Posted by psgels on 18 January 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

If you ever get the opportunity offered to install Windows 10 on your PC: don’t do it! My computer got more and more unstable until it finally decided to give in and crash completely and I had a lovely beginning of 2017 trying to recover the files I hadn’t backed up only with a small success. That’s the reason this post is a bit late because I also had to rewrite my impressions of the earlier episodes I watched.

As usual this is a list of just my impressions and impressions alone, they’re not meant to be reviews, just to put my thoughts on paper and perhaps help those who are in need of a biased overview of the latest season. I did not look at any previews or information beforehand, so these are purely my first impressions. This season is not as good as the previous autumn season, but it might contain a few keepers:

Ai Mai Mi – Surgical Friends

Before I started, a little voice in me knew that I shouldn’t bother with this, that you shouldn’t judge anime by its cover, even positively. And yet something in me kept gullibly hoping that with a title as “surgical friends”, there would at least be SOMETHING about a hospital in this. Well yeah no, this is just a school show about cute girls. The premise of this one is that it tries to be a comedy (emphasis on “tries”), and there are a bunch of weird blob-like girls that the rest of the characters have to take care of and interact with. It unfortunately is another one of those series which never seem to have had a 101 on basic storytelling so the entire episode was jumbled up from scenes that just kept jumping into each other without any proper buildup and jokes just come from nowhere. The creators are pretty much hoping that if you yell hard and fast enough, the audience won’t notice your jokes are actually terrible. No.

Akiba’s Trip The Animation

Last year I had the fortune of visiting Japan, and while there I also paid a visit to Akihabara. And look, I get it. How crazy the the area is, I can see a series that celebrates it work. It’s gonna have a ton of fanservice because hey, it’s Akiba. However, even with that, you need good characters. This show doesn’t have that. The male lead is really badly acted and not fun to watch at all and his antics really scream trying too hard to be in on the joke, like this middle aged executive producer was desperately trying to be part of the “cool kids”. Beyond that, I also don’t really think that this show was that good at really showing what Akiba is like. There are some shows here and there, but there’s nothing really abut the history of the street, why it became the way it is, and the first episode proceeds to just destroy everything around it, more in the way of a disaster movie that picks famous landmarks to destroy just because of audience familiarity (although granted, this series does score points in trying to maintain its continuity). When I realized that, then this isn’t really a show that celebrates Akihabara anymore, and this turned into one of the most pandering shows I have ever seen. Like seriously it has everything: Snarky NEET Otaku main character who is surrounded by sexy characters, Akihabara, a younger sister for the lolicon crowd, a ditzy girl, a tsundere, lots of inconsequential fighting, the main character dying, the main female reviving him with a kiss with which he suddenly has these crazy superpowers that are for some stupid reason dependent on him stripping everyone to their underwear. Pure and utter wish fulfillment. Next!

Masamune-kun no Revenge

Series like this are the reason I try to give every single series at least the chance of a first episode. This is the kind of series that I would never have given a chance otherwise, and yet this episode impressed me. It looks so much like your generic harem, and yet every time it went into just another direction from what I expected. The show loves to toy with the normal conventions of the genre, in a way that feels fresh, and every time where I found myself thinking “oh god, not again”, it proved my fears wrong by going into a different direction. Now it obviously needs to keep this for the entire series, but I dig the idea of a series about a guy who Neville Longbottomed his way through middle school and now is at the point to take revenge, and the main character succeeds in not being a Gary Stu: he has his own weaknesses and the series makes it very clear that while he thinks that his revenge will be glorious, there will be massive downsides to it. It has struck that balance so far. Now, show. Whatever you do: DO NOT DEVOLVE into a generic will they won’t they after this!

Fuuka

Dear creators of anime: for the love of god, could you please stop trying to introduce female characters by their underpants? This is getting ridiculous. With this series, I’d also like to add another thing to the list of overused tropes that should not be used anymore: the three sisters. First 3-Gatsu no Lion came with its Minami-ke clone, and now this show too: show some creativity dammit! In any case about this show, it’s not THAT bad. It’s basically your first romance show about two awkward teenagers discovering that they might have feelings for each other, and while not that interesting, the cast also isn’t that annoying. What this show did really well was portraying that awkward feeling of first love: instead of glorifying it with lots of hearts and flowers and sparkles like what most series usually do, this is ugly and weird and nobody really knows what to do; I felt awkward along with the characters. But here’s the thing: was it really worth it to make a show about this? Don’t we already have enough romance shows? Ultimately this episode was just dull, nothing really caught my attention, it just adequately went along like the lowest common denominator. If it were a school grade, it’d be a 5,5; passable, but only barely. I see no reason to continue watching, especially how this episode hinted that this is going to be a love triangle and that a locally famous idol is going to enter the ring, so this show is pointless.

Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu

Remember the previous season’s All Out? Well, they’re doing it again! Cute girls on bikes! Although this one seems to be more casual, like K-on with bikes. The lead female may not be as ditzy, but she’s getting there. Note that none of that is positive, although I do have one very big compliment for this series: the backgrounds! For some reason beyond me the creators decided to hire some really good background people, and it shows. I mean it’s no Porphy, but the lush background of the Japanese coastlines, mountains, oceans, it’s all amazing, and they actually move subtly, with a use of CG that actually feels perfectly natural for once. Apart from that, this show thankfully isn’t that bad. My main complaint really is how generic it is: this has all been done many times before, but in terms of execution, the characters are decently written and not trying too hard to be cute. There are a few bits here and there where the characters have an interesting chemistry between them, so if you’re dying for something light-hearted yet heart-warming, I think that this will actually be a good pick, provided that they do the cycling scenes better than what they did in the OP. Seriously that was bad.

Ao no Exorcist – Kyoto Fujouou-hen

Ah, Ao no Exorcist, that’s a long time ago. The premise seems rather annoying, why did I like this show again? Well, the answer to that question came in the second half of the episode: the side characters. That’s where the show got a bit down to earth again, and there you could see some very interesting character dynamics between the main character (who is the son of Satan) and his classmates. Before that though, he was pretty annoying and I related more to his twin brother for having to keep up with this brat and his antics. It’s weird to see how much I myself have changed ever since I watch this, but Rin is still the same brat he ever was. But thankfully the second half used his struggles in an interesting way compared to his powers that tend to go out of hand. But that’s also the problem: why does this show have to keep finding ways to distract from this guy’s antics? Can’t he just… be a good character right from the start? Naruto had the same problem: sure when it comes down to it he’s a good guy and all, but do you really want to watch this brat being a brat for most of the time to get there? It works for side characters because they don’t have too much airtime, but a main character?

Youjo Senki

I… um… yeah… okay, let’s start with the beginning. Remember Izetta of the previous season? Set in an alternative version of WWI Europe, but with slightly different countries and a mage lead character, folling a German-ish country on its way to victory. This show does that too. However Izetta was very well made: the common soldiers who were fighting were given a personality. Izetta had her flaws, so it really drove home that even though mages are incredibly powerful in a war setting, the common people are still incredibly important, and it’s a situation where death really sucks, yet is unavoidable. And while it took many liberties, you could still see the alpine influences. This show though, holy god. It has some MAJOR tonal differences. War! Murder! Death! Officers missing limbs! Cute girls! Really, what is this kid doing there? And don’t give me that “it’s magic”-schtick, the creators knew full well what they did. Every single soldier is ugly and gritty, and there she comes with her shiny hear and pupils looking extremely out of place. That other girl looked out of place too, but at least she wasn’t such a blatantly insulting Mary Sue for most of the episode, I hated her. Also, on a side-note: nice job on using chess pieces on a strategical war map guys! I see what you did there, that’s very advanced symbolism you have there! In any case though, what surprised me the most is how I found myself reacting to the end of the episode. Like, is she supposed to be the villain? Are we meant to hate her? Is she supposed to be this ridiculously powerful demi-god and will they use that against her in the future? Why the hell am I invested in this? Why did that finale hit me? What’s going on!?

Seiren

Oh god no! The hentai game adaptations! They’re back! I finally thought they were gone, but here Seiren comes yet again with a show featuring six girls and a generic spineless guy. Especially the OP: couldn’t they at least try to not make it so obvious there? Anyway, after 20 minutes of watching yet another horny teenager navigate through high school, I’m having a bit of trouble evaluating what this series really is going to be: will it go Clannad, pick one storyline and simply ignore the other girls, or will it spend a few episodes per girl in a wishy washy love triangle that makes no sense? It can go either way at this point, but if I had to be pressed, then I’d say that Fuuka had the better episode here between the two. The reason is that while both deal with awkward teenagers, Seiren had characters pull really weird leaps in logic that I’m still trying to puzzle out. One moment it’s trying really hard to be realistic, and then the next we have the main character staring at the main female’s butt-print after sitting on a desk. One moment it tries to show a teenager trying to find his place in life, the next there is this really weird misunderstanding about his crush and a middle aged guy. It just doesn’t fit, it’s like this uncanny valley of awkwardness that just feels so unnatural. Like a bunch of aliens pretending to be humans or something.

Urara Meirochou

Judging a book by its cover again: when this episode started, my thoughts were overall positive: it wouldn’t be my kind of series, like at all, but I could see this have appeal for the people who like series about “cute girls doing cute stuff”. It seemed to have the right ingredients, it was more colourful than usual, it had a nice selection of cute animals around, I could see it have a legitimate audience. When I started watching however, this turned into one of the worst first episodes of the season so far. Most other episodes so far were mostly just boring; this was painful. A lot can be written down to how the lead character is one of the most dim-witted characters I’ve seen in a long while. Really, to be THIS air-headed is a skill, and she just keeps going on and on. The cute animals could just as easily have been stuffed, that’s how much they actually did here, and it also has the dumbest excuse for fanservice so far, and that includes the stripping superpowers of that Akiba show. Like showing your belly in order to apologize? Really? It’s obvious what you’re doing there, there’s no need to be all cute about it. The rest of the cast basically is one giant straight man for this lead character, but even they are just completely annoying whenever they open their mouth. It’s the result of everything trying waaaay too hard to be cute. If it’s just that for the entire 20 minutes it’s obviously going to lose it’s value. Remember to balance dammit!

Spiritpact

A Chinese show with a Japanese dub, Korean OP, English title and ED. Quite the international production here, and it shows. This series looks incredibly cheap, but at the same time this show is not bound by the cliches that plague modern Japanese productions. I’m not against that though. The big disadvantage of modern productions is that they put budget over everything, and you hardly ever see the series that try to creatively use their limited budget to do really good things anymore. This is a fine attempt: the acting is very wooden, but it actually made me laugh quite a bit. It wasn’t amazingly funny, but it was consistently sharp throughout this first episode. Due to its simplicity it could offer a lot of time to just the chemistry between the two main characters, and it works: the two work quite well together. The whole premise that when you turn into a ghost, the version of you where you were the most happy is the form you take. I like that! It has a lot of potential for interesting stories. But yeah, the creators need to do something about the wooden acting. They made the mistake to main character depend too much on his quirks: he just keeps goofing off and off to the point where it gets annoying. But in that way I see this series as more something for the future: this is the product of an emerging industry that’s still trying to find itself next to its gigantic cousin. This is valuable experience into the right direction. With the right people, who knows what they’ll make next?

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Yes! When it comes to “cute girls doing cute stuff”-series, this definitely was the way to do it right. I genuinely enjoyed this episode, rather than trying to find silver linings here and there like what I usually do. The key here is that for once, I felt like I was watching characters with actual life breathed into them. The entire series is set up with the basis of wanting to get to know each other more, which is such an important detail which often is just delegated to one of the side-issues even though it literally makes or breaks characters. It’s a bit like a character study in that way. I mean normally I’d cringe about a show that has half-monster-half-girls, but here they created a whole believable setting around it: they’re all just living alongside regular people, and you run into them once in a while. They receive their own government benefits, and apart from that they’re just regular people with a few quirks here and there. This show has a ton of post-discrimination themes which also were very interesting to watch, and yet it remains fun and light-hearted. The characters really play well off each other, great chemistry. My only complaint so far is the complaint I seem to have for most things nowadays: did you have to make it sexual? But yeah, here it actually does fit in a coming-of-age theme. It’s not the annoying kind of fanservice thankfully, but did you have to make one of the teachers a succubus? Out of all the legendary creatures and monsters you could have picked…

Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

Ah, I remember the good old days of game adaptations. They were either incredibly good, with interesting premises, twists and a lot of creative freedoms, or incredibly bad, the kind that gets so bad that it’s hilarious. This is more than 10 years ago at this point. After a while though, things just started to get generic, rather than anything else. The golden age is unfortunately over. Here comes Chain Chronicle, and with this series I’m seeing a new development: they take the generic format, but try to do the best they can with it. The result is a generic storyline (remember, one of the difficult things of animating a game is that it’s impossible to take the quicksave feature along with you!), but with well acted characters, it really tries its best to seem epic, and not skimp on any of the characters of the huge cast. It actually kills off characters with character-designs, and it also spends a bit of time on what the war means to the regular peasants just living their lives. It doesn’t take any risks but it just wants to tell its story. While I’m not happy with how save it is, it is a step into the right direction. It will stand as a foundation for the series of the future, who can build further upon the execution of this series, but actually do something interesting with it!

Idol Jihen

Idol Jihen is the product of oversaturation. It happens when there’s just too many people wanting to do the same thing. The obvious ways to do it have been done, the parodies and subversions are also out of everyone’s system, every single normal angle has been already explored, so what now? That’s the point where you get to the stupid stuff, and that’s why this joke of a series got made. In an attempt to one-up the stupid idol shows that already exist, it brought idols to a place they totally do not belong and we now have idols in parliament. This first episode still had the chance to turn this into a parody, but it played things completely straight, so that’s also off the table. If you want idols to pwn politicians you also need to be more over the top. Because there has already been a series in which idols fight aliens with music, it’s just not special anymore, it’s just another day in the life of an idol. Also, dear translators: “Idol Dietwomen”?! Couldn’t you really come up with something catchier? Idoliticians! There, it’s not that hard!

Nyanko Days

Crazy Cat Lady: The Anime! Really, this is just silly. The episodes are just two minutes long so even for a short episode series this was nothing. But really, I’m glad. Unlike the onslaught of series that we were bombarded with during the past Autumn season, this one actually isn’t bad. It’s just a girl and her cats who in her mind are like chibi cat blob imaginary friends. It’s nothing more than that, but for what it is, it’s cute. This would have been a welcome change back then!

elDLIVE

And another series that I would not have given a chance if I didn’t give every series a chance. This show looks terrible on paper: it’s the same old show of a normal kid with hidden superpowers meeting up with some sort of organization, this time with aliens, and the kid himself is of the wimpy variant. Pointless fanservice here, annoying characters there. I really thought that I would find this mediocre at best, and yet I really enjoyed this episode. The build up was a bit long, but things came together surprisingly well at the end, and I think the reason for that is the supporting cast: this series has a really big collection of colourful characters to work with, and they do their job of “support” incredibly well. They really bring home the message of “aliens are fun!”, even though they sometimes make some weird leaps in logic, do things that don’t make any sense, not to mention that the whole back-story behind this series is pretty stupid. But I guess I found that okay because of what an enjoyable bunch they are. The main character is also not that bad. I guess he’s one for the schizophrenics out there, sort of. At the end of the episode he did demonstrate that he can think on his own, despite being a kid. The question of course is if the creators can keep this up. I can see this very easily fizz out after such an episode, so the creators have the challenge of keeping this show fresh. Show us the wonders of the world you have in mind!

Little Witch Academia

Aaah, so they managed to make a TV-series out of this. This is an excellent way to get the more artsy series off the ground, Kyousogiga did the same: first make a bunch of pilots, then a bit more, until you have enough to actually get your full length off the ground. It’s a great way to ensure creative freedom, because after all, if it’s not enough like the original pilot, then people will be disappointed and the execs are smart enough that that’s not the best idea. As a note: I have not seen any of the previous versions of Little Witch Academia, so I do not know how redundant this episode was. I also have yet to finish any series produced by Trigger. I mean, I definitely see the potential in them, but I still haven’t found a series of theirs to actually “grab” me. Little Witch Academia could be the one. With its grounds in the Young Animator Training Project, it is a really good marriage between the old and the new. The old generation has made sure that this was a solid production, with solid direction, and a ton of tricks to make it more engaging: this show for example really knows how to use scarcity. Everything is a challenge in this series, and the characters are portrayed in such a way that you feel the struggles along with them. The new can be seen in all of its ideas and energy. This really feels like a passion project that everyone involved wants to make work. Plus, you can really see that these people grew up with Harry Potter. This episode featured tons of small details that paid homage to it. Of course it’s not like this is a bad fanfic of course, it really has its own story to tell that has nothing to do with its British cousin, and that’s how a homage should be done: little hints here and there, without ripping off.

Gabriel DropOut

One thing I haven’t seen in these first episodes yet is character development. Granted, it is hard to pull this off within just the first 20 minutes of your series, but it has been done before. Enter Gabriel DropOut, who actually does it by having its main character pull a complete 180 in terms of her personality. Normally I’d congratulate a series for that, but unfortunately that is about the only positive thing I can say about this series. The rest… is bland. It’s another installment of the “cute girls doing cute stuff”-genre, and this is about middle school hi-jinks of a bunch of angels and devils who have to live in the human world, with the twist that the angels are horrible people and the devils are actually quite innocent. Yeah, it’s another series that turned a half-minute joke into an entire series, and this episode didn’t really do anything interesting with it. It mostly was just predictable set-ups for jokes that ultimately just weren’t funny. It never really got really bad. Just one big meh.

Shiruran – Nibun no Ichi

Shiruran: 2 minutes of Shinsengumi chibis trying desperately to look cool! Yeah, it’s not good. This series makes the mistake of thinking that making characters yell and overact is enough to make it “funny” and “quirky”. Characters get mad for no reason, characters behave like assholes for no reason. I know you only have 2 minutes but that is no reason to forego basic storytelling rules dammit!

ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

This series definitely has the best OP and ED of the season so far. Inspired, artistic, fun to watch. That also is an insult to the rest of the shows this so far though, because until now every other OP and ED has been bloody generic. And really, this show in general is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Regardless of whether this series is going to be any good or not, this is the type of anime that we need more of: it creates its own world, setting and themes, makes a point of going into its own direction rather than what is popular at the moment, and it does so with a cast of varied and colourful characters. Future creators: use the philosophy behind this series and build further upon it! SCREW THE GENERIC! *ahem* About this episode, do not expect anything amazing or exciting here. What you can expect though, is very good build-up. This episode did a fine job of alluding that something big is going to happen, while at the same time introducing the world, its rules, the position of the main character, why he’s important, what he’s like, the people he has to work with – both his subordinates and his superiors. This was building the foundations. I enjoyed it a lot, it’s interesting and mysterious, and the creators also avoided an entire episode of introduction by still having some things happen. Plus, at a certain point it was just fun watching the characters play off each other, or just themselves, or the heaps of food that they manage to wolf down in these 20 minutes. Seriously the amount of consumables in this show is astounding!

Hand Shakers

Oooh, GoHands is trying something new again! More please! Again, even if the story of this series turns out to be absolute bollocks, this is the type of series we need more of. Here we actually see creators taking a risk! Compared to all of the generic moe or bishie shows about nothing we have each season, I’d much, much rather have many series like this. They may not always work. They may crash and burn spectacularly, but this kind of ambition is what anime is made for, instead of the way too safe crap that has flooded the market for many years now. I’m not denying that Hand Shakers won’t turn out to be a bit of a bummer in the end because honestly, storytelling has always been one of GoHands’ troubled areas, but I actually liked this episode a lot so far. I mean for starters the animation was incredible. There was so much movement everywhere! And while the use of CG is obvious, they did it in a way I have never seen before, and they also did it in a way where it gets hard to actually pinpoint which parts are done in CG and which are traditionally animated. The music also is the best soundtrack of the season so far, which makes this a real orgasm for the senses. The story is a standard “boy meets girl”-story, but I like it so far. It’s got a main theme of hand holding, which is actually really cute when just about every other series seems to think that the only way to flirt with a girl is to stare at her underpants and grab her by the boob. It also uses this vague type of storytelling, where a lot of stuff is just implied, we’re just expected to assume some convenient plot devices and a lot of time is spent on showing, instead of telling. But yeah, Gohands… have you found enough actually decent writers in the meantime? Let’s avoid people stupid enough to mistake a fighter jet for a crow, mmmkay?

Kemono Friends

Look, I am a completionist. I really try to give every series the benefit of at least one episode, and with every show I at least try to complete their first episode. Even the bad ones, and the really bad ones. Even that show with that annoying fox girl, I finished its episode in its entirety. Kemono Friends though, is the one that broke me. Right from the start, every fiber in my being started screaming to turn it off. There would be no way I would manage a full 20 minutes of this thing, everything just rubbed me the wrong way. It’s another “cute girls doing cute things”-series, but to make matters worse EVERYTHING is in this horribly awkward CG thing and trying to watch the characters emote is actually exhausting. They all move so incredibly awkward and jilted, and the voice acting is absolutely horrid! The worst of the season. The main actress just keeps yelling and yelling, even when she’s supposed to be mellow. Combine that with how everyone in CG has these really awkward botox faces… make it stop! Turn it off! No more pain!

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

After retiring and being tired of being summoned all the time to wish people back to life, the dragon from Dragonball Z found himself a new calling in life: being the maid of an office worker in Tokyo! Oh Japan…. Also props to the OP. Finally we’re getting some creativity again in that area. Kobayashi’s maid dragon is a sitcom where the gimmick is dragons that transform into dim-witted people, like pets really, and all of the antics that come with it. As a comedy, it did its job here: it made me laugh quite a bit, and I’d at least recommend the first episode for people looking for a quick laugh. However at the same time, this is a pattern I’ve seen many times before: after a while all the dragon jokes got a bit one-sided: there’s only so much death and destruction after things get boring, and they still need to fill eleven or twelve episodes with this. Good comedies fill this with a wide variety of characters, good and engaging main characters, a bit of variety, but that was all just too basic here. Even though the next episodes will introduce new characters, I can already predict that episode 1 will be the best episode of the series, or at least one of the best, surrounded by a lot of duds. All the signs are there, unfortunately.

One Room

This is just a fucking dating sim! How thinly veiled can you be!? Heck, it’s even worse because in a dating sim you have to press space every once in a while to get to the next dialogue, even that is done for you in this way. What do you hope to achieve with girls that act as wooden as they do here? I mean at least dating sims are excused because they don’t have the budget to really animate everything, so they have to get by with just a few pictures and dialogue. What the heck are you doing emulating that style?! Also, I’m not sure whether the camera is supposed to be the guy she’s talking to, because it keeps shifting positions. One moment we are looking into the girl’s eyes as if she’s talking to a mime, but the next show we’re focusing directly at her butt. At the very least pick one option!

Piace – Watashi no Italian

Another mini-series and – gasp! It’s not bad! The ratio of bad shows thankfully is much lower than last season with its onslaught of terrible short episode series. And it’s not like this is really good or something, but it’s enjoyable enough not to get on my nerves. It’s a cute story about a girl who starts to work at an Italian restaurant, and while she is an airhead the rest of the cast is actually strong enough to make it work. They play well off each other, and what also helps is that the creators actually read a bit into Italian cooking. If you want quick slice of life then this is actually a pretty decent choice.

ChaoS;Child

I was never one of the people who hated the Chaos;Head anime. For what it was, it had its moments. I liked how it actually portrayed a NEET as a mentally unstable shut-in, compared to how they usually get glorified (ever since NHK ni Youkoso finished this topic kept returning every now and then) It wasn’t great or anything, but I enjoyed it and I don’t regret watching it, I had many more problems with Robotics;Notes and Occult;Nine. Nevertheless, Chaos;Child doesn’t make a very good case for it by starting with a very bad recap of the entire series before it goes on with its own story, but when it gets going it has its moments. It’s trying to be less edgy and more edgy at the same time, it seems. The container seems to have made ways fr just another high school club, but on the other hand it really tries to kill people in creative ways here. And by god did a lot of people die in these 50 minutes. I suspect that part of the target audience was people who just laugh at horror movies, because while I do laud creativity, some of these murders were just completely ridiculous in how they were carried out, like they got a 14-year-old to describe them or something. Also while usual horror series build up for the gore scenes, especially in its first episode, there was nothing of the sort here. It jumped right into the gore and death without really seeming to care about its atmosphere. It’s an interesting approach, and at this moment I cannot say yet whether it’s going to work or not. There are no big red flags yet, so that’s good, although I will say that the acting in this series isn’t that good. Character animation is a bit awkward and cheap, and isn’t really that good at emoting. But hey, Chaos;Head was the same so points for consistency I guess.

Marginal#4 – Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang

Giving Marginal 4 a fair chance was really difficult due to the utterly abysmal CG performance scene with terrible singing and dancing, but I survived. But even if that scene would not have been there, I don’t think I would have been impressed by this show, because it really is scraping the bottom of the barrel here. On top of being yet another idol show, halfway through the episode it took a break from the idol stuff to focus on high school hijinks. The only thing that set this apart is that the four characters were slightly more ditzy and feminine than what you usually get with these kinds of series. It’s pure fanservice. I’m also surprised that the award for most annoying dialogue of the season doesn’t go to a “cute girls doing cute stuff”-series, but instead to this “cute boys doing cute stuff”-thing. Seriously especially that red-haired kid just would not stop yapping! Next!

Kuzu no Honkai

“Okay, Noitamina! The final new show this season! Hit me with your best shot! Make it count! No, don’t start at a high school, you’re not the timeslot for that! Oh, okay, this does seem more solid than usual. Oh. What? WHAT?! WHAT!?! No! The abysmal incest trend has finally died, don’t you dare and bring it back, Noitamina!” – Like seriously, even if you wanted to take a serious look at incest, we have Koi Kaze for that. The only other reason I can think of that would warrant that is that while Koi Kaze was told from the male perspective, Kuzu no Honkai is from the female perspective. Okay, fair enough; fine in theory. But there is one very important detail it misses here: realistically incest can only happen if brother and sister didn’t grow up together, otherwise healthy brother and sister relationships develop the Westermark Effect, in order to prevent inbreeding and stuff. Koi Kaze makes it a point that both grew up in totally different circumstances. Kuzu no Honkai’s characters had a perfectly normal childhood. And I’m not saying that in extremely rare circumstances it couldn’t happen, but that takes me back to that incredibly annoying period in anime where it was more likely for a brother and sister to have the hots for each other than not. Any kind of shock value you want to have with this kind of twist is completely lost at this point if you want to do it this way. And this is a real shame, because aside from that little detail, this is an incredibly honest series about romance. And I really mean exceptionally honest. I know very few other shows that are this willing to get down and dirty, to deal with all the terrible feelings that come with unrequited love. Obviously all taboos are in, even the subtle ones (I mean, when was the last time anime portrayed main characters in an actual relationship that was actually realistic? I can name Fune wo Amu, but apart from that? And Fune wo Amu’s was like the complete opposite of the relationship in this series). So why the incest? This show could have worked just as well if they weren’t related dammit!

So, that’s the season. A little tl;dr summary:
Maybe: Masamune-kun no Revenge, Youjo Senki, Spirit Pact, Ao no Exorcist, Hand Shakers, Chaos;Child, Kuzu no Honkai, Piace, elDLIVE.
Good: Demi-chan wa Kataritai, Little Witch Academia, ACCA
Great: Uhmm… Classicaloid from last season? I may want to go and marathon that Shouwa series’ first season quite quickly…

10 Responses

  1. Avatar Mentar says:

    You didn’t pick up that there is no incest in Kuzu no Honkai? Hana and Narumi are _not_ siblings, but osananajimis. They are living in different houses and have different parents. See “your mother is a great cook”, for example. Or “we’re neighbors after all”. She’s just calling him “oniichan”, which is not uncommon in Japan for someone significantly older.

    So if this is your main gripe with the story, you can relax.

  2. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    I would recommend using google docs for writing. It doesn’t have the same level of options as word but as a trade off if your computer goes haywire you don’t lose your files.

    Youjo Senki’s second episode might change your mind on it. Though I doubt it would be your thing.

    Seiren isn’t based on a dating sim and is anime original but it is based on Amagami. Which was based on a dating sim.

    On Kuzu no Honkai, I thought the same but he isn’t actually her brother. I think he’s like a close neighbor or something that she just calls brother.

    Also yes, please do check out Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.

  3. Avatar Mentar says:

    I mean, Kuzu no Honkai is going to throw A LOT of highly controversial stuff at the viewers ^_^; … but rest assured, incest is not among them, psgels.

    Also, the show will be told from the “inner perspective” of almost all characters involved, though episode 1 was only from Hanabi’s POV – only one character is left out in order to allow for a bombshell scene in most likely the second-to-last episode. If you found this intriguing, please give it some more chances. In my opinion, it is an OUTSTANDING show which tackles the issues in a very original and uncommon way. Having the director of White Album 2 definitely helps. I mean, rewatch the key sequence at timecode 19:48 and look how the OST was composed just to enhance this one scene.

    I thought it was exceptional!

  4. SuperMario SuperMario says:

    Seem like majority of us staffs travelled to Japan at some points last year. Cool!! Haha. Also found that Akihabara wasn’t really that impressive though
    @Mentar: I will cover Scum’s Wish, so there will be a lot to talk about. Controversial I can handle but I hope they don’t go to far into melodrama or pulled the rug from under our feet for shock values.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      “I hope they don’t go to far into melodrama or pulled the rug from under our feet for shock values.”

      Muhahahahaha…oh of course they won’t do that. That would be just…scummy. Wouldn’t it?

  5. Avatar donhumberto says:

    Hey psgels, it’s really nice to have you back on a regular basis. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you are totally missing the best 2 series of the season: Onihei (a mature samurai-themed anime, there’s a great review of the first episode here) and Rakugo (the first season is a masterpiece and the second is shaping up to be also awesome). Also, since you mentioned shorts, I think you could give Yami Shinbai a try. The 4th season is airing now (it doesn’t really matter that it`s the 4th: it’s completely episodic) and it’s one of the very few really creepy anime I’ve ever watched.
    By the way, this is not related but I don’t know where to ask: Aren’t you guys making a “Best of 2016” post? I really enjoy those ;)

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Regarding 2016 summary, Aidan and me (Mario) are compiling a list right now, it would be done shortly (say a week, 10 days from now) so stay tune. I’m a bit afraid right now that the “best of 2016” list will be TL;DR so you’ll have a lot to read through ^^

  6. Avatar donhumberto says:

    ok, thanks! looking forward to reading it!

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