Posted on 30 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Schwarzesmarken

Schwarzesmarken remains a strange specimen of an anime, while still not excelling it is clear it has the potential to. So why is it not a great anime? Well it’s beating the same point as my last post but I do think characterisation is key here. In this episode we had two characters introduced whose main purpose was to be disposed of. In practice this tactic is a very cheap one and only works as a cheap development device or a lazy emotional manipulation tactic. That said when I felt more for a disposable soldiers death than I did for the rest of the cast then something is amiss. Katia and Theodor have gone through important developments in this episodes which could help give the characters more likeable traits but the developments are far too sudden. Theodor has opened up and admired that he wants to protect Katia to make up for failing to save his sister but this has come well, pretty much straight out of nowhere. From our perspective Theodor has only known Katia for a few days and whatever time he did spend with her, she was aggravating him to no end. Katia’s revealation is equally sudden, though in her case a little more believable. It’s logical that one would lose optimism when seeing the threat first hand and it is something that she really needs as a character. Hippy logic won’t save anyone as even if east and west Germany did join hands to battle the threat of BETA, the situation would be equally as dire.

On looking at these developments I can see how these characters could come to these conclusions but it feels as though we are missing a huge part of the process and given just the beginning and conclusion. I have a beef with how it was shown as well, with both Katia and Theodor both speaking of their feelings as if they were speaking to an invisible psychiatrist. It’s a problem not only here but even present in the original trilogy of visual novels as Shirogane Takeru(The protagonist of Muv Luv) was also fond of spelling out his new found revealations to people. Though in that case they managed to find a way of it helping with character development by making one of the characters Takeru’s “Noble Confidant”. Speaking of which, the Visual Novels made it a point to introduce and flesh out the characters first long before the plot even started. It was a tactic that is both a strength and weakness of the series as a whole. That may sound contradictory but let me pit it this way, it added a heavy layer of tedium for anyone beginning the series in exchange for a deeper emotional connection later down the line. That may be an aspect that can’t quite translate to anime which makes me question whether a animated adaption would be a good idea. After all so far both Muv Luv adaptions have been rather lacklustre and the reason for that could be an element you can’t experience outside of a visual novel format. That said its more likely due to poor adaption in those cases as I do hear that the anime isn’t doing the Schwarzesmarken light novels justice so far.

Posted on 27 January 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

When it comes to matters of time travel, it’s always a wonder to consider just what rules it follows. Time travel, much like alternate realities is one of the biggest can of worms to open when writing a story. Mainly because it demands the viewer keeps in mind a series of characters,settings and event which may not even take place in order in a timeline. The level of complexity jumps as you attempt to define time travel so in many ways it can be best to never try to explain it. Plenty of stories have used time travel and washed over the rules of it with ease. Groundhog day and Dr who both tend to use Time travel as a plot device rather than a focus and Boku dake ga Inai Machi looks to do the same. Time travel is not the focus of this story. The focus is the mystery regarding Satoru’s childhood. But this episode brings up an interesting dilemma, namely the level influence Satoru has over the past. As Satoru unintentionally repeats the past by letting someone else win the ice skating race it brings up the potential possibly that we are operating under Twelve Monkeys rules. Namely that you can attempt to change the past but in turn cause things to turn out exactly the same. In other words no matter how Satoru effects the past, it will not affect the outcome. A sad thought as he’s currently making a fairly miserable girl in a bad situation quite happy and it could be possible that she’s doomed to be killed.

This episode was a fairly emotional one with a fairly dark reveal of the level of abuse Kayo receives from her mother. I would like to call her mother’s character unrealistic and a exaggeration…I would, but frankly it’s likely there are these types of people in the world. I generally dislike characters who seem one dimensionally evil for the sake of tragedy but in this case I can’t deny her being effective. The difference between this and the likes of tragic family situation portrayed in Divine Gate is that Kayo mother is fairly believable. Kayo isn’t in the best situation and this episode does get you on her side. When she’s accused of stealing lunch money by a classmate, I am certain all of us would have reacted just like Satoru. Seeing him shout was still quite satisfying. But it wasn’t just sad feelings this episode as Satoru takes her to see a “Christmas tree” and well to see her genuinely smile truly can warm even the coldest of hearts. That scene was directed marvellously and if this anime can keep this up then it truly could become something special. So on the matter of the murderer, all signs so far point to Satoru’s teacher. The teacher is certainly suspicious and the end scene highlights this though I am hoping he’s a red herring as he’s a bit too obvious. It’s the look in his eyes that really tip me off, those eyes certainly hold something sinister. He holds a little too much interest in helping Satoru and I wonder why he waited so long before interfering with that girl’s attempt to frame Kayo. However what really interests me is his connection to Satoru’s friend, Kenya. Whose also rather on the strange side of being unusually helpful to Satoru. Admittedly I am just shooting blind here as the series has not quite given us a large range of suspects and I hope that it doesn’t make the same mistake as Subete and make the villain too obvious for the start.

Posted on 22 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

So we enter a flashback on how the master became the man he is as well as how he met Hatsuda. It’s interesting to see the man who always seemed to be in control be a person of much more vulnerable status. As a child we see the aspects that he will ebody in the future but he’s also a lot more unguarded with his emotions. In a way it’s like he’s trying to be the man he is in the future but isn’t quite mature enough to succeed. It’s interesting to see the stone pillar of Rakugo was once a man with insecurities much like his current apprentice as well as the man that likely spurred him to take an apprentice in the future. The camaraderie between the two is palatable, in their rivalry that shows no real malice as Hatsuda wishes for Yakumo to succeed as much as he does. One is committed to the art of Rakugo and the other is doing it merely out of necessity. It many ways these two are polar opposites but see eye to eye when it comes to Rakugo. They don’t laugh at each other’s failures or glare at the others success. It just pushes them to do better.

The episodes shining moment was in showing just how bad Rakugo can go, all the more surprising when it was performed by the professional we know from last episode. This really shows just why Yakumo got so angry at Yotarou for falling asleep during his Rakugo as in the past his Rakugo was criticised for being boring. It’s possible that in that moment Yotarou reminded him of one of the worst performances of his career and that certainly would make one furious enough to abandon a apprentice. The Rakugo itself was a rather painful watch as you could see the desperation in Yakumo’s movements and voice, committed to telling a joke that no one was finding funny. As it continued you could really feel him rushing just so he could leave the stage. Then Hatsuda came in and blew away the atmosphere with pure enthusiasm. In Rakugo it seems that the way you tell the story is often more important than the story itself as it requires the teller to infuse a part of his personality into it.

Speaking of personality, the soundtrack certainly has it. I heard a mix of somber pieces and some catchy jazz style pieces at comedy moments. It’s a soundtrack that can be rather emotional yet still can pick itself pick to be silly and stylish. I say the jazz styled pieces are more to my liking as tugging the heartstrings with piano or violin melodies is an easy accomplishment and often used as the standard. But trumpets and spanish guitars are a sweet sound to the ears and are giving flashbacks to Baccanos Hard Bop/funky jazz ost. Despite the cultural relevance not really matching, Rakugo and jazz just seems like a good match as both do have a very loose style in their respective fields. After all Rakugo is very much like a comedian telling a story but seems a lot more personal and improvisational. So in a way it is natural that a music style like Jazz could fit it.

Posted on 20 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Schwarzesmarken

Two episodes in and I certainly can feel that Schwarzesmarken is missing something to truly make it work. The setting has no problems and what’s presented is interesting but for some reason this isn’t as engaging as it should be. One could blame the art which had some spotty parts during this episode or the pacing which is rather haphazard. Though what’s likely the issue is the lack of likable characters. Theodor has the problem of constantly looking and acting like someone spat in his soup. Tragic past or not, it’s a little hard to sympathise when most of the time he’s clicking his tongue in irritation. Katia is hopelessly optimistic and has the situational awareness of a bear cub in a snake pit. Call me sadistic if you will but there’s a certain satisfaction to be had in seeing Katia get a good beating after spouting that drivel about humanity working together for the greater good. The ideal is admirable but unrealistic, even Alan Moore’s Watchmen made the assumption that if provided with a common enemy Humanity would band together. One of the particular things I like about this series is that it tosses that idea to the dogs. For while it is undeniably stupid, if mankind was faced with an undefeatable enemy ready to burn the world to the ground, you can bet that people behind the scenes would be working to lay claim over the ashes.

So our two main characters are polar opposites, one being a nihilistic blowhard with anger management issues and the other a tone clashing overall happy girl with little idea of the state of her surroundings. They create some interesting dilemmas but lack likeable traits. The rest of the cast is unfortunately too underdeveloped but captain Irisdina holds potential. Though I doubt she truly shot her brother in cold blood to clear her name. The most likely outcome was that her brother gave his life willingly to help clear hers. A pity as I would like it if her loyal and proper demeanor was the result of her trying to redeem herself after committing such a Heinous act. Besides the BETA  for an antagonist we also have the Stasi, a branch of the military playing the role of thought police. Normally I am against such a one dimensional villain but the Stasi do a damn good job of being completely hateable. Beatrix and Axmann look to use the war with BETA as a means of setting up a 1984 level of Totalitarian control and they certainly are making things difficult.

From promising reinforcements only to sit in the hanger drinking tea while the people they left died on the battlefield to sending two units on a suicide mission just to kill off someone they see as a potential spy. The Stasi are basically the greatest threat to our main characters, mainly because unlike BETA they hold a position that allows them to kill our characters any time they wish and make sure they can’t do anything about it. Still I don’t find them quite as hateable as I probably should, maybe because the Stasi aren’t making any excuses to what they are doing. They know full well what they are doing and anyone who gets in the way must be removed. So strangely I don’t dislike them, though part of that might be because I find Beatrix to be quite attractive. She does seem like a woman who would give you a damn good time or kill you in the process. I am hoping that we get some likeable characters on the field as that would improve this show immensely. After all it would be a shame to waste such a magnificent setting as this. One so detailed that two east Germans on YouTube have made it a point to list the details and historical relevance. Sadly though it’s taken down due to a copyright strike at the moment. If it gets reuploaded and you are interested try looking for “How German is it? – Schwarzesmarken”

Posted on 19 January 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

While this adaption isn’t quite staying true to the source, it’s still managing to present a compelling tale. In that regard I am glad as I would like to see this tale be given the treatment it deserves. Presentation remains great and I rather like how events in the past are show in a widescreen format with black bars on the top and bottom. It gives a feeling like Satoru is likely experiencing, that we are seeing these events but we aren’t quite there. We are like the opening shows, a person in a cinema, a observer. Though considering that Satoru has control over his previous self it might be more accurate to consider him a person with a game controller. But there are points when he and his younger self sync together as shown by certain lines which his older and younger voice actors say simultaneously. This episode mainly dealt with Satoru getting closer to a troubled girl with a abusive mother as she seems to be the next victim to be targeted by the serial killer who will eventually kill his mother. Things are moving slow for now but I like the small details such as Satoru attempting to recall the details of the past. What’s more is that one of Satoru’s clever friends seems to know something’s up and looks to be trying to off offhandedly help Satoru in his goal. The big question to consider is that someone in this flashback is the killer Satoru is searching for so who can it be. Our killer in the future has red eyes, glasses and is male so if someone in the past is responsible it would likely be an adult.

If there was something that I truly have a problem with, it would be the soundtrack. It doesn’t take long to notice that our music composer here is Yuki Kajura and my issues with her remain. If you haven’t read anything I wrote about her before then let me give you the cliffs notes. I believe Yuki is a very talented music composer that unfortunately chains herself by sticking to one style and one style alone. When putting her on a anime soundtrack the question becomes whether the anime can adapt to Yuki’s style as opposed to Yuki adapting to the style best for the anime. That’s just not a good way to go about making soundtracks. There are people who claim all of Yuki’s music sounds the same and there is some small weight to that claim. I wouldn’t blame anyone for getting huge reminders of Fate/Zero’s soundtrack with the final minutes of the episode. In fact I even suspect that Yuki has lifted melody lines from that soundtrack for this, and this wouldn’t be the first time she’s done that. At the moment I feel she’s doing an adequate job but if she starts shoving dramatic choirs into this then I don’t think the glove will fit. Regardless I hope they continue to make this work as well as it’s going and hopefully don’t run into pacing issues.

Posted on 18 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist goes to a school that issues shoes that can fly.

Can the lucky pervert cliche not die already or at least have a different take on it? Well that aside my problem with this show is quite easy to figure. The characters act too anime. That might be a strange way to put it but what I mean is that no one in this show acts natural, there dialogue was a certain pandering quality to it. Take for example the Black haired girls dialogue, where she randomly adds in cat mannerisms like meow and purr. She’s the kind of girl who would claim things are purrfect. Everyone else talks like they are in a sitcom. My first thought on this would be that the show was going to be mainly slice of life with a small little supernatural thing of flying which wouldn’t play much of a part. The first half of the episode certainly reaffirmed that though the second half seems like there will be elements of this air sport called flying circus. I find this aspect of it slightly entertaining but I get the feeling we will start going by the numbers. I sense a neglected school club and competition in the future. You could certainly do worse this season but I feel this one won’t hold people’s attention for long.

Potential: 30%

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist ends up being transported to an RPG world after dying

It’s funny in how anime seasons generally tend to have more than one anime with a similar premise. Sure there are the bargain bin LN adaptations and harems but you do find animes with a similar premise airing in the same season by concedence. Much like Grimgar this anime is about ordinary people making their way in an RPG world but this time it’s a lot more focused on comedy. It already has the lead over Grimgar in that none of the characters make me want to scratch their eyes out and admittedly a lot better than I expected. The manga adaption was rather lacking but from the looks of this the anime is following the light novel adaption more faithfully. As a result the begining is handled a lot better. I still hold some scepticism as that chuunibyou Mage and Masochistic kight are still coming but it’s possible this could turn out to be a lot more watchable than I initially expected. The comedy works pretty decently and I love the way the main characters started off their quest basically by doing construction work and got so caught up in the daily grind that they forgot the whole reason they came down there. The subverting of the old cliche of the main protagonist having some incredible untapped talent for magic was also welcome. If you are looking for something light to watch on the side this could tide you over for this season.

Potential: 50%

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R

Short Synopsis: A small time idol becomes a magical girl

If it’s one thing I believe anime could do without, it’s concert insert songs. As well as a bunch of other things but still. This apparently is a spinoff from a anime called The SoulTaker but from this episode it looks like no previous information is needed to watch it. So what we have here is pretty much a played straight Magical girl show with some idol anime conventions thrown in. There’s some comedy thrown in but it’s really not noteworthy. My taste is a bit too far away from this genre to give it a truly fair assessment but what I see here isn’t much different from the standards of the genre. It’s possible magical girl fans might find it to their liking but I personally see it as a bit too sugary to enjoy.

Potential: 0%

Ajin

Short Synopsis: A boy finds himself hunted when it’s discovered he’s immortal

A big delay on this impression but it was hard to find anyone who was willing to sub it. The main reason being that the first few episodes of this series seems to be the Ajin movies cut up into anime episodes so if you have seen those movies then this is likely to look very familiar. I personally haven’t seen them and I certainly like what I seen. What we have here is a similar premise to Tokyo Ghoul but with an interesting twist. In Tokyo Ghoul the protagonist became a ghoul and essentially entered a world of hunters. Here in Ajin, our protagonist is discovered to be an Ajin, an immortal being and this results in him getting hunted. In this world Ajins are not regarded as human and there is a heavy amount of discrimination against them. The racism subtext is pretty blatant but non the less it’s a good watch. This episode has already set up a number of things, a neglected best friend, the mains troubled relationship with his sister, a mysterious shadow he encountered at a dogs death….I say this was a very strong first episode. That said it’s time to address the obvious greatest flaw, namely that it’s all in CGI. The uncanny valley is back with a vengeance and the robotic movement are something you just have to pretend to not see. You could say it can’t be helped but this season is full of much better CGI, which is really starting to bring the dream of it finally fitting with 2D animation without being out of place into reality. Bubuki Buranki for example is doing a much better job of smooth CGI animation than this episode, while still not quite prefect, it can make you forget at times that what you are watching is CGI. Still if you can put aside the CGI I believe this shows story should be able to make up for it.

Potential: 85%

Posted on 13 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Short Synopsis: A former criminal wishes to take up the art of comedic storytelling.

This has to be the strangest show of the season and for that I really like it. We have a first episode that’s around 45 minutes long and a large majority of that time was spent listening to a man on a stage tell a story. The art of Rakugo is a fascinating one, being similar to how a comedian tells a long joke but not quite the same. In some ways it’s like a man trying to put one a one man play with no props, stages or costumes. Just conveying a story through gestures and his voice.  When thinking about it you could brush it aside and say that’s nothing hard to do to which you would be correct. Anyone can get on a stage and tell a story but it’s something else entirely to entertain a crowd with nothing but yourself and a story. The oddest thing of all is that it actually works, in particular when listening to our main character tell a tale involving a comedy skit of a man getting burgled. Not once did the anime show a visual representation of what the man was talking about and yet just from him telling the story I found myself playing it out in my mind and even smiling. It’s a very bewitching and engrossing craft, one I am quite interested in. Visually the anime does work well with showing the subtles of the tellers moments and the character roster is most interesting. And what may be a godsend, there’s not a single stereotype in sight. No tsunderes, kuuderes, danderes, lolis, genkis, bland everyboys, emo boys, yanderes, yangiris….just people. It’s just so refreshing to see something that doesn’t contain characters lifted off the database of anime caricatures. Of course this is a very niche title, one that may not suit everyone’s fancy. It’s a very slow paced tale that’s very much focused on character more than anything else. Still I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this.

Potential: 90%

 

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

Short Synopsis: A group of people struggle to survive in a RPG world.

I truly love the visual direction of this series. It’s a kind of storybook/watercolour feel to it and I just think it’s beautiful. In terms of story I feel it was done a lot better than the light novel but a major gripe of mine remains. A lot of these characters just rub me the wrong way, especially that red haired Dread Knight. Every line of dialogue that comes out of this guys mouth is just irritating to the core and makes me want to punch him in the face. The other characters bug me for other reasons like them being rather generic tropes but if I was to point a finger at something it would be the dialogue. There’s just something obnoxious about these lines that bugs me to no end. That aside I do like the gentle atmosphere of this episode and the general premise is a good one. A group of normal people trying to make their way in a world in RPG game fashion. Nobody seems overpowered and it truly is a beautiful anime to look at. While the characters annoy me I might watch this on visual merits alone.

Potential: 55%

 

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

Short Synopsis: A clearly mentally unstable girl challenges a boy to a fight after seeing her na….oh come on! Really?! Again?!

You know, when you take up the position of watching every first episode of every season it really does become apparent when something is designed to be popular. A formula like the heroes journey, but more strictly kept to. It’s not only apparent in how these shows always tend to have the same lineup of girls but also in presentation. For example, how many of these shows start with exposition taking place over an epic battle? Answer, a lot. How many of these shows have the girl screaming with a shaking shot of the location? Answer, a hell of a lot. How many of these shows start which have the protagonist happen upon a girl naked and have her challenge him to a duel to settle it? Answer, 2…which happened last season. Before that god only knows. Look guys, I know you need your paychecks and until Japan realizes there a whole untapped market outside of Japan, this is the only real way to get your money back. But please, for all that is good in this world, can you at least try? I mean Tenchi Muyo had more creativity than this and that is an anime from over twenty years ago! Well what can I say about this? It’s Infinite Stratos with a medievil theme. It’s every standard light novel story you can think of. Nothing new to see here.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 12 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dimension W

Short Synopsis: A man is hired to reclaim illegal power sources and runs into a female Android.

I guess this proves that style and animation can breath life into manga. I previously wasn’t all that enthralled with the manga but seeing it in motion really gives it a better feel and the anime is adding to the source material. There’s a lot of style here and if there are those of you getting reminded of darker than black that would be because the mangaka of this work provided the character designs for that very show. We have some really impressive animation here, especially with that opening. Shortcuts were taken in the episode but the series still looked very good. Through there are some off putting block colour effects sometimes. The story holds quite a lot of potential and the nature of the power source known as Coils reminds me a lot of Giant Robo’s Shizuma Drive. Our main protagonist is a lot like Mugen from Samurai Champloo and his new robot sidekick has her own quirks. If they keep up with this presentation we could be looking at a very memorable title.

Potential: 75%

 

Dagashi Kashi

Short Synopsis: A girl must convince a boy to take over for a sweets shop owner.

In terms of enjoyability I would put this near ServentXService or your normal comedy. It’s unique enough to not be predictable and the characters are fun. Being a comedy show it really is something that relies on the jokes, I can say while it didn’t make me laugh, it was at least still a pleasant watch that I didn’t find myself bored. I won’t be singing it any high praises but it’s a lot better than most comedies I have come across. There are still elements that find all too often in comedies like a romance that is doomed to go nowhere and in general the series will just be this and nothing more. But while they did do the old cliché of the lucky Pervert, it’s at least fresh that they had the girl react differently from “KYA!” Another character did fill in for the unjustified beating but it’s nice to see a girl so openly unashamed of her body. Or just too caught up in her own dramatics to notice. It’s a fun watch.

Potential: 60%

 

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation

Short Synopsis: A student council President wants a boy to start playing an MMO.

This was a little better than I expected but I must ask one thing. If you were given the task of adapting a sci-fi space epic MMO into an anime, why would you set it in a school setting in modern day? That’s like making an anime out of the Fallout series and making it about people playing the game Fallout. Also school is terrible, I don’t know why anime is so infatuated with it. I was truly glad to leave it and move all memories associated with it to the recycle bin of my brain. Not because of any hard time or anything(My school life was utterly mundane) but because it was dreadfully boring and a period of my life when I was a complete imbecile. Ah, sorry, the impression, yes. Well leaving aside the complete madness of ditching an opportunity to make a Sci-fi adventure anime, this is decently done. It’s sort of interesting from the front of someone first getting into MMOs though his reasons for doing so are strange. The student council, naturally a important governing body instead of there real life counterpart, gives this kid a mission to start playing this MMO to…research his experiences? Personally it looks more like the council President wanted a raiding buddy and came up with some excuse to recruit someone. The creators certainly are taking creative liberties with the games as the level of player interaction is beyond a normal MMO. I am not sure if combat is representative of the product either as I don’t see health bars or attack numbers anywhere. For what it is, it certainly could have been a lot worse but it still remains a potential idea squandered to appeal to a mass audience…and college was a lot better than school.

Potential: 30%

Posted on 11 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Schwarzesmarken

Short Synopsis: A dystopian society Germany fights a desperate struggle against an alien threat.

To get the obvious question out of the way first. No, you do not need to watch Muv Luv Total eclipse to get this anime and you don’t need to play the original Visual novel trilogy. This is basically a stand alone spin off story separate from both mentioned. The only connection being that they take place in the same universe. As a start I say this was good though nothing truly impressive. My previous worries that this might leave people who are not familiar with the Muv Luv universe seem to so far be unfounded as we are given a quick intro into the state of things and immediately thrown into the action. Of course people may still have complaints such as “Why did they send out a soldier suffering from PTSD?” but we can’t really address things like that without giving too much exposition. The setting does indeed have barrells of potential though the CGI is particularly lacking. On the mecha it’s fine but on the organic monstrosities such as BETA it really sticks out like a sore thumb. A big thing in how this adaption turns out will really depend on how they handle the darker elements. This episode tip toed on overplaying them but I like how they cut down the main character’s backstory and it really is beneficial to not view his internal monologue. They need to be careful and downplay the drama on these grim dark elements as if they overdramatise them it could end up too overblown to take seriously. If you felt the main character was particularly annoying for being irritable all the time then be thankful that you didn’t have to read his thoughts too. Because they certainly don’t make him any more likable. If anything this adaption has made me aware of just how unbearably positive Katia is. Admittedly her role is mainly to highlight just how harsh this country is but it can be rather painful to see her being utterly naive. For lack of a better way to put it, she seems like an overly moe anime character in a setting clearly not suited for it. So with that said, the action is good, the characters look to have potential for growth and the setting is brimming with grim consequences.

Potential: 65%

 

Koukaku no Pandora

Short Synopsis: A cyborg girl helps fight out of control robots with the power of yuri

From the Mangaka behind Ghost in the Shell we have an anime about lesbian robot girls. Now your eyes might have lit up with excitement upon hearing this is from the maker of Ghost in the shell but let me put things into perspective. This the Mangaka who brought us the Ghost in the shell manga, not the famous anime movie or Stand alone complex series. For you see the manga of Ghost in the shell and the anime of Ghost in the shell are as different as night and day. The anime had a focus on the political and psychological aspects of the story were as the manga was more an action manga with some comedy and fanservice thrown in. For this show it looks like we got less action and far more comedy and fanservice. I have long said that I am not a fan of comedy but I think even those that go for anime comedies will find the slapstick of this episode humorless. Seeing as comedy is at the forefront that means this episode didn’t quite do anything for me and I find the fanservice to be a bit extreme. Basically in order to activate her powers for battle she must stick her fingers in the crotch area of another female robot. Classy. Action seemed decent for what little of it there is. I will give it a tiny bit of potential as the robotics side of things is interesting and chances are this would be enjoyable to a certain audience.

Potential: 5%

 

Luck & Logic

Short Synopsis: A boy once again decides to fight off world invaders with a mysterious girl

There must be a better way of giving the viewer information without resorting to exposition. In other cases it’s the source material that’s at fault for this but by being an original anime you should have no reason to resort to the laziest method of conveying information. We have a visual medium to work with here, make use of it. On that note if you call this system Logic then how would you separate the term from linguistic logic? Wouldn’t the similar terms get confused? Also do we really have to refer to the attacking monster as a “Foreigner”? Enemy, invader, Kaiju, threat…there are plenty of words for this already. There’s no need to invent a dictionary of terms when there are words suitable already. Not much to say on this one. I feel there’s effort behind this and while it is cheesy, it is watchably average.There’s CGI in the battle scenes which is of varying degrees of quality, from passable to terrible. Protagonist is fairly bland but seems to be the most experienced fighter of the cast which is a change. Though his sister is a rather irritating creature with her insistence for him to remain “Villager A” If you want some mindless entertainment this could do the trick.

Potential: 20%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu

Short Synopsis: A girl wants a guy to make a visual novel with her.

From the writer of the Majikoi visual novel we have a story about making visual novels. That may cause some of you to shy away due to Majikoi’s anime adaption but as someone who has read the VN, the anime and visual novel are completely different. Still Majikoi is no masterpiece. One thing this show has going for it is its cast of characters. It’s nice that the main protagonist actually has character and he’s offset by pretty interesting supporting cast. I particularly liked the misappropriately titled “Bitch queen” who acted as a wise love guru though a phone call. There are those making comparisons to SNAFU but I feel that this anime will be a lot less serious due to the majikoi author being behind the writing. It’s certainly watchable and the cast makes it rather enjoyable so far. Also the anime referenced Sharin no Kuni which happens to be one of my favourite visual novels of all time. So for that I bumped up the potential score. I know that’s not professional but I don’t care. Props for the G-senjou no Maou reference too.

Potential: 65%

 

Bubuki Buranki

Short Synopsis: A kid attempts to find something connected to his past while being hunted.

Well that was certainly a surprise. The first ten minutes of this show were not what I expected in a good way. It acted as a good setup for the series and leaves me wanting to know more. The CGI is liked the best integration of 2D and 3D elements I have seen in awhile. While still not perfect this could be a step in integrating CGI into anime without it being jarring. On bad points, characterisation is a bit on the weak side. Especially with our main character who is the kind of whiny wuss we often see in these positions. The second half of the episode isn’t as strong as the first but I see potential in this. There are definite hints of hidden agenda’s and the villain looks quite interesting. A very strong start to what could be quite an interesting series.

Potential: 75%

 

Divine Gate

Short Synopsis: A teenager is all mopey because he has superpowers and a school wishes to scout him.

“Pitter, patter, the rain starts to drop. While the water may fill up the hole on the road, it will never fill up the hole of one’s heart.” Oh god, when your episode opens with poetic nonsense such as this it truly gets you ready for the events to come. It’s pretty clear this was written by someone who never quite outgrew the chuunibyou stage of his life and decided to use this anime to spread his complete genius. The result is just insipid when clunky exposition given by a psychopath randomly out of nowhere, a protagonist that thinks acting completely emo is an interesting character trait and bringing along an utterly ridiculous tragic backstory to boot, and of course that despite this attempting to wax philosophical metaphors it’s still knee deep in many of the tropes plaguing the genre. There’s a school setting because of course there is and the characters powers are boring to boot. Red guy uses fire, blue guy uses water and I am firmly willing to bet that the green girl has powers relating to plants. My interest ebbed away with every minute and I can be fairly certain on this. This will not be anything worthwhile.

Potential: 0%

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Fruits Basket (2019) – 12 [You Look Like You’re Having Fun]

More than any other episode, this week is where Fruits Basket embraces its two opposing spectrums the clearest: it’s reverse-harem hijinks of highschool life and romance and its dark drama about the Zodiac members. By that light, we can be able to see this adaptation’s quality by this episode alone. For example, this 2019 is […]

Carole & Tuesday – 11 [With or Without You]

Even with Carole & Tuesday standard, this episode is a letdown with many forced developments to move this predictable story forward. These include 1) Tuesday injures her hand but still manage to perform and win the bracket 2) just right at the moment Tuesday said no one in the family care for her, she gets […]

Sarazanmai – 11 [I Want to Connect, so Sarazanmai]

I must admit that days after watching this finale I still can’t wrap my head around all the events happened in this episode. Sarazanmai ends in a happy tone, something I didn’t expect from Ikuhara to be honest. On the most surface level, it’s a rescue mission from Kazuki and Enta to bring Toi back. […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 12 [The Boar Bares Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps]

Welcome all to what is, for me, a very conflicted episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Filled with fantastic animation, some well thought out fights and a character I loathe no matter how great his scenes look. Let’s dive in! Starting off, Yaiba looked great this week. I don’t think that’s really up for contention. I have […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 8 [Rumors] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another episode of Acid Trip Weekly, also known as, Serial Experiments Lain! This week is one of the most confusing, yet simultaneously coherent episodes of anime I have ever watched. It’s impossible to summarize, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, like I said, this episode was an acid trip, both visually and […]

One Punch Man Season 2 – 10 [The Encirciling Net of Justice]

https://www.sakugabooru.com/data/2c523ad11331508ce3e674f68b79ccf2.mp4 Welcome one and all to a rather surprising week of One Punch Man Season 2! This week the animation was mostly fine, and interesting things happened, so let’s just jump right in! Starting off, I rail against the series a lot, but credit where it’s due. The sections of the Garou fight done by […]

Dororo – 23 [The Story of the Demons]

Welcome one and all to the penultimate episode of Dororo. We have brutality, we have drama, and we have a boatload of philosophy. Its everyone Game of Thrones Season 8 said it would be, but wasn’t. Is it too late to make that joke? Regardless, this was a good week for Dororo, so let’s jump […]

Mix – 11 [Try Pitching]

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 11 [Tsuzumi Mansion]

Welcome to another episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba! This week we finally meet the rest of our leading group, find a new Demon and deal with some… odd tonal issues. Lets dive in! Starting off, Zenitsu. I have to say, whatever Yaiba is planning with him, so far I am not impressed. The man was […]

Latest Reviews

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]