse you for making me feel feelings again, you manipulative puppy plot device.

Other than that we have graduation which is less death and more the girls moving away from the school now that the self sustaining machines are broken. The Graduation tried to tug at my heartstrings but it felt rather hollow and overly dramatic. So with episodes end I decided to check out the manga to see how things went there and its very different from its anime counterpart. For one it wasn’t Zombies that took down the school in the manga, but a crashed Helicopter which started a fire and destroyed it. Kurumi’s infection and Megumi’s death by shovel where solved before this pretty fast. Overall the anime handled the story better but there were small things in the manga that I wish made the transition. Like Miki arriving with the medicine only to find Yuuri poised, ready to kill Kurumi with the knife or how Yuki’s snap to reality was handled in the manga. Overall the ending does leave it open for a potential second season which I would be most interested to watch.

Posted on 27 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

Gangsta has a serious problem on its hands. So far the past 11 episodes have been building up something and it’s clear that this buildup will not be utilised in the remaining episode. We got a setting, characters(though aside from the main trio a number of them need development) and an antagonist but we don’t have a plot. The last two episodes look to be setting one up but by now in the series it’s far too late and will not have a satisfactory conclusion. A second season seems highly unlikely what with there not being enough material for one. If Gangsta is to end here then the result of this anime would be a alright but an overall unsatisfactory experience, ultimately a anime that would feel half finished. After all it’s the second last episode and the series is still introducing new characters. I already stated that I don’t appreciate the action sequences and while the character moments can be great, it’s only the main Trio that truly carry the show. When looking at it from this perspective the previous episodes are like fueling up a car that’s going to get thrown into a car compactor. No matter how much fuel that car has it won’t matter if it isn’t going anywhere.

So that’s why Doug was suddenly so much more psychologically stable, so we can feel sorry for him when he dies. Nice try but no dice. Much like many of the other side characters, Doug didn’t really have enough screen time to form an emotional attachment to. We also learn why we were informed about Marco and Connie’s relationship, so Connie can play damsel and get kidnapped by Marcos old acquaintances. I find the kidnaping to be a weak development as for the love of god girl, you run a gun shop in one of the most dangerous places in the world. Might be good to be a little suspicious of the strange lady acting creepy in front of your shop. The anime could have at least shown her cocking a gun as she was getting the cigarettes to show she had her guard up. As for our evil Twilight gang, I find they are just trying a little too hard to be cartoonishly evil. Miss Lollipop chainsaw is a primary offender with the suggestive lollipop licking and a manner of speaking that truly couldn’t be any more condescending. In other important news, Miss Balalaika is a Lesbian with her lover being the red haired glasses girl. Sexual diversity is always a welcome addition to have especially when it isn’t there primarily for fan service or cheap jokes. It does explain why the redhead was particularly vicious when someone threatens Miss Balalaika. So as the events of Ergastulum come to a close I find myself with less reason to care about its conclusion

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

 

It’s a good thing a second season of Gate was announced as it ending on this episode would be a poor round up to the series indeed. The biggest hanging thread is the Dark elf and her dilemma of returning to the village to tell them that help is not coming or resorting to dirty tactics in order to get Itami to lend a hand. One thing that has trouble translating well is the language barrier between the Japanese and the other worlders. The first half of the episode mainly deals with her difficulty to get the Army to listen to her without knowing Japanese but the series has a confusing way of presenting it. They show both parties speaking clear Japanese and never really clarify which they are talking in. Leading to a scene where we have a Dark Elf looking to be speaking clear Japanese yet the army doesn’t understand her. There should be a clear difference between the two tongues or at least a transition to show which is being spoken. Of course eventually she found out that the Japanese military can’t exactly march in an attack force into the country and kill a dragon. One particular thing I liked was the army soliders estimate of just how much firepower it would take to kill a dragon, even with heavy firepower a medieval Dragon isn’t something that goes down easy.

Other than that we have the princess finding out about Itami’s achievements, Lelei experimenting with applying scientific principles to magic and the princesses soldiers eating desserts and talking about translating BL doujinshi. The last one had me rolling my eyes as it had the girls praising how Japan could make even desserts an art form. This may be ignorance speaking but I was always under the impression that France was the place to go for fine cuisine. Further cemented that the pastry the girls were eating was indeed French and I was really waiting for that butler to point out that the girls praises would be better directed at France and not Japan. Japan didn’t invent Mille Feuille Glace and no matter how well it’s prepared by a Japanese chef that fact isn’t change. You don’t see us praising America for the Super Nintendo, now do you? Come on mister author, at least give some other countries a little bit of credit.

My feelings on Gate at this halfway point would be that it’s a pretty solid show that’s missing something to make it great. I cannot discern what that something may be however, as looking over the series there not really a way of doing it differently. I liked watching Gate but something prevents me from being as invested in it as I am with Gakkou. I guess the primary offender could possibly be the slow pace of the story which seems like a slow buildup to something that couldn’t possibly be resolved in this season or the next. I felt the same about the manga, its a slow burn of a show. There’s also the issue of the weak comedy which winds down to making jokes about Itami being a Otaku or just dull slapstick. Can the characters be better? Is there a better way to frame this story to make it more impressive? I am honestly not sure but perhaps the second season might have some remedies for that.

Posted on 23 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. Things are looking grimmer and grimmer for our four heroines as Yuuri can’t bring herself to kill Kurumi, Miki is trapped on the lower floors and zombies have subsequently knocked out the power and overrun the school. Leaving a surprisingly stable Yuki to save everyone’s hides. The zombies knocking out the power by destroying the generators through pure coincidence is a rather far fetched development but current developments call for more bad luck and this shows the school is beyond saving.  I mainly expected Yuki’s snap back to reality to be a morbid change as she learned just what was waiting for her but it’s turned out to be a fairly positive change. Admittedly the second half of the episode does deal a bit too much on Yuki accepting Megumi’s death when time is short and while Yuki’s staring at flashbacks of her past, her friends are getting closer to their deaths. The emotional draw didn’t quite work for me considering that every second Yuki stares blankly at a visual memory is a second Kurumi inches near the point of no return. We already got plenty of emotional weight behind this so I don’t see the point of adding more when the situation calls for drastic action.

Miki’s encounter with Taromaro was brief and could possibly be a encounter they are saving for the finale. Miki killing Megumi for good was a great scene as well as her running around with the shovel trying to imitate Kurumi to weak effect. It shows that Kurumi isn’t so easily replaceable and without her the group is going to be missing some vital offensive force. But Miki managed to do what Kurumi couldn’t and kill Megumi. At first however it looked like she was making a beginners mistake in zombie films and was attempting to speak with it while the zombie gets within striking distance. Miki left things pretty close her as Megumi was right on top of her before she swung the shovel down. I get paying respects to the dead but perhaps you should do it with a room’s worth of distance just in case. It’s not as if Megumi would take offense…or would she?

One thing that Gakkou zombies have that most others don’t is residual memory. That last time I saw this explored was in George Romero’s Day of the dead or the “A Ride in the Park” sequence of VHS 2. The zombies of Gakkou have a higher level of memory than other kinds, Megumi being a prime example. She continues to write in a journal despite her writing being nothing more than random scribbles and hangs around the basement where the medicine is. The medicine case itself has bloody landmarks on it, suggesting that Megumi tried to reach it while she was still human or has been trying to open it while undead. It asks the question, just how aware are these zombies? It’s a scary thought that under that facade could be a person internally screaming for help.The big question now is whether Gakkou can tie things up satisfactorily for the final episode as no word of a second season has come. A life goes on ending would be the likely choice and not a bad option as it does leave the possibility of a sequel. But the enticing idea of a full tragic original ending is a delight far too rare. That said the chances of that seem slim as this episode shows that the direction is aiming for a more hopeful outcome.

Posted on 20 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

So our girl Erica turns out to be the twin of Delio and I wouldn’t be surprised if you can’t remember who Delio is. He’s the white haired guy who’s a weak twilight that works as a bodyguard for Monroe. It’s revealed that she was abducted when she was a kid and this is the first time anyone has seen her since then. Now this may be just that I a not quite that invested in this show but this revelation only elicited a response of “Is that so?” Personally I feel that if she was the daughter of the police officer this reveal would have far more impact and potential story significance. Delio hasn’t had enough stage presence or development for this to be all that important. So Erica is Delio’s long lost sister? What of it? I am far more interested in her connection to Worick and Nicholas than Delio’s blood relation. It really is odd when I care more about minor characters Marco and Connie being a relationship than a matter regarding one of the villains. Speaking of which, it would have added much more tension to the fight scene previous episode if we knew about that when he was facing off against the twilight kid.

Art quality remains a concern as Alex’s face had a number of awkward distracting proportions this episode. With Alex’s brother on the evil twilight squad it’s really only a matter of time before the two encounter each other. One particularly notable thing in this episode was Worick momentarily mistaking Alex for someone. That someone is likely the same girl Nicholas was visiting in the brothel on episode 3. What this says to me is that Alex isn’t the first girl to hang out with the handymen. I couldn’t help but notice how psychologically stable Doug is now compared to previously. When he was attacking the handymen he seemed downright psychotic yet now that he’s no longer an enemy he’s a whole lot more calm. It’s especially evident which you have our new miss lollipop chainsaw coming along and chopping people up just like Doug did not to long ago. I hope this doesn’t start a trend within the show of characters being more psychotic when in the role of the villain but going though quick personality changes when they have been defeated because that’s yet another shounen trope.

Posted on 19 September 2015 with categories: Seasonal Previews

How the time flies. It wasn’t too long ago I was writing the preview for the last season and yet it’s nearly over. However while Summer was a season of surprising quality, fall looks to be weaker. There still could be some hidden gems here as my usual methods of checking source material came up short but I don’t see Fall being a season to remember. That said, even a bad season can have one good or even great anime.

As usual Straw poll is below to vote on what you want me to cover. Three animes are covered, two my choice, one yours. Voting ends by the time second episodes start airing. One of my Choices is One Punch man and the other undecided. Should my second choice anime be top voted of the Strawpoll, I will cover the second highest show on the poll.

http://strawpoll.me/5522575

First is the sequels, as usual if you liked the previous season then by all means continue. Otherwise I will save time and not cover them.

The sequels I don’t care about

Aikatsu! 4
Diabolik Lovers More,Blood
Haikyuu!! 2
Soukyuu no Fafner: Exodus 2
Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??
World Trigger: Isekai Kara no Toubousha
Noragami Aragoto
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R 2

Series I don’t look forward to

Brave Beats

The story follows Hibiki Kazaguruma, a sixth grader who meets an amusing little robot named Bureikin while coming home from school one day. Bureikin, a dancer from an alternate-dimension dance world, challenged the dance king for the throne and lost. He has been deprived of Dance Stones (the stones of dance power) and sent to the human world. To restore his power, bureikin must collect all the Dance Stones scattered around Earth.
Meanwhile, the Dance Stones cause chaos on the human world. To retrieve the Dance Stones, Bureikin fuses with Hibiki and transforms into a Dance Hero.

It would be a huge surprise if this turned out to be remotely good. At most a harmless kids show, at worst a bad kids show. Still either way it’s likely going to be better than Teen Titans Go. Sigh…it’s sad when you see something you loved turned into a complete joke.

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou

The stage is set in “another Japan” as a banquet of diverse superhumans unfolds… In an imaginary “age of gods” about 20 years after the war, Japan has grown and developed by leaps and bounds. What if all the superhumans ever written about in fictional stories existed at the same time? Superhumans who came into existence through different circumstances, and who are special in different ways — Titans from outer space, lifeforms from a mystical world, phantoms and goblins from ancient times, cyborgs created by scientists, relics that rose out of the ruins of ancient civilizations, and the list goes on. One segment of these superhumans makes no secret of their existence and has gained popularity in society. Others cloak their identities and fight in secrecy. There are enemies of superhumans as well, organizations that operate in the shadows. The Japanese government has taken many measures to secure peace and order. One is the establishment of an organization under the Ministry of Health and Welfare — the Overpopulation Research Laboratory, a.k.a. the Superhuman Bureau. Their mission is to identify and approach superhumans, then oversee and safeguard them. One member of the Superhuman Bureau, Jiro Hitoyoshi, is protagonist of this series.

I actually thought for a moment when watching the trailer that this might be trying to portray a chuunibyou disillusion as the premise and is about chuinbyou characters like KyoAni’s chuuni show. However it doesn’t look to be the case. Bones seemed to have picked up a bit from Blood blockade battlefront but this show I don’t hold much hope for. Mainly because it’s penned by Shou Aikawa. A man who’s currently writing one of the worst titles of the current season, Chaos Dragon and whose output is either great to outright terrible. Currently his writing has not been very good lately though perhaps I am just still angry over him ruining Red Dragon. The artstyle is odd to say the least and the animation is bones usual vibrant movement but I can easily see this being another Bones flop.

Garo: Guren no Tsuki

Producer Masao Maruyama announced at animation studio MAPPA’s Otakon panel that the second Garo: Honoo no Kokuin television anime series is slated for this October. Unlike the first Garo anime, this series will be a jidaigeki (period drama) set in the Heian period. It will have a female protagonist.

Studio Mappa is a pretty interesting studio. While Bahamut and Zaku no terror were far from perfect, they still were rather unique series. This too looks interesting but it has a big problem. Shou Aikawa. Yes, Aikawa is doing series composition for two series and that’s bad news in my book. Of course it depends on how much control he has but there’s also the issue of the director mainly being experienced in Shounen shows. A female protagonist is a good thing in my book but a show like this needs a mature feel. With these two at the helm I doubt it will be able to provide that. The series has four other script writers, all of which don’t have much experience with this kind of show.

Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan

The story follows Hakone, a hot spring spirit who descended to a spa resort on Earth. However, with her long slumber, she looks like a little girl on the outside. (The “Yousei” in the title is a wordplay on the Japanese words for fairy and a young child.) The high school boy Touya stumbles across her at a hot spring and ends up joining Hakone in retrieving her original powers.

Studio doesn’t have any heavy hitters, this is the director’s second anime and there’s really no potential in the story. It’s really about the hijinks of a hot spring spirit who can vomit hot spring water. Other than That I expect a good bit of fanservice.

Dance with Devils

The story revolves around Rikka Tachibana, a female second-year high school student who attends Shiko Academy in Shiko Town. She enjoyed her school life while living with her mother Maria, but one day, that balance fell into ruin. The anime is a story of Rikka being loved and being attracted to demons.

I would like to give Brains base the benefit of the doubt and assume there’s more to this that meets the eye. However from looking at it, despite it being an original series it looks to be exactly what it looks like. An age old bargain bin reverse harem. The staff haven’t worked on anything notable and I am highly skeptical this will bring anything other than a bunch of pretty boy devils fawning over a girl with no distinct desirable features.

Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai

The school action fantasy is set in a world where people with magic powers are close to being wiped out. Just as the balance of power and military might had once shifted from swords to sorcery, it shifts once again to guns. Takeru Kusanagi goes to “AntiMagic Academy,” a training facility for Inquisitors of Herectics who crack down on the dwindling threat posed by magic users. However, Takeru cannot use guns at all and can only fight with a sword. As a result, he is relegated to the 35th Test Platoon, the motley “small fry platoon” for poor students. One day, Ouka Outori, the ultra-elite pistol master who already has her qualifications for witch-hunts, joins the platoon.

I am tempted to add a category for generic light novel anime so I don’t have to repeat myself ad nauseum. Main is in a group where he’s the only guy and all the girls in the team are romantically interested in him or are going to be. Main also happens to be a secret badass as usual. There’s accidental boob groping, walking in on a girl in a state of undress, poor humor and one dimensional villains.

Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama

Cocotama are tiny gods born from the thoughts and feelings of objects that people use with great care. The fact that Cocotama wear part of the egg they hatch out of as underwear is proof that they are still apprentices. The Cocotama use a mysterious magic, and they train hard to be of use to humans and to become full gods. They live inside human houses and stealthily move around to help humans find things they have lost, although they make many mistakes.

Gah, it’s so sweet it makes me want to puke. Truth be told there’s nothing really offensive about this one. It’s a fluffy kids show made by a company who does kids shows. It’s simply just not for me. Even as a kid I wouldn’t watch this.

Hidan no Aria AA

A young girl idolizes the world-renowned S-ranked butei Kanzaki H. Aria and plans to follow in her footsteps. However, her test grades her out as only an E-rank! All is not lost, however, as Aria agrees to give her some pointers. Can Aria help this newcomer become a first-rate butei?

In the bargain bin of Light novel adaptions Hidan no Aria would be the one at the bottom with the 90% off price tag. The first season was terrible with storytelling that would make even the worst writer shake his head. Coming across as a poor knockoff of Shana with no interesting characters and a story involving the descendants of famous characters that is just downright ridiculous. Aria lost all semblance of suspension of disbelief when the main heroine was confirmed to be the descendant of Sherlock Holmes. God, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must be rolling in his grave. I remember a arc involved the characters facing off against Count Dracula for crying out loud. And if I remember, I heard something about how later down in the novels a man survives four bullets to the heart. This is just terrible tripe that might only qualify as so bad it’s good. Yet here I am, a man who would kill for a another season to Spice and wolf or Kino’s Journey, staring at a sequel to what may be one of the worst anime to grace the medium. Life can be cruel and unfair.

Lance N’ Masques

The battle action novel series revolves around Youtarou Hanafusa, a young man who is part of the last remaining order of knights in the 21st century, “Knights of the World.” As he fights as the mysterious Knight Lancer, he must hide his identity behind a mask.

The author of this piece of work wrote scripts for animes such as Campione, Gj-bu, Aki-Sora and a harem involving girls who are transformed soda cans called Akikan….I highly doubt I need to continue.

K Return of Kings

In modern Japan, where history has strangely overlapped with reality. There, seven “Kings” with great superpowers existed. Along with their clansman to whom they shared their own power with, the kings each formed clans. Order bound by blue, red flames that cause chaos, irregularities that shine in white, and reforms branched off into green. The Kings, each with their own abilities, now… With “jungle” once again jumping back into action, the fates of the various Kings are brought together.

The disappointments continue. K was a poor attempt to cash in on a anime which targeted every demographic it could and yet focus on none. The story was a mess, the characters were dull and fanservice laughable. It always just made me laugh seeing two male characters fight yet get their faces within kissing distance. Thats not just me assuming, the way those scenes where shot it’s obvious just who they were pandering to. When you are targeting both the shounen crowd and Fujoshi’s in one scene, I think its time to rethink the plan. People felt it had good animation but in my opinion it felt like average animation put into Photoshop, layered with Photoshop filters and blue hues. I knew a sequel was coming and just as I thought back then, it doesn’t deserve one. Gohands haven’t been doing the best either as their last anime Copelion was a truly legendary train wreck to behold. Frankly for the cool city filled with wacky badass characters senario, we already have another season of Durarara coming. I don’t think we need the poor second cousin who’s desperate for attention.

Owari no Seraph 2

A direct continuation from the first season. The story takes place in a world where an unknown virus has killed the entire human population except for children under 13. Those children were then enslaved by vampires. The manga centers on Yuichiro Hyakuya, a human who dreams of becoming strong enough to kill all vampires.

I haven’t taken the care to continue watching the first season beyond two episodes but from what I heard it reached a level of terrible that’s downright laughable. Nothing worth your time.

Owarimonogatari

A display from the Shosen Book Tower book store in Tokyo has revealed that NisiOisin’s three-volume Owarimonogatari novel will be adapted into a television anime. The display also reveals the anime’s October premiere date.

If you seen a Monogatari series anime then you likely know what you are in for. Heavy amounts of dialogue, fanservice galore and highly stylised Shinbou limited animation madness. I have never really been a fan of the series as I see it more of a harem being hidden under mountains of pointless dialogue and utterly nonsense visual metaphors. I find the series exhausting more than anything as attempting to follow the spitfire conversations for more than two episodes is mentally draining. This looks to be the final season of the series and with that I say so long and thanks for all the headaches.

Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan

The “school sword action” story revolves around Magic Knights, modern magic-users who fight with weapons converted from their souls. Ikki Kurogane goes to a school for these Magic Knights, but he is the “Failed Knight” or “Worst One” who is failing because he has no magical skills. However, one day, he is challenged to a duel by Stella, a foreign princess and the “Number One” student. In this duel, “the loser must be obedient for life.”

The best comparisons for this would be Sword art Online or Mahouka. So like Mahouka we have a magic user who’s known for being the weakest when he’s actually the strongest Gary Sue fantasmo. And like SAO it has the odd choice of deciding the main heroine in the first arc and then subsequently adding more girls to the harem afterwards, even though it’s pointless. The protagonist has some odd saying of boasting about how he will beat people with his weakness which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It might be translation issue or simply a poor attempt at being cool. Other than that it’s the usual fare for Light novel plots.

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk

In the previous century, humanity was attacked by an unprecedented disaster… The impact “Invertia.” The whole world was destroyed. However, humans acquired a new potential…”The Genestella.”

Originality is something that is near impossible to achieve. Even if you do come up with an uncommon idea, chances are you with be making use of a good amount of tropes on the TvTropes archive. But there are ways to make tired stories feel fresh and it is evident when you didn’t really try. As an example of not trying here we have Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, a by the numbers light novel story. This has been seen a dozen times and you know what’s the ultimate proof of this? See Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan up above? Both that and Asterisk start off exactly the the same, no joke. The first episodes of these shows will be near identical with its setup. Though regardless of which is first to do this idea, which is neither of them,I pick out this as the lazier of the two. Within its first chapter it sets up a Shounen hierarchy with an elite group known as page ones (they are definitely running out of names for these groups) and barrels of exposition which is essentially the same as other stories but with different terminology for the same things. If you want this kind of story you will likely be watching the above series. This one isn’t really worth your time.

Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou

The school comedy story is set in a junior high school and centers on the original manga’s characters such as Eren and Mikasa as they battle with Titans. The spin-off incorporates gags while using Shingeki no Kyojin’s story and notable scenes as its basis.

Nobody asked for this. Did anyone ask for this? I certainly didn’t ask for this, I didn’t see anyone else ask for this. Who was it that watched Attack on Titan and said “You know what would make this show better? If we set it at a high school!” Well let it never be said that I don’t give things a chance because I read the first two chapters of the manga. And it is awful. It’s just so cringe inducingly awful. The setup is basically that Titans are now bullying upperclassmen and taking things from the show and attempted to get a laugh by making the reasons stupid. For example, Eren still wants to kill all the Titans but not because one ate his mother. Instead a Titan stole his lunch when he was a kid and ate his cheeseburger. Yes people, that the golden comedy we are in for. Even if you were a fan of the show I highly doubt you would want to see this. The only value it has is taking familiar characters and seeing how they do in a school setting and doubt even fans are interested in that.

Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha Burst

The second season of Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha.

Sigh…I hate it when I am right. Somewhere deep down in my gut I knew this would get a second season. It’s just the kind of show that just gets lapped up. I can dismiss this as garbage, not recommended.

Hokuto no Ken: Ichigo Aji

The spinoff centers on a fun version of the Holy Emperor Souther as he tries to find ways to become friends with Kenshirou, demonstrates his party techniques, and sometimes plays with the Gosha Sei.

I have yet to check out Fist of the north star but I don’t think this would serve as a good introduction. It’s certainly a very…fruity show. Well for a show like this, it all comes down to the comedy factor.

Star Mu

The story starts when Yuuta Hoshiya enters Ayana Academy, a school focusing on show business activities, specifically music. The academy has a group of the three students with the highest grades in the musical department, and they are known as the Kao Kai (Cherry Blossom Flower Association). This organization stands at the top of the pecking order within the academy.

It’s the first work by a new anime studio with a team who don’t have anything under their belt. That line is becoming the new mantra for this season. Well the director did do Tsubasa but that’s really it. I don’t really expect much as this really looks to be a title made to earn some starting money.

Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid

Part of the Valkyrie Drive project which will include a console game, a smart phone game and an anime. The “beautiful girl sexy battle action” anime is set on five artificial islands.

It’s hard to make a good anime, potentially harder to make a good game. Attempting to make both at the same time and a phone game is just a recipe for disaster. Anime Game adaptions don’t have the best record either. But all hope was lost on the words “beautiful girl sexy battle action” the trailer had girls getting strong weapons and power through the magic of yuri. From the looks of things they need to get intimate with a girl to turn them into a weapon to use for combat. The target audience is clear and it’s a lost cause.

Osomatsu-san

The series follows the characters from the Osomatsu-kun manga after they’ve become adults.

I checked out the Osomatsu-Kun manga and found it to be a gag manga about six identail sixuplets. The humor was on the level of a Garfield or Archie comic so unless this anime is taking on a more mature tone this will be some squeaky clean comedy show. Comedy in anime is already a miss for me so this holds no interest.

 

Series I am middling on

 

Comet Lucifer

The story takes place on the planet Gift, where precious crystals called Giftjium are buried in the earth. A young man named Sōgo lives in Garden Indigo, a prosperous mining town. Sougo’s hobby is to collect rare crystals. One day, he gets wrapped up in a riot caused by his classmates Kaon, Roman, and Otto, and he loses his way until he finds a lake deep under the ground’s mining ruins. There, he meets a mysterious girl with blue hair and red eyes that gaze straight ahead. The story follows the adventure of what happens after this meeting.

Anime like this are the most troublesome for me. No source material, staff have only partially worked on some big name series and a trailer that explains absolutely nothing about what the shows about. That said it was a interesting and admittedly nice looking trailer. The animation studio is 8bit however, and I still haven’t forgiven them for those botched adaptations of Grisaia. Their output doesn’t inspire much confidence with such knockout titles as Infinite Stratos, Absolute Duo and Walkure Romanze. The best things on their portfolio is Aquarion Evo and Tokyo Ravens which were admittedly decent. No anime fan wishes for bad anime and I would like to hold hope that they can bring something great to the table. After all it does have a good artstyle and could be fun.

Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!

The manga revolves around middle school student Shuri Komori, who is too kind and is unable to say no when someone asks her for a favor. However, she has gained various amazing abilities as a result.

The main impression I got of this from reading the manga is that it’s a poor man’s Lucky Star. It’s a 4 koma manga whose main gimmick is that the lead character cannot refuse anyone’s request. Because of this she’s become really strong from carrying things, really smart from helping people with their homework, etc. That’s really all there is to it. I didn’t find the comedy funny but there nothing really horrible about it. It’s harmless mild entertainment.

Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans

300 years after a great conflict between Earth and Mars known as the “Calamity War,” a woman named Cordelia sets out on a journey to Earth to speak for the independence of the Martian city of Chryse, which is under the control of the Earth government. Escorting her is the private security company CGS members Mikazuki Augus and Orga Itsuka. When a group named Gjallarhorn attacks CGS and Cordelia, Orga sees this as a chance to rebel against CGS and launch a coup. Mikazuki and Orga are thrust into a new conflict. To fend off Gjallarhorn, Mikazuki rides an old mobile suit from the Calamity War, powered by a nuclear reactor, the Gundam Barbatos.

This is a complete oddity in my eyes. My impression of the Gundam series as a whole is something that was never really my thing. The series advertises itself as a mecha combat show when it’s more a political thriller with some Mecha combat and the age old “War is bad” preaching. Still what makes this entry of the series so strange is who’s writing it. The writer of the series happens to be Mari Okada, a writer well known for Anohana and series often focused on teenage adolescent slice of life shows. She does happen to have other more varied series under her belt but is mainly known for shows surrounding teenage angst. I for one do not think Okada is a bad writer, as a matter of fact she can be a very good one provided that you can keep her under control. But this is the first time she’s been anywhere near a Mecha series and while Gundam has its share of love problems and angst she may have difficulty incorporating love troubles as the cast is predominantly male…well unless homosexuality is involved. Okada could turn it up to unbearable levels of ridiculous melodrama. However this is a show that’s different from her usual fair and If she is planning to use this to expand her writing skills into other genre that’s something I can respect. But another concern is that the director has only experience with slice of life romance so this could really end up being a unGundamlike Gundam show.

Heavy Object

The science-fiction war action story revolves around Objects — powerful, massive weapons that change the course of warfare — and Elite Object pilots. An odd Elite girl named Milinda meets Quenser, a student who aims to become a Object mechanic, with the soldier-in-training Heivia on a snowy battlefield.

On the surface Heavy Object sounds like a show with high potential. A series detailing the adventures of a group who find ways to exploit weaknesses to beat what are essentially Metal Gears. But then you take a look at the adaptor JC Staff and the original writer Kazuma Kamachi for that excitement to drain away. Kazuma is most well known for his Certain Magical Index series which may in fact be one of the titles to birth the Light novel formula used in every single unimaginative LN adaption to date. It is also the series which beat the Light novel formula to death and the author has been pushed to make two other protagonists to cover the fact that he has been remaking the same story arc again and again. Having read the first volume of the Light novel, I can say Heavy Object suffers from the same problems as his other works. Lame humor, characters defined by a gimmick and an endless conga line of girls falling in love with the protagonist. What could save this is the Metal Gear battles(Or..sigh…Heavy Objects) as it is interesting in how normal people find ways to take down giant robots.

Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets-Sareta Ken

In a hidden school surrounded by mountains, young ladies of good families are taught everything a high class lady needs to know. They are also completely cut off from the outside world, keeping them sheltered and innocent. However, a problem has come up recently—more and more graduates are failing to cope with the modern world after graduation. To deal with this problem, they’ve decided to kidnap a male commoner student, and enroll him as a student. They hope that this will be a gentle way to introduce the girls to the outside world. Kagurazaka Kimito is chosen for this dubious honor, mostly because he seems utterly average. However, the school leaders also seem to have concluded he’s a homosexual with a muscle fetish. When Kimito hears that the alternative may be castration (to protect the girls’ purity), he eagerly plays along with this misconception. Now he’ll just have to survive the attention of many high class young ladies that are completely out of touch with the world!

I have read the manga for this one before the anime announcement and overall found it to be decent. The focus of the show is more on comedy than harem hijinks and that comedy is actually pretty funny at times. The main bulk of the story has to do with a commoner club which is set up to introduce normal things to high class girls ignorant of the world. Naturally hilarity ensues as they misunderstand or take too well to foreign concepts. There is fanservice but it actual is a fairly enjoyable story with characters which are different from the usual stereotypes. With the right execution it could be a very watchable anime.

Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiruu

The novel series revolves around Shoutarou Tatewaki and Sakurako Kujyou. Shoutarou is a normal high school student with a serious demeanor who likes to show off his girlfriend Sakurako. Sakurako is an extraordinarily beautiful woman in her mid-20s from a rich family who loves “beautiful bones.” The two live in the city of Asahikawa in Hokkaido, and they get involved in various incidents regarding bones.

This has a promising hook but a few things have me concerned. It’s seems that romance may overshadow the “incidents regarding bones” seeing how much of the synopsis focuses on it. That isn’t inherently bad but requires your two main characters to have good onscreen chemistry. Spice and wolf has proven that a good character dynamic can carry the show even when the topic of said show is generally dull. In this regard the main male lead doesn’t inspire confidence having the general “average male high school student” design. The main female lead so far only has a gimmick of loving bones which looks to be something that will grow tiresome quickly. Other than that I predict the typical Sherlock and Watson relationship in regards to solving cases. But there are some pluses however, as it is a light novel adaption and from the looks of things has a notable absence of a harem.

Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen

When I came to, I realized I was standing in the middle of a vast, snowy plain I knew nothing of. I didn’t know how I got there. And to add to that, I couldn’t remember anything, not even my name. I stood there, dumbfounded at my absurd situation. But then, as if to spite me further, a gigantic monster suddenly appeared, an insect-like creature that began to bear down on me. I tried desperately to run, but it cornered me into a hopeless situation. It was then that the girl appeared. Her name was Kuon. It was this beautiful girl, who bore an animal’s ears and tail, who saved my life.

I have watched the first episode of the first Utawarerumono anime and played the game/Visual novel which was a strategy game in the same lines of Fire Emblem. The game itself was decent with mediocre gameplay and a good enough story. It did have difficulties juggling what were slice of life hijinks and strategy gameplay. My biggest issue with the game was the deeply weak villains whose motivations barely went beyond being evil because they have high status. The director of this new anime has a large resume with some highs(legend of the galactic heroes, Katanagatari) and a lot of lows(School days,Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!) But my overall worry is this. This anime is based on a game that comes out at the exact same time as it’s airing. It’s clear that the anime is for the sole purpose of pushing game sales so how much effort is put into may be questionable. Making a good anime and a good game is hard enough one at a time but making both could make the two lesser. The game itself reminds me of Fire Emblem Awakening which I loved so it interests me but the anime I feel has a lot of hurdles to overcome. Tears to Tiara was anime of a game made by the same company and was done pretty well. But even so it was a decent anime at best. At most I see this being an average watchable anime that won’t really impress.

Young Black Jack

Young Black Jack is a prequel to Osamu Tezuka’s classic manga series about a brilliant maverick doctor who practices without a license.

Biggest concern here is that the one who penned the manga happens to be the same Mangaka behind Wolf Guy:Ookami no Monshou, which was…well a mess of rape and gore. But he also seems to be behind Akumetsu, a seinen manga which seems to have a positive reception from what I see. So I highly doubt this will be tamer than Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack manga, rather chances are the dark themes and gritty storytelling are going to get amped up. Which isn’t a bad thing in itself but dark storytelling requires a good writer or it ends up simply juvenile. I don’t have any experience with the original Black Jack manga though I have heard of the character but this could act as a decent introduction to the series. The animation studio seems very traditional having a majority of their works be Osamu Tezuka manga adaptions. I hope their animation is not also suck in traditional ways as there isn’t really a need anymore for speed lines and drawn out scenery shots. Or the heavily overdramatic overacted nature of old school anime. The amount of info on the series is limited so really it could go any way on this, still the concept of the manga intrigues me and I am always up for some dark themed stories.

 

Series I do look forward to

One Punch Man

The manga revolves around the titular super hero who has trained so hard that his hair has fallen out, and who can overcome any enemy with one punch. However, because he is so strong, he has become bored and frustrated with winning all his battles so easily.

In Shounen anime the common theme is the drive to be the very best. The best fighter, best cook, best monster collector, etc. But what would happen if you actually became the best? If you really were the strongest guy around who could beat anybody with one punch? Well enter Saitama, the hero of this story who shows us just how exciting being the best is. Namely being bored out of his skull because he hasn’t had a challenging fight or anything that requires him to go all out. One Punch man can be comparable to the manga Ratman or the anime Tiger and Bunny. It involves hired superheroes and the disasters which face the city. Disasters which Saitama usually solves instantly without anyone really knowing about it. This story isn’t a deconstruction of the Shounen genre but it is a highly entertaining and a funny action story. Madhouse does have its work cut out for them though. The manga is based on a webcomic with poor art, but the manga’s art is top class having been drawn by Yusuke Murata, best known for Eyeshield 21. The art of the manga is so good that there are pages of intricately drawn scenes which when put together in gif format can form some pretty impressive animation.(Look here to see: http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/03/06/chapter-of-one-punch-man-manga-turned-into-incredible-animated-gif) Madhouse is a trustworthy adaptor so I can easily see this being the highlight of the season.

Subete ga F ni Naru

The story of the original Subete ga F ni Naru novel revolves around Souhei Saikawa, a member of the Saikawa Research Lab. He goes on a vacation held by the lab, and Moe Nishinosono, the daughter of his mentor, joins the group on their vacation despite not being a part of the lab. There, the two end up finding a corpse. The two work together to solve the mysteries of what becomes a serial murder case.

This and Sakurako make difficult shows to talk about as neither have source material that’s translated. The anime is based on a novel published in 1996. So I briefly checked out the first episode live action drama series made about the novels. What we have here looks to be a quite traditional murder mystery which I do quite adore. Nothing really makes you think more than a well written whodunit story. Though the beginning of the episode was very surreal hinting at the possibility of a supernatural element. I admittedly skimmed the episode mainly because I didn’t want to spoil myself on the show and secondly because the acting was pretty terrible. Most notable thing about the animation staff is that the director of Elfin Lied and Denpa Teki na Kanojo is directing this. Other than that genuine murder mystery is always welcome in my book, as long as it’s not the type of no thought required mystery Ranpo Kitan is showing. Truly good mystery stories require a clever writer that can make use of misdirection and setup. From my light viewing of the drama it looks as though this series will be presenting the viewer with the ingredients to solve the mystery themselves. The question is whether the characters can be interesting while presenting the mystery itself. A common problem with classic murder mystery is that the presentation of the mystery is first and foremost, thus the characters are limited in characterisation as their characters must remain enigmatic enough to be suspected. In this regard they can come across as plot devices for exposition about the mystery rather than genuine characters. I wonder if this story can dodge that particular problem but even if it can’t, this genre is one that is far too lacking in anime media.

Posted on 15 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

If it’s one thing this episode has taught us it’s that you should never cockblock a Goth-loita demi-gods plans for the night. Anime truly is the greatest teacher one could have, even more so than a yellow squid creature that moves at mach speed but not quite on the level of a gangster leader with a tendency of destroying Cresta cars. But all things considered, I highly doubt Rory even needs a plan to seduce Itami. Just grab him, throw him into a bedroom, lock the door and he’s yours. He wasn’t completely unwilling the last time you tussled so all you need to do is give him a push. Still Rory’s purposeful sabotage of the dark elf’s request for the green men to help her is unknowingly cruel on her part. That, and quite frankly I want to see the JSDF take on that fire dragon she wants them to kill. This dark elf however is quite naive for her age, as anyone with common sense would know that it’s a bad idea to show that you have something immensely valuable on you. If that piece of adamantite isn’t stolen from her in the next few episodes then I consider this shows representation of humanity to be completely unrealistic.

In other parts of the world we have Pina in a bath planning out negotiations for increasing the number of nobles in favor of a peace treaty. Admittedly I scoff at the idea of the military not using threats or a monopoly of goods to gain an advantage in negotiations and only play it non violently. That may be another of the authors nationalistic tendencies coming through. We also have Tuka and her delusion of her father being still alive. I find it funny the way that anime seasons can randomly land on similar topics sometimes as Tuka isn’t the only delusional girl this season. It’s pretty clear with the reemergence of the fire dragon threat that Tuka is going to be involved somehow. Itami has a point with helping Taku, one cannot just half heartedly do the job. It has to be something to commit to no matter what but with how this show is going it likely Itami who will take that position. He’s already got Rory and Lelei charmed, Tuka looks to be next on the list.

Animation had a bit of a hiccup here as Rory crying was shown with two frames of jittery animation that was just odd. The CGI animation though I must admit has gotten better. There’s potential for this style of adding drawn lines to CGI models. The Harrier jets at the end of the episode had points where you could have been fooled into thinking they were actual 2D animation. The dragon still looked off putting when flying, but when breathing fire and roaring it worked well. Ultimately it comes down to how much movement frames the models are allowed, as it can make or break the illusion. But any attempt to blend 3D more naturally into 2D is certainly applauded. Next episode looks like our dark elf isn’t going to get exactly what she was expecting.

Posted on 13 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Murphy’s law has come into full effect and I must say that you will either watch this episode with a sadistic smile or with a worried interest. The episode started slow with what could be a fourth wall breaking moment of Miki discussing the book she finished. Her words about having read the translated version of the book and that it’s only natural that the original version would end the same seem directed at the manga readers. Basically a wink to let us know that what’s coming isn’t going to change from the source. But I must admit there is some masterful misdirection here. As we all no doubt guessed, Taromarou is now dead or undead in this case as he was bitten. Hardly a surprise as the dog’s death was heavily foreshadowed for the past few episodes. The opening even has gone through even more changes as now zombie Megumi is shown and Taromarou is missing completely. Not to mention Yuki’s hat at the end of the opening is now covered in blood. So we all knew this dog was going to die, yet under this obvious twist was a far more surprising one. I am fairly certain that nobody(who is watching anime only) saw Kurumi’s death coming.

I knew about it but only because I accidentally spoiled myself on that matter and am currently kicking myself for it. I mean out of anyone in the group, I thought Kurumi had the greatest plot armour. She’s a fan favourite and is the group’s main attacker and scout. Killing off Kurumi puts the rest of the group in a much more dangerous situation and her character was one who could get them out of dangerous spots. Well to be honest she isn’t confirmed dead yet as there still some mention of medicine in the lower floors but if that turned out to save her it would be a fairly cheap plot device. Part of me wants there to be something to save her as I do like her character yet I feel her dying lends much more to the story to come. In looking at the situation it looks very likely that she will die and doing so puts Yuuri in a awkward position of killing her turned friend. She did take out a familiar cloth wrapped knife from the ending and she did make a promise to end her life if she ever got bit.

What might surprise people is that Taromarou didn’t originally have this big a role in the manga. In the manga he was briefly shown in a flashback and was already bitten by the time he joined the gang. He had no connection to Miki and was originally found by Yuki and died before Miki joined them. The connection between Taromarou and Miki leads itself greatly to the story now as with Kurumi on her deathbed Miki has to go down and look for medicine. She isn’t quite aware that there’s still a zombie Taromarou in the lower floors. Though to make matters worse the zombies have broken down their barricade and are making their ways to the upper floors. The cherry on top of the tragedy is that Yuki by episodes end looks to have snapped out of her delusional fantasy and now sees things as they really are. Next weeks episode really cannot come fast enough. One concern however deals with the number of remaining episodes as it seems that there isn’t enough to cover the remainder of this arc from the manga. It’s possible they will attempt to make a original ending or they might cut the story off in the middle of the arc. Neither outcome is quite desirable as I am interested in seeing how this all plays out and would like another season.

Posted on 10 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

Naturally Rory’s seduction is cut short before this series can get a M rating. The interrupter being a well timed phone message. For future reference for those who might not be quite as familiar with this, in anime when a character is about to get laid, it will be interrupted 95% of the time. Its 100% if he’s the one getting seduced. Rory does proceed to slaughter the approaching special forces teams in a prime moment of pure chaos. The action scene was probably one of the best in the series so far though it does highlight the toning down of gore with the anime adaption. The Manga could be especially brutal with its depictions. But I consider it a plus that the gore and sexual themes were toned down as they were mainly there for shock value. With that I believe it’s time to address the elephant in the room. For those who don’t know, the author of Gate is apparently a right wing nationalist.

I say apparently as I have avoided the novel to not tarnish my view of the series. The Manga and Anime seem to tone this down a bit but you can’t see parts of it still remain in the story. The complete can do no wrong idealistic view of the military and Japanese government and the general nature of portraying other world nation leaders with the moral complexity of Captain Planet villains. The novel is apparently so sickeningly nationalistic that it turns a lot of people off but from my viewing of the anime the only real thing that’s changed for me is that instead of “America, Hell Yeah!”, its ” Japan, Hell Yeah!” Considering that neither of these countries is the actual best country in the world, Ireland, this means very little to me…put down your pitchforks. I am clearly joking. I mean have you seen our government? It’s pure trash, they keep stealing more of my paycheck and tell me it’s to fix the economy they screwed up in the first place. And it’s so hard to find good anime around here…sorry. Got sidetracked. What I mean really is that I have long come to accept that wherever a film or anime is made then that place is the center of the universe.

Itami and his ex-wife have some great chemistry together which is a shame seeing as she is remaining in Japan. The two work well together on screen and you can tell there’s a real history between them. Yet they must return to the other world and his Ex-wife future appearance looks far off indeed. The CGI crowd at the end of the episode was surely fooling no one. If you are going to to animate a crowd of people using CGI then at least give them more movement frames otherwise you end up with crowd of animatronic robots.As for the gifts the girls brought back, I wonder just what a mage will do with a laptop as her disposal.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
K-Off
@Kaiser When I was in University, I was a waiter at a Korean-owned Japanese Sushi restaurant with a kitchen staff of entirely Mexicans with poor English. The owner, while he provided the rest of his staff with small meals during our lunch or dinner shifts, never game any to the kitchen staff. The guy even ranted to a customer about how "lazy" or "ignorant" they were.
K-Off
Buses are pretty common in America, even outside the major super-cities like LA, NYC, or Chicago. It's public rail you're thinking of that we don't have much of outside the cities.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I brought up the racisim/aunt story wondering if anyone had any horror stories about where they worked?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: Buses don't seem to be a thing in America, meanwhile over here, despite traffic, public transport is much more of a thing, couldn't imagine not getting a train or bus somewhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi. I must say you changed my positive view of the German education system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And yet Austria gets the far right party in power and Israel also has a far right apartheid leader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If any good came from it, her boss got banned from facebook .
Amagi
Two years ago the alt/new right hold a rally here since they're successful elsewhere with their anti-immigrant/PoC speeches. In the end it was 35 nazis vs 29.000 counter-demonstrators. The joke: when they had to leave with police protection they shouted "We are the people". Yes 35 hated bigots are surely the people, not the 29k. I laughed.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: That aunt story is pretty shit. I am kinda happy about smartphones nowadays, you can often make photos or record speech if you are witnessing something. Also, thank God the racists in my city are very rare since antifa and leftwingers took hold of it decades ago - now 70% of people are immigrants so racists don't even tend to show up anymore.
Nielllo
Great. I don't think most of what I wrote actually appeared in the chat.
Niello
what I'm going to do in the long run.
Niello
While Liberal art colleges are really good for developing writing and reading skills, the truth is in science classes you still don't do much of that. it's also limited by general lack of equipments that you get at bigger Uni. My college don't even have engineering.
Bokusen
@Kaiser Darn it, I hate it when racists try to justify their beliefs. That guy sounds like a major jerk!
Bokusen
@Niello Ah, yeah I think I might have preferred the UK system too if they give a month to study for exams! Wow...That sounds much nicer. Oh, and yeah, I wish the US had better public transport too... After seeing Japan's public transport system, I wish the US's could be more like it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlords love to kickout people through unfair prices a stick their friends in instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Since we're on careers, it reminds me, one of my aunts telling me what a bastard her boss was, guy was a racist, she complained about it then he got rid of all the evidence linking him to it and made it seem as if she was the rascist and humiliated her in front of her Arab friends.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think we all end up getting this huge kick in the ass moment where we learn andget it together.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It gets better thankfully, grew up and am happy with this postal clerk job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlord story is a common one, they still think themselves feudal lords.
Amagi
And yeah, all this neet time. Although not moving out isn't that uncommon here anymore, considering how the rent increases, especially in my region (European bank city). And if I look at my friends it seems like they've the same problems. Even those who have found their dream jobs are otherwise living a nerdy life, going to pubs at night and so on. I think a part of us will always stay twenty.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This "career" was exactly the same for me. I am pretty sure I wasn't even capable of thinking about my future up until, as you said, mid-twenties. There were just so many other things that interested/bothered me, school wasn't even among my top 30s or so.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Oh how I regret not getting into novels, noe my concentration is too shit to read them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I don't think teenagers even really know who they themselves actually are .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Youth is wasted on the young.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember wasting so many chances to properly appreciate and get into certain things when I was younger too, when I actually had the time. We have no idea how to use it at that age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The answer is down to the kid themselves wising up early and adults needing to find a way to REALLY motivate kids.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hated being in that position, leeching off my parents/the state.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember as a teenager thinking watching films/anime/playing videogames with my friends/brother would last forever, then getting a dose of reality that everyone just moved on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
and between short contracts you spend months as a neet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You just end up bouncing between go nowhere evening/day courses that are more about putting asses on seats than actually getting anyone anywhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
and then you find out you dossed off so much in school you can't get to grips with university.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't recommend anyone doing what I did in my teens and early 20s, dossing off all the time, then finding out you have to wait five years to go to college as mature student, your school results are middling and not job/college useful, end up taking forever to get to the stage where you can start building up temporary job experience because no one will hire you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Heck, as a teenager I remember pretty much living in the moment, never even thought seriously about what I wanted to do, I don't think I even thought about that my adolescence would end, pretty much rushed through my homework and never studied, stayed up all night watching anime/reading manga and playing videogames allday.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I actually matured/grew up until I was in my mid twenties.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My school never did a career prep class.
Kaiser-Eoghan
in the end thats how I got to where I am now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I took a different path in life to working, doing temp and voluntary work over time to buildup experience all over the place and working out what I wanted to do that way.
K-Off
@Kaiser @Amagi Besides the characters, Emma would not work if not for the sheer passion for Victorian history that you see in every single frame. Reading Emma reminded me not to avoid historical manga entirely as I'd done before.
K-Off
Probably why Community College is one of the best things to ever happen to the United States' education system, since it catches those students who need some time to figure out what they want to study. I went through three years of it before transferring to University.
K-Off
@Amagi Possibly one of the dumbest mistakes a lot of parents make. Society at large expects teens to have meaningful thoughts about the rest of their lives, when, let's be honest, most of us spent our teenage years doing anything but. Then they're somehow surprised when their children fail class after class because of their lack of motivation.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I have seen Shion no Ou. In fact it was this site that got me to watch it years ago. I remember it being a damn good watch too.
Amagi
Due to that system most kids stay in the social class of their parents which is why you mostly have pure academic families or pure working class families. It got better the last decades though, but that separation is still there. The fact that I am a university student now is rather an exception than the rule.
Amagi
The thing is that most teens don't even have a clue about what job would interest them or be something for them. I for example come from a family in which most people don't even graduated, let alone that anybody would ever read books or so. So I knew absolutely nothing as 12yo and only ever read my first book at 15 because of a friend.
Amagi
@KTravlos: (As a German) I totally agree. The worst is that most people have to choose the route of their career as early as they become 16 or so, maybe even earlier, since we have that three part school system where you choose your school type after elementary school. One is for professionals, one is middle tier and one school (hauptschule) is for the typical working class jobs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its the exotic factor of a lost era/age, I also tend to like the costumes .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Otoyomegatari I've not read in some time, though Kaoru Mori's attention to detail is quite strong.
Amagi
The Victorian Age is also very popular among manga fans it seems. I don't even know why I love it that much, considering that I am usually a sci-fi fan, but I somehow do. Historical things are almost always interesting though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I grew up watching old English melodramas with my parents....therefore Emma was a show that jumped out at me.
Amagi
Speaking of Emma, I should finally read the new volume of Otoyomegatari. I really love that author, Emma was awesome. She writes great characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh itou, how fiendishly inventive you are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...shigurui...moribito ....Emma they also aired in 2007 jus' sayin' ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunately I did not emotionally connect with it to the same extent I did so with march comes in like a lion.
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