Posted on 18 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Sorry for leaving these out but they are not really worthy of a full impression. So I am just tossing down my two cents here.

Seiken Tsukai no World Break – Hoo boy…maybe I spoke too soon about Juuou Mujin no Fafnir being worse than Absolute Duo. Because beside this trash heap it’s at least watchable. Well alright I did laugh heartly when the protagonist was faced with an army and just ran through them holding his sword forward, causing a tidal wave of blood. Plus there was a dragon at the beginning. But while the actual premise could have held potential sadly with it’s idea of people remembering past lives they lived. To see it be used for just setting up a harem and bland superpowers is rather depressing. But if there’s one thing that drags this show into the gutter it’s that pink haired girl. With every sentence she spoke I swear I was overcome with the urge to end her life for the good of humanity. The writing is just embassiously incompetent, even by generic light novel plots. Add in a terrible soundtrack with bad animation and god awful comedy and you got yourself 25 minutes you shall never get back.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – Well I was wondering where the generic fanservice harem of the season was. I stopped myself from doing an impression on this before as it started with a 00 episode and wasn’t the start of the story. I thought it would be fair to judge it on it’s proper first episode. Though I must say that the very first lines of the 00 episode pretty much did my job for me. We have one of the haremettes criticising a harem anime for having too much fanservice and being a waste of time, while in the bath and a showing a ridiculous amount of fanservice. I honestly can’t tell if this is trying to be ironic or is blissfully unaware. Because if it’s the second, then it’s annoying. If it’s the first then it’s even more so. The anime tends to do this strange effect all the time as well where instead of the characters being outlined with black, they are outlined with a random bright colour like pink or light green. It doesn’t seem to be there for any real reason and doesn’t even look good. Now personally I would just toss this into the “Just another harem” pile and think no more on it. But this anime managed to make me angry. Not for being a plain old harem but for trying to pretend it wasn’t one.(And well it’s not as if it pissed me off because the main character was a blogger who covers anime,light novels and video games almost immediately after release. Yeah right, jackass. Doing that when you have three part time jobs?) It puts up a tired cliche and then points out it’s a tired cliche. But you still used a tired cliche, just because you pointed it out as one doesn’t mean that you didn’t still use it. It’s just a poor form of satire to cover your use of an overused trope. The big issue is that long haired writer girl who often plays the part of being a harsh critic. But in the oddest of turns, her criticisms of the main characters idea can be applied to the show itself. Is this show self aware or is the creator oblivious to this? I don’t know but frankly it feels like I am listening to a hypocritic talking about his sophisticated taste in anime when he has his shelves behind him packed with hentai and harems. The main theme they are making this out to be about is the main character gathering a group of girls to make a eroge/visual novel and that the main heroine is a plain girl who doesn’t stand out much.(Or shes supposed to be. She’s not ugly or plain at all.) If you are going to be a harem then be a harem. Don’t try a assume you are presenting something of a higher level.

Shounen Hollywood – Holly Stage for 50 - This may be just a hunch but I think I am not the target market of this anime. And I think now I understand what it must be like to watch a harem from a female perspective. Seriously are these…things supposed to be men? I am not sure if I could talk to them for five minutes without punching them. There designs are also very similar. So much so that I am fairly convinced that two of them look exactly the same. I am sorry guys, I tried but I am really not the kind of person to judge this fairly. I am pretty sure it’s trash but without another perspective I cannot say that for certainty.

Koufuku Graffiti – Cute girls doing cute things…exciting stuff. So seeing as these antics of these girls I don’t find remotely adorable or interesting, I guess the only thing I can judge here is the comedy. And it’s not funny. At all. Really it’s hard to judge a show like this, when there’s nothing to judge. It’s essential a show about a girl who stays with a another girl who cooks good food and eats it with her. That’s it. That’s the entire plot. The only thing I can comment on is the ever so awkwardly suggestive way the cook girl eats food. It’s so shameless.

Isuca – Now this is a truly bad anime. I can honestly tell that anyone working on this did not care at all. And with good reason. This story is the most overdone story in anime. This is the gutter of anime. And it makes it clear right from the start with the main getting flashed by a woman. And oh god it just gets worse from there. From wipe transitions to a lighting beast who can only manage to burn off the clothes of women. Even essentially sexually molesting girls for life force. Just…come on author. I know the industry is hard and you need your paycheck but would a little restraint be too much? Every character is one we seen before. Even the lead is a Rie Kugimiya role that not played by Rie Kugimiya. The animation is bare bones. Just don’t watch it. It’s not worth your time. Not even for the fanservice.

Posted on 12 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

The Rolling Girls

Short Synopsis: What did I just watch?

I am just going to break it to you. I have no idea what to think of this show. This is a work by the same studio who animated Attack on titan. It is an anime original show (meaning it is not based on anything) and is about as far away from Attack on Titan as you can get. My understanding of the story is a little vague but from what I understand the world leaders have disappeared and this has resulted in Japan breaking into independent provinces which are at war. So sort of a present day sengoku jidai. But then there’s also these gangs with superpowered individuals called the best. And one of them fights in a tonkatsu outfit for some reason and there’s some girl from another province who fights with a giant hairpin. Ok, that’s enough about the story, I am not going to get it at this point. The characters are interesting and the animation is rather colourful with lots of movement. The story is told in a humorous way so it’s clear it’s not taking itself very seriously. That may be the thing that’s putting me off so much. It reminds me of a studio trigger work in it’s style and execution. Once you can get past it’s rather odd setting I think this could be a good show.

Potential: 60%

 

Yoru no Yatterman

Short Synopsis: The descendants of a group of exiled villains take up the mantle of their ancestors.

Now this is interesting. This is a sort of reboot to an age old show called Yatterman that aired way back in the 70s. However rather than take the perspective of the heroes descendants, they decide to follow the exploits of the villains ancestors. The story is simplistic but I just love the idea. This first episode is mainly to do with why the girl decides to bring back the Yatterman’s enemy, the Dorombo thieves. It is unfortunate that they took the route of making the heroes more villainous in order to get you to root for the villains but I am interested to see how this rag tag group intends to strike back at the so far dystopian looking Yatterman kingdom. The question is what can we do with this. If it’s a tale of this group growing from nothing to a great powerful threat to the kingdom then I am sold. The animation was also quite impressive.

OP: I like it.

Potential: 80%

 

Sengoku Musou

Short Synopsis: Too many cooks.

This seems to be a video game adaption of a game called Samurai warriors which is a spinoff to the dynasty warriors series. It is also a game based loosely around the sengoku jidai. Now I have a little knowledge on the sengoku jidai. And I cannot stress the little enough. But one of the problems of basing a story around it is the number of characters in the story. That is essentially the problem here. There are far too many characters. So many that the only introduction they get is to show a subtitle pointing out each of their names when they show up. Out of everyone there I just saw a group of bland one dimensional characters. There is some good action but still frames and speed lines as well. The soundtrack has nice use of japanese instruments. I am going to be fair and say that I have difficulty with stories based in this setting. So I could just have a problem of not knowing enough about the era to get invested. But from what I saw here I can’t say it has inspired me to educate myself. As I feel that even if I did know about this period of history that I would still find this uninteresting and likely insulting.

OP: Again nice use of traditional japanese instruments. Other than that nothing noteworthy.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 11 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Durarara!!X2

Short Synopsis: People are strange, when you’re a stranger.

It felt like a lot happened, but nothing really changed. That is the first season of Durarara summarized perfectly. The show itself even seems to revel in this. That said the main enjoyment of Durarara is seeing the cast of wacky characters interact with each other. Seeing Celty, Izaya and the gang again gave me a great hit of nostalgia and reminded me that the last time I saw these guys was back in 2010. Just seeing things like Celty’s hilarious fear of the police brings a old smile to my face. But Erika and Walker, you disappoint me. Last time I saw you two you were dragging around a Spice and Wolf cutout. Now I hear you name dropping the likes of Black Bullet, Mahouka and Oreimo? What happened to you two? For shame, guys. For shame….oh yes the impressions! One of the new characters introduced are a bit too much of a mothermouth. Well for my opinion, if you liked the first season then you will like this. However do not go in expecting character development or a move into a dramatic huge ongoing story arc. You will be disappointed.

OP: The op much like Narita’s other works seems focused on naming out the huge cast of characters. But the song is really good as well as the animation.

Potential: 80%

 

Soukyuu no Fafner Dead Aggressor – Exodus

Short Synopsis: Humanity is fighting a war against golden CG monsters.

Xebec is a animation studio with not the best of reputations. Many of their works are fanservice related. But in 2004 they brought out an anime known as Fafner. The inspirations for the show were pretty apparent and the CG was terrible but it was a good show with a slow start. In particular I am rather fond of it’s prequel OVA called Right of left which had a great premise that could have made a full fledged series on it’s own(And was even better than the series itself.). This will be the second tv series of Fafner though it has had a sequel movie to the previous series. So the main problem so far is that you need a lot of knowledge about the previous series to watch this. It makes no effort to clue in the audience about anything here. And as someone who has seen the previous series even I can say I was even a bit lost. This was also a build up episode so it’s difficult to make a judgement on what the series will be like with this. But if the last series are anything to judge it by I would say we got giant robots and despair incoming. Much like the previous series this does have great potential. Though the main problem with this franchise is that the works didn’t use that potential to it’s fullest.

Potential: 60%

 

Aldnoah Zero Season 2

Short Synopsis: I SAY CRYYY! I SAY CRYYY!

The first season of Aldnoah Zero had one of the strongest first episodes of it’s season. It retained that quality for two or three more episodes. And boasted a great soundtrack. But then something went awry. Mainly because the story was too concerned with putting the characters in extreme situations rather than develop the characters to give the viewer a reason to care for them. In a last ditch effort to make things interesting the last episode took the kill everyone route. Not realizing that it made the entirely of the season, well…pointless. Now we know that the Gen Urobuchi has jumped ship I really don’t hold much hope for this. You may be calling me a fool for that but remember, Psycho Pass S2. Same scenario, it did not end well. And this starts off with a rocky start as a robot pilot remarks that the bullets are missing because the wind is too strong…in space. My opinion drops further as they resurrect everyone who supposedly died. As I continue watching I can’t help but get the feeling I am watching Code Geass season 2 all over again. What Aldnoah Zero needs to do is develop it’s characters. Not spring plot twist after plot twist to the point where each grows more nonsensical than the last.

Potential: 20%

 

Some really quick first impressions

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir - And here I thought Absolute Duo would take the cake for most uninspired of the season. Monsters attacking humanity, school setting, Only girls have magic powers and our protagonist is the first boy admitted because he’s the first boy with powers which are not special but will turn out to be super special awesome, all girls want him because there’s no other competition…you have seen it already. Don’t bother. I say the only thing this anime tried on was adding dubstep to the soundtrack. Terrible, unfitting dubstep.

Dog Days season 3 - There are many great mysteries in the world. Is there a god? The nature of existence? Why are we here? But surely a new mystery has been added and it is the greatest of all. That being, why is there a third season of Dog Days? I truly do not understand it. Just as I don’t understand how they have not been sued for various copyright violations. Just try and tell me those are not Chocobos. And that pink girl equipping armour that was clearly ripped off of Saber from Fate/stay nights signature look? Never forgive, never forget. And various more. My point is that this really does not need to exist. The second season didn’t need to exist, let alone a third. And here it is again, the consequence free adventures of easy going mcgee and his furry harem. You are getting nothing new here. Like Dog Days? Watch it. Have sanity? Don’t.

Posted on 10 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Kantai Collection

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist sucks at playing battleship

This is an anime based on the popular browser game of the same name. I haven’t played it but from what I hear it has ship daughters and some form of strategy. So I went into this blind, not knowing what I would get. That said, I certainly did not expect cosplaying waterskiing girls with gun skirts fighting bikini clad waterskiing alien women. It was so absurd to look at that I was laughing during the action scenes. But well turns out that is only half the show. For the other half it’s cute girls doing cute things time! A type of anime which has always baffled me. I mean, Harems I get. Generic superpower anime I get. This? The fascination of seeing girls being overacting toddlers is something that never resonated with me. So the unfortunate thing is that both halves don’t work for me. The first because it cracks me up whenever I see those girls waterskiing(In off-putting CG to boot) with those stupid battleship armaments. The second because I have no interest in cute antics. This looks to be an anime for the fans of the game and nothing more.

Potential: 0%

 

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to become an idol

The first season of Idolmaster wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great by any means  but it wasn’t really deserving of scorn. It was a watchable show and compared to the exceedingly large amount of idol themed anime you could do a lot worse. The second season looks to more of just that and I can honestly say I didn’t hate it. I am even a little ashamed to say it was rather enjoyable. Obnoxious Engrish J-POP aside(Ugh it’s so peppy…) the episode was fun to watch. Seeing the producers awkward efforts to recruit the girls was quite amusing. And at least attempts to have a story unlike the many “cute girls doing cute things” shows. If you are looking for something light to watch inbetween the stuff this season I can say this will fill the need.

Potential: 30%

 

Tokyo Ghoul √A

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist eats Soylent Green.

The first season of tokyo ghoul was a mess. Mainly because of someones great idea of adapting a full 66 chapters of manga in a single cour run. This story does have a pace too slow in the manga but with breakneck pacing the story was murdered. So the question is whether they will slow down for this season or keep the fast pace to cover the rest of the manga. Neither it seems. This is going anime original. Oh yes Studio Pierrot, that’s likely to not anger the fandom further. Pure genius, good job! Alright lets put sarcasm to one side. While the end revelation makes no sense when regarding Kaneki’s character, it’s does open potential for some good idea’s. The second half of the manga is where the more shounen tropes come out proving this is a shounen disguised as a seinien and when you have already buggered up the story, going your own way with it may not be a bad idea. However, in many cases when an anime decides to do it’s own thing and be it’s own story it normally ends up with a much more subpar result. There are exceptions, Fullmetal Alchemist and Welcome to the NHK to name a few. But for every success there is a hundred failures. We may get badass Kaneki and some good action but I am guessing the plot of this show is going to go down the drain. A 10% for wishful thinking that this could provide a better ending than the manga did.

OP: I could give props for being different but one minute and thirty seconds of Kaneki awkwardly staring at me is one minute too many.

Potential: 10%

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is going to Egypt to kill a vampire

Jojo’s first season was a breath of fresh air with it’s ridiculous entertainment value. However with the second season I found that a lot of it’s magic had been lost as the series took a more episodic monster of the week format. Stands eliminated much of the unpredictability of fights, most of the season felt like unnecessary padding and Jotaro remains to me the weakest protagonist so far out of the three arcs. But maybe because of the long break coming back in to this episode reminded me of why I loved the first season. A new unconventional stand member has joined the gang and the new threat is an interesting one. However just when we thought the monster of the week format may go away seeing as nearly all the tarots have been fought, it’s brought up that Dio has nine new goons to get in Jojo’s way. I hoping that some of the fun of the first season could be brought back but if this is going to be another conga line of one note villains this will get old fast.

OP: Excellent visuals but not very fond of the singing in the song.

ED: In true Jojo fashion the ED is an unconventional one. This one being “Last train home” by Pat Methany group. However unlike the last two endings this one is too mellow and doesn’t fit the show.

Potential: 60%

 

Death Parade

Short Synopsis: A newly-wedded couple have to play a game of darts with their lives on the line.

You may have heard of a animated short for the 2013 Young Animator Training Project called “Death Billiards.” If you haven’t then check it out. It’s excellent. Well that short has evolved into a series and this is it. It is the series I am most looking forward because it hits all the right notes for me. I have a soft spot for stories about people pushed into extreme situations that test the limits of their morality. This episode delivered on that in spades. Seeing the characters breakdown as the dart game continued just delights my sadistic heart. However while the animation was great I found the characters emotions, in particular the male character, to be far too heavily exaggerated. The guy was slobbering like a dog for crying out loud. Another issue deals with the after credits scene which shows the other characters of the bar. I fear that too much attention would be given to the workers of the bar instead of focusing on the death games. Do not make that mistake Death Parade. Know what the audience came for. That said, this is looking to be my pick of the season.

OP: Considering the dark nature of the show this opening is far too upbeat and grandiose. I hope it’s not a bad sign of things to come. Other than that, I like it.

Potential: 90%

 

Assassination Classroom

Short Synopsis: A yellow squid is going to destroy the world

I have read the manga of Assassination classroom up to date so I know what’s coming here. This manga is by the same author who wrote Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro and my overall impression of the story is that it’s readable but does not have anything that particularly stands out. The villains in particular have weak characterisation though are still infuriating in their ignorance. In particular the main villain, who is the principal, has teaching methods that look rooted in “master race” philosophy.  Though the story has extreme elements it is more or less a shounen venture. However reading the story and watching the story are different. In some ways I think this works better as an anime. The comedy works much better and seeing the assassin attempts is much more exciting. Also the soundtrack is more excellent than it deserves to be. This is a very strong start to the series but it does give a mistaken impression on what the story will be about. This is less a story about assassinating an evil monster and more the battle of the underdog class against the over privileged bigots of the other classes. With the right execution this could turn it to be very entertaining.

OP: Annoyingly catchy but a nice tune.

ED: Excellent. A nice tune and the chalkboard visuals are a good idea.

Potential: 50%

Posted on 8 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Shinmai Maou no Testament

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist has just got two little sisters who are demons.

Here’s a fun fact. Due to myself being in a position at one point where I couldn’t do much of anything besides read novels and happening to see this title pop up in front of me a few times I gave this work more attention than it deserved. I cast it aside twice before and in one last attempt I encountered something that just made me ashamed at trying to give this a chance. Let me tell you where I stopped reading. You see later on in this story the sister attempts to make a master servant contract with her as the master and him the servant. But things go wrong and wouldn’t you know it, he is the master and she is the servant. To top it all off because the ritual was done by a succubus, whenever the girl disobeys the boy she is punished by becoming excessively sexually aroused. I think that’s enough to tell you exactly what kind of story you are getting. And here I am again, seeing this story for the last time.(Unless there’s a sequel….please god don’t let there be a sequel.) But yes it’s just as painfully bad the fourth time through. The setting is one you seen before, the wish fulfilment is a blatant as you can get and the fanservice as shameless as always. Maybe if you want a guilty pleasure this season this might do the trick. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

OP: There was actually some interesting visuals at the beginning of the op. But then came the obligatory action that will nowhere near be as well animated in the actual show as it is here. Song is nothing really special.

Potential: 0%

 

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes

Short Synopsis: Our heroines are detectives in a show that has even less detective work than the last season.

I watched the first season of Milky Holmes and found some funny jokes to be had. I personally don’t go for comedy anime but I can’t say I regret watching the first season. However based on the first episode here it seems this season is going to get bogged down by elements other than comedy. It looks like now that Milky holmes have their toy powers back this show will attempt to tell a story instead of being just plain insanity. Which is a shame because the insanity was what made it so entertaining. There were some potential jokes here but in truth I think Milky holmes only really needed one season and this one is going to be redundant. This first episode wasn’t bad so it is possible things could still pick up and prove me wrong.

OP: Well if I knew nothing about the show and watched this opening then I would be even more confused about what the show is about. It’s peppy and strange.

Potential: 40%

 

Junketsu no Maria

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is a witch who is a virgin.

Maria the virgin witch. I haven’t seen a japanese work with english title that could turn away people in a millisecond like that since Onani Master Kurosawa. And yet it is the anime with a title that sounds better suited for a hentai that holds the most potential so far out of the current anime season. The setting is great with it being set in France during the Hundred Years’ War. The characters are fairly likeable and the animation looks good. This is looking to be an entertaining ride as long as it doesn’t dwell too deeply on the sex jokes. Though “Why does her jaw hurt” got a laugh out of me. That dragon at the end was great looking and reinforces my belief that anime needs more dragons. This show was a nice surprise.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 7 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Absolute Duo

Short Synopsis: Our main character is called Thor and goes to magic high school.

There are some shows in anime which make you wonder if there’s a random story generator in Japan in which you pull the handle and it just pulls a series of random tropes together. Then an author shoves them into the age old light novel formula and hey presto! Best selling light novel. I tried to keep an open mind and hold some hope that maybe this would prove to have the slightest bit of creativity even when my opinion dropped at the sight of a school setting. But all was lost when the main character introduced himself as Thor and not one person laughed. To make matters worse the main didn’t know about the mythological hero at all. I was bored through the first half of the episode and the second half was downright painful to watch with some terrible comedy. Followed by fanservice and the main all flustered because he is living with a girl. Never seen that before….Even if you like these kinds of stories done at least once every season, I would not recommend this.

OP: The song started with potential but fizzled out.

ED: Bland.

Potential: 0%

 

Yuri Kuma Arashi

Short Synopsis: Chibi Bears are eating schoolgirls.

Only one minute in and we got lesbians coupled with lily symbolism. Kunihiko Ikuhara isn’t wasting any time. For those that don’t know, he is the director of Penguindrum, revolutionary girl Utena and some seasons of sailor moon. I can see he has not changed much. A good sense of aesthetics and narrative focus on symbolism over sense. But damn me for this if you will, but the animation of this episode was abysmal. This would be the level of animation I would expect from a 70’s anime. The number of still frames was ridiculous. After penguindrum I have come to hate Ikuahara’s style as I see it as pointless intellectual fluff covering for a weak poorly plotted story. I understand that others may look at it differently and find value in untangling the bundle of threads into a cohesive plot. If you liked penguindrum then this looks like it will be more of the same. However I can’t enjoy it. I find it irritatingly pretentious with every line. Though the premise is mildly interesting with it’s light hearted nature even when the subtext is quite dark, I just can’t get into it after seeing how much potential was squandered in Penguindrum. I will give it a 50% for intrigue and being different but I am sorry, this just isn’t the anime for me.

OP: Very suggestive. Fanservice off the charts. I’m honestly not sure what to think of it.

ED: A still image and a dancing bear. Come on guys, even Absolute Duo tried with it’s ED.

Potential: 50%

 

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist makes a contract with a fluffy animal and becomes a magical…boy.

The first four minutes were nothing but food jokes. Unless you are well versed in japanese food these will fly over your head. As for the rest, well…basically the problem is this. I am sure there are those of you who are familiar with those anime episodes or specials where they take the characters from a series and parody a magical girl show. However rather than point out the genre conventions of magical girl shows and poking fun at it, the joke is usually just placing the characters in the setting and saying how much they don’t fit in it. It is essentially one joke that gets tiresome before the episode’s end. This looks to be an entire series that is that in a nutshell. If they want to keep this going they need to bring something else to the table because the joke has been made. You have said the punchline. Saying the punchline another twelve times will not make the joke any funnier.

OP: Silly and cheesy.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 18 November 2014 with categories: Random Posts

This is just to try something new. As I tend to come across a number of new and interesting things I thought I might highlight some current unknown or interesting gems.Be they visual novel, manga or light novel.

Abnormal-kei Joshi

Description: High-schooler Shiina Shinya thinks that all girls are pretty much good-for-nothing, mostly because he doesn’t understand them at all. That doesn’t stop him from being surrounded by strange girls! Tsubasa Tooka, a cute, much-admired girl, stalks him. Shikimura Masami is majorly into masochism, and has recruited Shinya into her play sessions. Ikari Satsuki seems suspiciously interested in the recent serial stabbings, and seems to want to drag Shinya into it. Banjou Yoruko, a normally quiet, bookish girl, has decided she and Shinya are bound up in some fantasy setting. Uchida Yumeji is the school’s sleeping beauty, who spends all of her time in the infirmary because she requires so much sleep. Shinya brings her newspapers, so she can keep up with current events in the short time she spends awake. Lastly, Okui Akane is convinced she is a vampire. For all Shinya knows, it could be true, but in practice it just means that he has to let her drink his blood. How will Shinya deal with all these good-for-nothing girls that complicate his life?

The good: This guy has the most twisted and odd line-up of haremettes to date. A narcoleptic, a masochist, a stalker, a girl who thinks she’s a vampire…and that is the hook. Seeing our protagonist interact with these twisted creatures.

The bad: The manga does not have a ongoing main plot and the protagonist doesn’t have much of a personality. The harem is already set up from the start so we don’t even see how our protagonist got involved with these girls. So while the novelty is nice there not much else going for it.

Current number of translated chapters: 10

Recommendation level: 50%

 

Shinigami 4 nin no kanojo

Description: Minaguchi Kaoru is nothing special. He’s no good at sports or school, isn’t in any clubs, and he’s not popular. He has no friends and isn’t even interested in any of the girls he knows. He’s also teased due to the fact that he loves shoujo manga. Unlike the harem daydreams of his peers, he dreams of finding his true love. Unfortunately, a shinigami comes to kill him, simply because he’s a “forever alone” sort of guy. When he gasps out his intention of embracing life with his final breaths, though, she takes it back! As long as he follows through on his intentions, he won’t be killed. To convince the shinigami that his plans are genuine, he declares that he will confess to the girl he likes, the very next day. Expecting failure with confessing to random girls in his school, he sends out love letters to four different girls. To his surprise, they all agree to be his girlfriend. Now, this shoujo-manga-loving guy has ended up in a kind of harem story, quadruple-timing four girls! Will he be able to stay involved enough with society to avoid an early death?

The good: So far the most well executed harem deconstruction. Genuinely funny and a plot that keeps you interested. The girls may not have the deepest characterisation but their quirks are far from the norm. This is a personal favorite of mine.

The bad: Its been axed. Its confirmed that chapter 18 will be the last and considering the untapped potential of the story it is a great shame. Those 18 chapters are a great read though.

Current number of translated chapters: 17

Recommendation level: 90%

 

Mousugu Shinu Hito (Haruse Hiroki)

Description: Kominato Riku is a high school student who aims to be a game designer. The girl next door is his childhood friend Haju, is in love with him, but he has fallen head over heels for the school idol Riko. And lastly, there is the transfer student, Nodoka. With that all said you’d think this is the start of some love-comedy harem, but a rumor spreads that Nodoka’s received a message that says, “you will die soon”. Riku and the gang’s fate will change in a major way. Who will live, and who will love?

The good: Psycho girls scheming and fighting each other in a harem which is a matter of life or death? Whats not to love? While not perfect by any means its a very entertaining read with plenty of twists and turns. The supernatural mystery is intriguing as well. But the highlight is seeing just how far these girls are going to go to get chosen.

The bad: The girls personalities change too rapidly. Going from perfectly sane to downright psychotic in a matter of pages. The art heavily dramatises the story as well. Subtlety is not the name of the game here. Parts of the story are downright ridiculous. Also not for those who are not good with gore or disturbing concepts

Current number of translated chapters: 12

Recommendation level: 80%

 

New and interesting

  1. Dead Tube
  2. Boku no Hero Academia
  3. Inuyashiki
Posted on 13 October 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Amagi Brilliant Park

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is kidnapped by an emotionless girl with a musket.

Ninjarealist’s Impression: A bitter and narcissistic ex-child star, a creepy and falling-apart theme park whose few visitors are outnumbered by vermin, a cast of characters named after American hip-hop stars: these are just a few of the bizarre elements that make up the first episode of Amagi Brilliant Park. And if you’re unable to imagine how all of that could fit neatly into one show, let me reassure you: this debut episode is laugh out loud funny. Comedy is probably the most subjective of genres, but what sets Amagi Brilliant Park apart from the crowd is that it’s quite clever. For example, the choice to name the main characters after hip-hop stars. It’s an inherently funny choice, but a lesser series might be content to simply play this for cheap jokes. But in Amagi Brilliant Park these names are actually used as ironic commentaries on the lead characters’ attributes. The emotionless girl, who is constantly shooting at people with a musket, is named after famed stoic and shooting victim, 50 Cent. The self-absorbed child-star protagonist takes his name from renowned narcissist Kanye West. That’s the type of subtle humor that this series uses. It doesn’t just stop at the usual manzai jokes (although it does those very well), it utilizes the bizarre setting and strange characters to play with the viewer’s expectations and force us to laugh at the morose absurdity of it all. In this way, Amagi Brilliant Park reminds me more of a show like Humanity Has Declined than the typical KyoAni fare that many expected this series to be.

A lot of what makes this show work so well is the excellent direction, which fleshes out the setting with lifelike visuals. Much of the humor in the first episode is driven by the surroundings, a theme park so poorly-maintained that it feels more like a haunted house than a place to unwind. And what really drives this home is the director’s use of short but intricate scenery shots that direct the viewer’s eyes to important details, which might be missed if they were placed in the background. Crows eating from a spilled trashcan, aging animatronics struggling to speak outdated lines, a bored child sitting with his parent in an empty auditorium, playing video games, as the uninspired show girls struggle to feel relevant: brief shots like this make the setting feel almost like another character in the show. This is gracefully mixed in with the comedy and never bores the viewer or verges into scenery porn. Much of these exposition shots are jokes unto themselves.

Amagi Brilliant Park is by no means a perfect show. There’s plenty of dumb fanservice and, while the dialogue is usually quite funny, it can sometimes feel extremely corny and derivative. That’s what worries me the most about this show. While I loved the first episode, it showed unmistakable signs that it might devolve into something less unique than what we see in the first episode. The use of dramatic flashbacks late in this episode suggests that this show intends to get serious at some point. And I have some doubts about whether this series can pull off drama as well as comedy. Still, this is was an impressive first episode and I’m excited to see where they go with it.

Potential: 70%

Psycho Pass Season 2

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is a cop hunting criminals in a “Minority Report”-style dystopia.

Ninjarealist’s Impressions: Full disclosure, I really liked the first season of Psycho-Pass. The show had a lurid, hollywood, feel to it that made it seem almost as much like an American action movie as an episodic sci-fi anime. And as much as it pains me to say it, I’m just not really feeling as much of either influence from Psycho Pass 2, which seems much more rooted in modern anime. The main characters have gotten cuter, the soundtrack has cut down on the orchestral instruments and upped the amount of electronic ones, and the script, no longer written by Gen Urobuchi, doesn’t quite have the same edge to it. That’s not automatically a bad thing, but something seems like it’s missing from this sequel. Akane is still a badass, the premise is still great, and the setting is still super cool, but the show sort of feels like some of the life has been sucked out of it. There’s just not a whole lot in this first episode that compares favorably to the original series. With all of that being said, I still liked this first episode. While I’m disappointed that the staff seemed to be making a concerted effort to up the number of cute girls, I do like Shimotsuki’s character and I like how they’ve set her up to be so antagonistic towards Akane. It’s essentially the same relationship she had with Ginoza in the first season, but in reverse. And maybe that sounds boring to some of you but I for one am excited to see how Akane deals with an upstart who questions her authority. The new villain is also an obvious retread of the villain from the first season, but again, they’ve made some interesting choices with him that should provide some serious challenges for the main characters. If viewers can get past the fact that this show seems to be a downgrade in quality from the original Psycho Pass, I think they might find something to like here.

Potential: 65%

Posted on 12 October 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso 

Short Synopsis: Our lead character plays/played the piano very well.
Impressions: We get shows like this every few seasons. You know, the ones that are generic to the core, yet they do the generic shit pretty well? See, this episode was very formulaic: we have our genius with a troubled past, our main character’s best friend, childhood friend, and the mysterious new girl who our protagonist will most likely end up banging. I could compare this to Bokura wa Minna Kawaiisou from Spring’s lineup, but that wouldn’t do this show very much justice-because unlike Kawaii Complex’s premier, this first episode wasn’t a total piece of shit. In fact, it was consistently solid, and A-1 Pictures seems to have done their best with the crappy premise handed to them. If the story and characters weren’t so much of a damn cop-out though, I could see myself enjoying this anime for what it is: a teenage angst drama. This is the first time Kyohei Ishiguro is directing a show by himself (Unlike Psycho Pass, My Little Monster, Amagami SS+, Hourou Musuko, Kyokai Senjo no Horizon, & Fairy Tail, where he was an episode director), so I guess I have to congratulate him for making this episode decent at the very least. However, if I learned anything from the past few years, it’s that generic shows like this quickly fall apart.

OP: Generic, nothing to see here.

ED: Generic, nothing to see here.

Potential: 40%

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 10:48 AM)
    This is a fairly minor complaint but in some older anime I always noticed “flashing light syndrome” and “Epilepsy visuals” , “Animes equivalent to flash photography”, it can sometimes bother me alot/hurt my eyes watching old shows, then again I am susceptible to epilepsy…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 09:14 AM)
    @Bam: Emotional involvement and rewatch value are very important to me in a film, which is my preference for synecdoche over birdman.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 04:05 AM)
    “Firechick, answer: Hell no. And don’t impersonate Bam. You suck at it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 03:05 AM)
    Yeah guys! Why aren’t you reviewing Go! Princess Precure?
  • Firechick
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 02:51 AM)
    Is anyone gonna review Go! Princess Precure? I hear it just aired.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.

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