Posted on 22 February 2017 with categories: Flip Flappers, Other:, Top 10 Anime

And I return back to arguably one of my favorite anime of the last decade for the list of most randomness details in Flip Flappers’ universe. Which by all mean isn’t a complaint. Flip Flappers is a show that relies heavily on visual language, and while most of the time its heavy symbolic images represent something much deeper about adolescent and identity, sometimes we have some quirky details that just purely out of the whims, making me wonder if the creators were on some kind of LSD effect. Those randomness details below might not add up much in terms of plot or theme, but the sense of wonder is always shining bright here. Granted, they aren’t at all useless, after all those details create quirks that pretty much bring identities to Flip Flappers, making it… well, Flip Flappery. And truthfully, that’s one of the reason why I love this show so much: the ability to let loose and embrace on your weirdest dreams. This list therefore functions more as a celebration of creativeness, of bringing original ideas to the table.

As I stated earlier, even readers who haven’t checked out Flip Flappers, feel free to read this because it’s… useless details anyway. I will list them in order of usefulness, from most to least. Enjoy!!

  1. The Plugin/ Transformation items (episode 5)

Those tokens (the stick/baton and the bracelet) are supposed to be their precious items in real life so that they can use it a reminder to differentiate between this world and the Pure Illusion world (think Inception), or are they supposed to be a material requirement for the girls to tune in? No one knows for sure as the show didn’t attempt to explain at all. First, they ain’t even precious, at least to Cocona, and second, we never heard about them ever again in our lifetime. Oh, you mean they were carrying those items the whole time but just didn’t show it? Well, fair enough, but in later episode the girls were stuck in one Pure Illusion world wearing swimsuits, where the hell then did they hide the long stick (just the right length, they even commented) in the tight swimsuit? Unless they put it… Let stop here.

  1. The mysterious unconscious girl (episode 1)

That unconscious girl was shown from the first few minutes into the show, gathering a debate of what the hell the Flip Flap organization was doing with her. Then that poor girl never get addressed again (or even hinted to) and disappeared into thin clouds like she was never there at all. Was she just a bad dream that I had while watching Flip Flappers? Was she just in my imagination?

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Posted on 1 February 2017 with categories: Monthly Summaries

I know I missed Onihei, but it’s just impossible to find much about it. Perhaps in February I’ll give it some more coverage. Aside from that, this was a good month. I’d say that overall the winter season is more varied than the past autumn season, but at the same time the good series are not AS good. All of course according to my own impressions. Like always spoilers beware, and this list is on order of my own preferences, worst first best last, only about the episodes that aired in January, minus the first episodes that I already talked about. The number after each title signifies the relevant episodes.

#15: Granblue Fantasy The Animation (01)

This one aired a bit later than the other shows this season. It’s also a fantasy series, probably another kind of game adaptation like Chain Chronicle, but I liked that one a lot better though. That I’m not watching Chain Chronicle anymore should say enough for Granblue, but the gist of it that while Chain Chronicle was simply generic, with Granblue I got the feeling of gradually losing brain cells while watching. Granted, a bit reason for that is that incredibly annoying dragon that keeps floating everywhere, but what also ticks me off is that we’re given very little reason to care about any of the characters. The main character doesn’t really have a reason to go along on this life-threatening quest, he just happens to be at the place where a cute girl falls from the sky… and starts following his boner, I guess… Why am I supposed to root for these people? Do the bad guys have any other reason to attack besides being evil? I don’t expect answers to those questions in episode 01, but at least hints or some other kind of nuance. You just can’t think you can get away with this simplistic mess just because you’re a game adaptation, right?

#14: Spiritpact (02)

In the end… I just can’t. Snappy dialogue is one thing, but if everything else is just amateurish i’m not really sure what I’m gaining by watching this and I’ve got many better things to see and do. I can see where they’re coming from, but episode 2 didn’t really convince me to just keep watching. For one it wasn’t as fun as the first episode, but the first episode also just felt worse in hindsight. They introduced this new character who is the fiance of the white haired guy, and obviously she has her issues, but they all seemed to be trying so hard, and nothing really came out of it.

The animation is partly to blame for that. I watch anime because I also care for the “animation”-part of the whole deal. I want to see people bringing characters to life. If you have to use short-cuts then so be it: be clever with the jump-cuts, pull some visual tricks, use your music. It’s not an exact science at all and it’s an art form, however this series doesn’t seem to try any of this, with awkward jerky motions and no attempts to hide it. Japanese anime has the experience in these cheap tricks, but Korean animators still need to find their own way. Mind you, I am not suggesting them to follow anime’s example. Let them go their own way, as long as that way works of course.

#13: BanG Dream! (01-02)

This is another series that came out a bit late this season, about a bunch of middle school girls starting a band. I gave it two episodes because there is one thing it seems to understand: build-up: it’s not like “Wheee band!”, but instead it is carefully building up the different girls, why they’re going for it and how they end up meeting each other. Really, one of the most difficult things about being in a band is actually starting the band and finding the right people. By taking its time, the series makes also sure that the characters are well fleshed out in the process.

Still, I’m not going to continue with it. The teenaged girls are just too annoying, and I think a lot can be contributed to bad acting and voice acting: characters hamming it up a little too much. There is one shy girl and nearly all she does is breathe very loudly. That’s not how shyness works! The main character also feels a bit weird: they really tried to make her this enthusiastic girl whose energy pulls the entire band together, but in the end it just feels fake, like they try too hard. She too has this habit of just breathing very loudly, which after a while just gets distracting. These random squeaks and moans instead of just actual dialogue. This obviously isn’t the only show that does this but that doesn’t make it okay!

#12: elDLIVE (02-03)

elDLIVE could have had potential if they kept the momentum of the first episode going. A fun light-hearted show about alien hunting with quirky characters, but in the end it lost this quite quickly. Episode 02 and 03 pretty much repeated what episode 01 did, only less interesting, and quite witless to be honest. These episodes had a bit of high school hi-jinks, dull aliens, and nothing really interesting. It wasn’t fun, and at times they also got way too dramatic for their own good. You don’t want to be dramatic for a series that involves a bunch of kids busting aliens, that just serves to highlight how stupid the show is, unless you invest really heavily in suspense of disbelief. But ultimately this show lacks any sort of ambition or desire to be special. This one is dropped.

#11: Demi-chan wa Kataritai (02-04)

This one turned out to be not as good as what I hoped. On one hand, it managed to portray this world in which a small percentage of people is “demi”, or half human, half mythical creature like a vampire, dullahan, etc. It’s an interesting look at minorities, being slightly different and a bit of bullying here and there. Its characters are very vocal about their issues and that makes this a very honest series.

On the other hand I really don’t like how this show pulled a Sword Art Online and made every single one of these “demi-girls” fall for the main character. Granted, the verdict is still out on the snow girl, but it’s getting there, trust me! I find that cheap, and it’s also just pointless. This is supposed to be a series about teenaged issues, and the romance just feels shoehorned in. There is no reason why these girls can’t have boyfriends, or at the very least guys interested in them if they also want to handle things like sexualities. This is also in the main character’s favour because now we just end up with him getting demi-boners half of the time, which just turns him into this slime-ball rather than a scientist. It’s a real shame because I feel that there are two groups among the creators: one that really wants this to be a character study, and one that want this to be a romantic comedy. The result gets very awkward in a bad way.

#10: Piace – Watashi no Italian (02-03)

Piace is clever: it knew that if you want to be interesting, you need some kind of material to work with. Slice of life has been done to death and there is no way to make something out of it, and you have to be really funny for a pure plain comedy to succeed. However by basing its setting on an Italian restaurant it can interchange the jokes with Italian cooking. And it’s not like you really learn something about this, but the creators make a point of showing that the characters are making good food. When you combine this with the banter between the different characters, this becomes pretty decent for 4 minutes per episode, because let’s face it: the only jokes in this show are based on the characters’ banter; do not expect any food puns. The characters are also grounded and fun to watch: the voice acting here is good. The slightly-faster-than-usual pacing along with portraying the characters variedly, yet fairly wasn’t something I expected from a series like this.

#9: ChaoS;Child (02-03)

ChaoS;Child is chugging along nicely, along with its own issues. The thing with this series is that it’s all about its mystery. You can see that the story behind this series, the string of weird murders and the strange connection between them is the strongest point of this series. While no Higurashi by any means, I admit that after three episodes I’m curious to learn what is behind everything. Apart from that though… the gore is laughable, the animation is jerky, but my most important issue with it lies with the characters.

When telling a story with a clear main character, the audience needs a way to relate with him or her. A key part of that is the reason for his/her involvement in the story. And this doesn’t need to be complicated, as long as it’s something strong that can take the audience along for the ride. The lead character here is this sulky high school kid who keeps poking his nose in ridiculously dangerous murder cases. He knows this and still goes after them. Even after his loved ones get hurt he still tries to get more and more involved, even though there is no guarantee for the safety of his other friends, he gets told this plenty of times, and he realizes that he’s being incredibly reckless. How the heck are we supposed to relate to that?! I mean the lead of Chaos Head was a loser, but the creators used his panic very well to engage the audience. With him, it’s all so weak that I kept thinking “stop getting involved! Let the cops take care of it! You’re a high school kid, you can’t do anything!”

#8: Masamune-kun no Revenge (02-04)

Four episodes in, and Masamune has still retained its wit that we saw in its first episode. I didn’t think I’d be praising a romance between two high school kids, but it’s enjoyable enough to see just what an incredible dork the male lead can be. For once he’s actually balanced well: he’s flawed, but not a complete idiot, diligent but not perfect, his attempts of hitting on the lead girl are a refreshing combination between desperate and surprisingly effective. The tropes that have been done in other romances, it really tries to subvert them. It’s like a cat and mouse game between the two of them.

However, I’m very afraid that we just saw the best of this series. Episode 04 ended with something really questionable that has ruined many series that came before it. Up to that point, every twist, even though unexpected, sort-of made sense. You could see things happening that way if you put yourself in the characters’ shoes. Then completely randomly there’s this girl that offers herself to the lead’s feet as they’re about to have this serious moment. The episode ended right afterwards, but the creators are going to have to come up with something amazing to try and explain that one, because it also just does not fit the storyline at all, and I really doubt what this show can benefit from her. This was the “will they won’t they”-love-triangle I was afraid of when I first saw the OP and ED of this one, and there’s gonna be another girl! For now I enjoyed this show plenty, but unless episode 05 makes a very good case for itself I’m going to drop it then and there.

#7: Youjo Senki (02-04)

Okay. I did not expect that kind of back-story for the main character. It’s far-fetched, but.. fair enough it works. In fact, episodes 02 to 04 have all pain-stakingly spent time dealing with the issues I had with the first episode, setting everything up and actually doing a very good job at it. At this point I don’t see this as a dumb war-series anymore, but definitely something with its own qualities. Something totally different from what Shuumatsu no Izetta tried to be.

It’s ironic: Shuumatsu no Izetta made sure to portray soldiers as actual people, but in the end it was about the survival of the actual kingdom. Youjo Senki throws heaps of unnamed soldiers under the bus, but in the end its central theme is survival of the individual. Everyone in this series is thinking either about themselves, or their close families. The people next to them. The patriotism feels more like a formality here. In face, what I like is how it takes many serious issues of other war-series, and turns them into formalities. The whole goal of the main character isn’t to win, it’s to live a comfortable life and winning just happens to be very convenient for that goal. It’s a different look at war politics than usual. And the fact that she’s a child… fair enough. It works and they use it well.

#6: Hand Shakers (02-04)

There\s something really interesting going on with the music here. During the fights, notice how the soundtrack is completely different from what you’d usually suspect? It’s all dreamy, instead of the hard, dramatic and edgy sound that series usually go for. It’s very much on the foreground, rather than mostly lingering in the background. That is awesome! Back in the days lots of series had these incredibly complicated soundtracks with creative tunes, to scenes that totally didn’t match your expectations, even blasting over the dialogue and it was glorious! At a certain point this trend stopped though, only resurfacing very rarely. This needs to be brought back! Obviously not in every series, but let’s revive the spirit of Bee-Train! Hand Shakers is obviously no El Cazador, but obviously a step in the right direction.

Aside from that, this show has me pretty baffled. On all accounts, on paper I should hate this show. A boy meets a girl and they use powers to fight others. And yet this show is just so incredibly genuine. I find the lead couple so adorable for some really weird reason. The rest of the cast: I just like them. Everything here is just enjoyable to watch. Like I said, there’s something inherently cute about a show that’s about hand holding, something most romance shows don’t even seem to realize exists.

I am not a fan though of how passive the female lead has been so far: the male lead pretty much did all of the work here. You could replace her with a pet dog and pretty much the only thing that will change is the sexual tension. Don’t think too much behind that comparison…

#5: Little Witch Academia (02-04)

What makes this series special is that the creators really seem to have made this with an international audience in mind. This show is a weird amalgamation between east and west, but some parts really feel like Trigger putting a global audience first, rather than what most shows do: just produce your series for Japan and afterwards just release it internationally because hey, why not? Or make your show so generic that it doesn’t matter what country it’s from. I mean, otherwise no sane writer would include a reference to Hanna Barbara so randomly there. Episode four was also was about fandom, and it felt uch more like we were watching western fandom than Eastern.

Also in this world, everything is exaggerated. Everything. That makes the plot pretty random and stupid, but the energy. Good lord, the energy of this show! This show always manages to conjure up something creative for the magical hi-jinks that the characters find themselves into and especially the main trio just bubbles with personality, and yet they’re grounded and varied. This is what makes characters who usually would have been really annoying, it makes them actually fun to watch. I mean we all know about the blond girl who is good at everything and incredibly posh, but in this show she works. Her henchmen are annoying at first, but we see them do different stuff besides fangirl about how amazing their sempai is.

And beyond that this does just about all of the basic stuff right. These four episodes were random hi-jinks, but they were perfect in fleshing out the characters and making the audience familiar with them. This light-hearted note is something I missed from Kill la Kill for example. Trigger still hasn’t forgotten to do action either, so bring on the rest of this series!

#4: ACCA – 13-ku Karusatsu-ka (02-04)

Okay ACCA, let’s talk for a minute about immersion. Consider the Twelve Kingdoms, a series that also focuses on a world with about a dozen different countries inside it. One thing it did a lot, especially in the beginning, is show a map of the world, including a pointer where the story was about to focus at. This happened a lot, and while tedious at the time, because of this you always knew where the story was in relation to the rest of the setting. It made you feel part of the world. ACCA has a map, but we only see it very occasionally, and only brief, so we as a viewer are constantly having to guess where the heck we are, especially since every episode deals with a different country. What if the beginning of each episode could show for a small bit where on the map we are? You could incorporate it in the OP if time is the issue. It’s a very simple detail, but I feel like it would add a lot to this series.

Now, ACCA is an incredibly ambitious series, and it’s obvious that it can’t fit everything it wants into episodes of 20 minutes, so it has to compromise. The option it went for is to try and get as much information as possible into just one episode. The big difficulty with this approach is keeping thins personal, and I have to say that when taking this into consideration, it’s a very good attempt. Obviously the huge focus on consumables helps. Characters have this “tell, rather than show”-approach to their characters, but this is fixed by the creators using subtle non-verbal clues to flesh out their characters.

The big sacrifice though is continuity. This series both doesn’t have the time to deal with the aftermaths of everything that it does (lots of minor issues are just explicitly assumed to just get resolved), plus the way it leads one thing into the other… just happens. Coincidences pile up and there is no quiet time. It’s impossible to add those and still get everything within 20 minutes. Because what it is doing is powerful stuff. Makes you think, it’s interesting. Not to mention here that the potential for this show is virtually unlimited.

#3: Kuzu no Honkai (02-03)

Okay, so they’re not brother and sister. They just grew up together, with different parents so he always was the person she looked up to. Fair enough, that takes away my big complaint of episode one, but this series is not entirely in the clear. After all the “they’re not really siblings”-schtick was very often used back in the day to give the illusion of incest, while allowing for a back door for the creators to say “what do you mean? It’s not incest! They’re not related!” – we all knew what they were alluding to and it was disgusting. If this show ends up bringing back that trend I will punch it.

So, now that that’s out of the way: this show has been pretty incredible here; it does so many things right here. Episode 02 and 03 showed that it’s really trying to balance like six characters together, all intertwined in a web of crushes and all having their own issues, and we keep hopping back and forth between different perspectives, although the lead girl does seem to be the main character here. The lesbian girl was particularly surprising: for once they took a honest look at what it means to be attracted to the same gender. It doesn’t have the squee-material of the likes of Yuri on Ice, and while there is nudity, it doesn’t feel like fanservice like most other series of the past five years. This is how it should be done: treating them as actual people.

This series really isn’t glorifying anything, and that’s what makes it so great because it’s a side we very rarely get to see because of how wishy-washy romance is in anime. Fune wo Amu showed how you should do romance from the light side, this one flips things around and shows how to do romance correctly from the dark side. This show is ugly, even though it looks so pretty, but the amount of detail they managed to put in here. Mugi’s wet dream: they actually had the guts to do that. Or how the teacher wore the same outfit twice. They don’t explicitly say it, but it’s obvious, and when it hits it’s glorious!

Also can I get a thumbs up for the soundtrack here? It doesn’t just sound dreamy and sad, but it’s also used really well here. Every single note here fits, and there are a lot of tracks here! Someone really put some thoughts into how to place the music, otherwise it wouldn’t fit this well!

#2: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 (01-04)

I managed to marathon the first season during the past month (though for the sake of this ranking I only consider the first four episode, otherwise it’s impossible to compare). And oh yeah, this is the real deal! I can’t believe they actually made an anime about Rakugo, a performance art where so much is dependent on acting, tonal changes and gestures, and they pretty much got away with it. I still consider Fune wo Amu my favourite series of 2016, but that was because that series managed to breathe life into its characters in a way that I had very rarely seen before. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shunjuu has its own list of things it does incredibly well.

The best being the character-development. Like seriously, there are very few series that can boast the level of detail that this series can put in it. Usually series have one flashback, or a number here and there for each character if they’re lucky, but most of the story takes place in one time frame. This series is the examination of the life of one guy, and every single episode it jumps forth a few years. And we don’t just see him change, a huge emphasis is also put on the side characters: they too change realistically and believably. The voice acting here is also wonderful in changing along with the cast. Top notch! Characters rise and fall, we get to see both their heights and lows right through each other. Every episode manages to change something.

What also makes this series really rare is that it managed to teach me something. And I don’t just praise this because I had no knowledge of Rakugo prior to starting this series, it not only gave an overview of how it evolved, it was an in-depth look at it, through the characters it analyzes, praises and criticizes the format. And it also encouraged me to look up the parts that they assumed the audience already knew. I like that: assume that your audience knows the meaning of Google. You don’t need to hold people by their hand. Inspire; and dare to go deep!

One thing I did not like, or rather one thing I found annoying is a better way to put it, is the romance. I know why things happened the way they did, the creators definitely make a good case for themselves and all, and they really try to make it complex and interesting, and yet I found that the most boring parts of the series. Perhaps it’s because episode 1 already told what was going to happen in the end, you could see them building up to it and the actual moment of the “big death” felt rather… forced. It probably worked well in manga-form but in the anime it just looked silly. And building up the romance… it took some patience to sit through even before it happened.

However the new season the romance is thankfully refreshingly down to earth, if you can call it romance anyway. It’s almost politics, and it knows its place much better. The characters in return are a bit less interesting, but they’re really starting to grow now, which was probably the intentions of the creators: how the heck are these newbies going to fill the shadows of the old masters? Yes, a lot of thought was put into this. More series like this please!

#1: Classicaloid (13-16)

Yeah, yeah. I know that the above series have more substance than this one. I know the characters are complete idiots. I know that the past four episodes of Classicaloid have been completely stupid and have established absolutely nothing. And yet… and yet… I can’t. I can’t label my favourite show of the month as anything other than Classicaloid. It just had me completely in stitches, all four episodes even though they all were completely different. This show just makes me happy whenever I watch it that no other show this season manages to do.

So let’s get things clear: in these four episodes we have people turn into fishes, become idols, make horrible music, and hunt for a merleopon. All of them focused on a different character and were mostly used to flesh them out. All of them were hilarious, but my favourite was the fish episode. There was something magical of following a mute fish around for 20 minutes and looking into the despair that ensued. It also becomes more and more apparent that this show has the second director of Gintama. This is a compliment by the way.

This series takes me back to the good old days. Back when series still understood how to properly fill in a 26-episode series. The first half being a build-up, and the second then using it as a board to jump off of. In this case the first half has made sure that these characters are so much fun, that I just smile whenever they’re on stage. This is what I consider terrific characters. The ones that just make you happy, no matter what they’re doing. When manga and light novel adaptations got more and more the norm, and more and more series only turned to 13 episodes max, this was a format that I unfortunately missed deeply. I don’t want to be that guy who goes “gahw things were so much better in my days, you kids with your stupid trends and stuff” – I used to get very annoyed by these people – but in some areas I really have to give in: we are not living in the glory days of anime anymore. I do have hope though, I want to see anime evolve again. Try to see what it will turn into next. For that we need a constant flow of new talent, because at this point the old guys have mostly all left, while the ones who remain are the only ones still bringing in interesting and fresh stuff. The new talents need to get the confidence and the connections in order to be able to do their own things. They need to step up and realize that the future of anime lies in pushing the medium forward. They have the misfortune that the focus today lies much more on consistency: having clean frames, and a higher resolution makes anime more expensive, and it makes it harder to have experimental series, and therefore it makes it harder for the real geniuses to get noticed. The likes of Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Masaaki Yuasa, they would have had much more difficulties breaking through in today’s atmosphere. Classicaloid is our hope: the director is relatively new, and I remember when he first took over Gintama I disliked the changes he brought forth. Over the past ten years though, Classicaloid showed that he did learn a lot. He’s using his influence clearly, while at the same time keeping the viewer’s attention. Entire episodes are devoted to one really weird idea, yet he knows how to make it tick now. I’m in no way saying that he is among the greats, but what I am saying is that he’s on the right path there, though unfortunately it’s not entirely there yet. Classicaloid is amazing, yet the great series of 9-15 years ago and the volume with which they came really was special.

I really believe that anime is due to improve. We just need to wait for the people who grew up in the golden age of anime go work themselves up to the top. I do not know how many years this will take. 10 years? 20 years? No clue. However I am interested in sticking along as long as fun series like Classicaloid keep getting made, and I also honestly believe that the worst is already behind us.

I know the above two paragraphs are really weird ramblings, poorly formulated and not that connected, but these are thoughts that I’ve been having a long time. I hope that I’ll be able to put more structure to them in the near future…

Posted on 22 January 2017 with categories: Yearly Summaries

Considering how 2016 has been in other areas, in regards to anime it wasn’t that bad. But let us not dwell anymore than we have to on the past year and get the show on the road.

 

The Worst

Worst Show

Aidan: Occultic;Nine

This is one of those shows which baffles me on just how it was even made. There can be good reason as to why some truly terrible anime were made. Production troubles, over ambition, lacking studio experience, poor source material…but this is an example where the only explanation I can think of as to why it turned out so terrible is the sheer incompetence of the writer and director.  I am long tired of speaking about this show so I will just round this up. Horrible direction that speeds up exposition to make it look like an episode of Bakemonogatari and even be visually nasuationing. A story which makes no sense and has a huge middle portion which is entirely pointless. No likeable characters and a girl with a chest so big that it rivals that of Mina from Air Master but the difference being that Mina’s huge knockers are meant as a joke when Ryouko’s are supposed to be attractive. This show is horrible, horrible trash and hope these two never work in this industry ever again.

Runner up: Musaigen no Phantom World(For killing the last bit of respect I had for KyoAni)

 

Mario: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

And with this Kabaneri takes the crown jewels. Well, first off, I don’t really mind popcorn action flicks, to put it another way I can endure it but what turn me off the most is when those shows take themselves too seriously. This one had this problem and then some. The action is over the top, which is fine, but then moments like pregnant-woman-turn-zombie got stabbed deliberately by “our people” just to prove the point (that doesn’t matter who you were before, when you got bitten by the zombie your humanity is over), it became rather tasteless. The plot itself is full of holes and overpowered characters that the more you think about it, the more it falls apart. In the second half the show did fall apart and it became exactly a train-wreck. For runner-up, let give a big round of applause to Occultic;Nine for its utmost intention to keep confusing us and make us feel uncomfortable till the very end. I’m not as pissed off about it as Aidan of course, but really this show was a mess which made very little sense.

Runner up: Occultic;Nine

 

Biggest Disappointment

Aidan: Erased

It is a point to be made that just because a show is disappointing, does not mean that it’s bad. Erased is by no means a bad show but it did manage to build peoples hopes to the degree that before the shows end people were declaring it a masterpiece. I offer this to Erased as I expected Berserk to disappoint but Erased I was well on my way to declaring one of my all time favorites. It really is evidence as to how much an ending can effect a show as while watching it the show manages to capture you but when all’s said and done and you look back, you realise the journey wasn’t as special as it was promising. Erased’s biggest crime is delivering a well done character drama when it was gearing the audience up for a mystery thriller. Thus I can fault the show for that, even if the end product was still good in it’s own right.

Runner Up: Berserk(2016)

 

Mario: Berserk (2016)

Arguably one of the most anticipated title last year, coming off from a 10 years plus high-regarded anime and even more prestigious (but endlessness) manga from Kentaro Miura. The long wait from us fans was not satisfied though, as the way the show handled the source material was just wrong. First the use of CGI animation failed miserably here, as the effect the CGI has was jarring and clunky and immediately took your attention away from the story. Then the pacing was off and the story was very newcomer-unfriendly. This series achieved something that I thought was impossible for Berserk: that maybe the manga isn’t that  special all of us fans hyped up to be: maybe it’s just a story about the killing, revenge and all ugly natures of human and nothing else. Second place goes to Joker Game that it started out incredibly solid for the first two episodes, then the episodic nature really killed the show as it became predictable (guess who will win in the end?), the stories that crammed up into single episode resulted in pretty much half-baked outcomes.

Runner up: Joker Game

 

HelghastKillzone: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

As the writer who covered this show over the spring 2016 season, I remember buying into the hype and singing its praises for the first half of the show before it fell off a cliff in its second half. With the same staff behind Attack on Titan, it had the animation, action, setting and music to potentially become the anime of the year but veered off into a shitty direction with the introduction of the main antagonist. To this day, I would recommend the first seven episodes as the shining example of what anime has to offer in the action department but its latter half is something to be avoided at all costs. My only solace is that the series is reseted by the end of the finale and that the recently announced second season will have a clean start.

Runner up: Dimension W

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Posted 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…

Posted on 16 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2

Short Synopsis: Kazama stands trial after accidentally blowing up a lord’s manor while saving the town.

This show certainly hasn’t lost it’s charm. I had the biggest smile on my face while watching and it even managed to get me laughing out loud at points. I will admit that the art team may be taking advantage of how KonaSuba’s bad character art lends to the shows comedy a little too much as the characters looked off model a lot in this episode. Also the lie detector scene was pretty much a joke stolen from the Simpsons though I loved how Kazama started abusing his position after the lie detector temporally cleared him of wrongdoing. The star wars recap joke was novel but admittedly overused a bit too much in other non anime shows. Other than that though this episode was a whole lot of fun and I hope this time Studio Deen is giving this more than ten episodes as if it can keep this up then they will have two potential best of year anime before the year has even really started.

Potential: 80%

Mario: For anyone who enjoy the first season of KonoSuba, the fun continues to live on. While KonoSuba certainly has a lot of issues, most notably Kazuma’s terrible traits which tend to drag everything down with him, looking at the show as pure comedy and you’ve hit gold mine. The comedic timing, for example, is even sharper than the first season. The character designs are purposely off-model most of the time to really illustrate the off-putting mess our 4 mains are in. The show seems to throw gags after gags at full speed and most of the time those jokes land well. The two Aqua and Megumin still pretty much stole the scenes every time they appear and if the rest of the second season remains as hilarious as this we sure are blessing in this wonderful world.

Potential: 70%

 

Chaos;Child

Short Synopsis: A group of teenagers happen across one of a series of murders.

First I will point out that no one should ever watch the Chaos;Head anime. If you want to get started on the series then play the visual novel as it is a far better experience. That said it is still a very disappointing story that I think people rate too highly. Go back years ago and I was a fellow who was just getting into visual novels and decided to give this “Chaos;Head” thing a shot. After a pretty fantastic opening scene I was well hooked for whatever the plot had in store. But much like any other semi-colon series, it starts strong but the longer it goes on the dumber it gets. Soon I found the story is wasting my time, introduces magical super swords which push the most interesting aspect, the new gen murders, out of the story completely and ends like one big shounen adventure that made me want to punch the screen. My guess is that many just concluded the later half of the game as just being in the delusional protagonists head, thus giving it a free pass. I however do not. This brings me to Chaos;Child which is a sort of sequel to Chaos;Head. This is by a different writer and frankly I would applaud an attempt to take the parts of Chaos;Head that worked and make a better story out of them. So far that seems to be exactly what he’s doing as the new Gen murders are once again in the spotlight. However it’s been too soon since Occultic;Nine so I plan on seeing what the end consensus is on this series after it’s finished before giving it a chance. As for new viewers, I don’t think the recap at the beginning of this series does a good job of getting people up to speed but it could be possible to start Chaos;Child without it as it doesn’t carry any of the same characters. It has some interesting aspects but I will leave this up to your own judgment.

Potential: 20%

Mario: First I have to say the recap episode of Chaos;Head was really helpful to pick up what had been going on in that universe, but I admit just right after Occultic;Nine I ain’t really in the mood for these semicolon series, at least for now. The main protagonist is a tad improvement from other main characters since he’s at least not annoying. These freak murder mysteries are all right so far, should be good enough to pique interest from those who love mystery out there. There’s a bunch of characters but apart from the guy’s older sister and that yellow hair girl, the others are dead weight right now. I don’t really think we will have a satisfying conclusion either based on what they did with Occultic;Nine but at least the mystery presented was strong enough so anyone who found the cases interesting by all mean continue to watch it. For myself I will need to cool down a bit before approaching any semicolon series ever again.

Potential: 20%

 

Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang

Short Synopsis:

Dear readers allow me to be blunt for a moment. Sometimes when a show like this comes up I am tempted to briefly skim the thing and write down some two cents. For we all know exactly what my impression is going to be and quite frankly you have written off this show before it’s even aired. And rightly so because it’s exactly what you think it is. For one I am convinced these main characters are all genetic clones because the only differencing factor is their hair colour. The one positive factor I can say from this first episode is that I was able to shave a few minutes of the runtime by skipping the song and dance sequence. A small mercy when it comes to idol shows. So we have a school setting where our main characters are setting up a club and plan to kiss the stars in the universe or something. Which is stupid because clearly you would suffocate and freeze to death before you could get vaporized when kissing a luminous sphere of plasma. I supposed they mean it metaphorically but even as a metaphor I can’t seem to suss out the meaning. Anyway the characters are completely dull, the story is uninteresting and the comedy falls so flat that it was probably run over by a steamroller. It will air, then disappear and eventually be forgotten about for all eternity, just like it should be.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Gosh, I am actually glad that I only need to give impressions on 2 idols shows this season (We still have Bang Dream but it won’t air until a full week later) because boy how nonsense and uninspiring those idols shows are. So, after this episode we learn 3 things about those guys. First, as an idol, they aim to shoot the stars and kiss the universe or whatever it is. Second, asking an idol about his old time means exactly like asking a previous relationship so it’s a sensitive issue because now they are one. Third, those guys are still high school students so apart from being idols (which actually eat up a lot of your time already), they really need to form a club because that’s what being high school students is about, doesn’t matter which activities they’d do as a club. You see, all those are uninteresting, I hate idols the most, I hate high school settings the second so really the show just represents all those things I dislike so I said it’s a no, no and NO.

Potential: 0%

 

Scum’s Wish

Short Synopsis: Two classmates with doomed loves decide to go out with each other to fill the void.

Before I said that Fuuka would be starting fires in episode discussion threads but honestly this show could beat it in terms of that later down the line. This is a full on soap opera which could be your thing but when I read the manga I remember being very mixed on it. It has things I wish a lot more romance anime would have, like having character be in an actual relationship instead of teasing a will they won’t they situation. As well as going into the more darker aspects of romance. However it does result in some bad aspects later on in the story. So far this is a pretty good start and is very well made. Though I find myself uninvested in the struggles of the main characters as what they considering love just feels ridiculously superficial to me. This kind of love is often heavily glamorized in media but I feel that a connection which is grown over time between two individuals interactions is much closer to true love than a one sided affection which is almost primarily based on lust. If anything the co-dependance our two protagonists have is closer to love than the love they are chasing after which may be an intentional story element. I recommend watching this and deciding if it’s up your alley. But if you decide to continue it then be prepared as this isn’t going to be an easy ride.

Potential: 50%

Mario: Let’s end these first impressions up with the noitaminA slot, Scum’s Wish. Look, I normally have no qualms when dealing with shows that gradually put me into uncomfortable zone (see my intense love for Flowers of Evil for example) because after all, the rawer the feeling it evokes, the more the viewers can personally responds to it. But all these uncomfortable feelings have to come from the understanding of its characters and their situations. You must have something you really want to say to make it resonate. Scum’s Wish’s first episode understands that, focusing the doomed love entirely from a perspective of Hana. There are two angles the show is currently exploring, the first theme is the pain of unrequited love. Those characters keep chasing their “true love” and their true love keeps chasing god-know-who and the cycle repeats itself, and that aspect truthfully makes me hesitate the most. It’s no fun to see doomed love getting doom after all. The other aspect though; about the very unhealthy relationship when the two jump at each other for comfort, while at the same times aware how corrupted it was; is given with great insight and sympathy in this episode. The way the show uses panel really add perspective to those characters, as these moments of jealous, of longing are often unsaid and unnoticed by their targets, the use of panel also underline the distance between Hana, Mugi and their true love. As of now I don’t really know which direction the show ultimately takes (maybe bit of both) because the show can really go north or south depending on which road it takes, but I can’t deny I respond to this show the most out of everything airing this season, not necessary in a positive way though.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 15 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Onihei

Short Synopsis: A captured thief joins the police to hunt down his old leader.

For a studio’s first work this is quite a solid offering. The beginning reminded me of samurai champloo though this seems more a traditional samurai story. Animation isn’t anything too impressive but it does the job and there is some great music. This is looking to be a more episodic series which each episode dealing with it’s own case and thanks to Joker Game I am not keen on that idea.If anything turns me off this series it’s the Edo period setting which I never found all that interesting. Thanks to amazon prime you may find this series hard to find but if you can check it out it is worth a watch. It’s certainly better than the usual superpowered teenagers in magical high school shows. Not to my taste but if you are a fan of samurai movies and the setting this might catch your eye.

Potential: 60%

Mario: Wonders indeed will never cease because I found Onihei to be the most solid new episode I’ve watched this Winter season. Given a period settings, along with quite mature storyline and somewhat muted promotions, I can only imagine this one fly under the radar for most of regular anime watchers (which actually make me want to blog about it more, but let wait and see until I check them all out). The characters, especially the mains, are wonderfully recognized just based on the way they talk and they carry great chemistry together. The story in this first episode is simple enough but speaks right to the code of honour as the main overarching theme. From what I gathered the show’s going to be an episodic detective serial, which if this first episode indicates anything then it’s gonna be a wild ride. The art is a bit of a weird part though, as I spotted some CGI animation (especially in establishing shots of local people walking), main hand-drawn animation for most parts and at some points a rotoscoping animation as well. At least those techniques give the show an unique appeal and don’t distract us much from the story. Not everything is perfect here (I found the last part lacking and I sensed a bit of Joker Game’s vibe here) but overall I say people should watch out for this.

Potential: 80%

 

Gabriel DropOut

Short Synopsis: A pure hearted angel is corrupted by human society, hijinks ensue.

I think this has the same problem as Omari-chan in that the protagonist is completely devoid of likeable traits and is a genuinely horrible person for the sake of comedy. Anyway the core foundation of every joke in the series is this, the angels act demonic and the demons act angelic. The contrast works for a little while but soon the jokes became predictable. Eventually the angel and demon thing doesn’t really matter all that much. It more or less becomes an excuse for the characters eccentric personalities and we got a regular gag show with cute girls. If you are looking for a show that you can shut your brain off to and just unwind this isn’t that bad an option. Overall something to tide you over until the better shows air.

Potential: 20%

Mario: I came to this episode completely blind so I found that early “twist” quite well-earned and hilarious, well it isn’t really a twist because after all it’s up there in the premise: the angels are bunch of manipulating brats and the devils are their helpless victims. With that in mind the rest of the episode plays out as the variations of how bad those angels are and how innocent those devils behave (AKA they’re terrible at their jobs), which is well, I have a fun times this episode but the jokes if continue like this will get pale very fast. There is some good comedic timing here, and I found the cast bounce off each other relatively well but if they don’t have a concrete plot then it won’t go far. Could be a breather series to watch pass time but I don’t see it as anything more to recommend than that.

Potential: 20%

 

ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Short Synopsis: A branch working man investigates corruption within a supposed utopia.

I still remain unable to really gauge this show as it does seem to be something that is well executed but just doesn’t appeal to me personally. I am reminded of Ghost in the shell Stand Alone complex in a way as that is a show that I recognised as good but just didn’t like personally. This episode was slow but it had nice world building and is something quite different from our usual kind of anime. My only major criticism is in how the main protagonist someone managed to figure out everything based on a five minute delay and a report from the day before. I generally don’t like it when a show keeps the inner workings of investigation to itself as it makes it like the main protagonist is pulling his answers directly from the script. Other than that we have an intriguing setup for a potentially great series. Though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Potential: 50%

Mario: This one falls right in the middle for me. On one hand I love the world-building. The nation Dowa is peaceful, stable and I like the idea of 13 Districts with their own style of living (like in The Hunger Games); basically that world is rich in details and I love to know more about it. But there’s something trouble underneath its fake peaceful façade and everyone seems to expect this show is a slow-burn story that detailed how Jean progress to find out the ugly truth. Think again because the actual case in this episode happened so quickly, with evidences we have no knowledge of before so yeah I don’t trust this show’s detective case at all. There’s also a tonal disjoined as the lighter moments of the division’s members enjoying cakes don’t seem to fit well with the rest; then we also have an overpowered element in the name of ACCA 5 Chiefs with for now are all over the top. As of now, just like the division ACCA itself, it’s hard for me to judge the show because I don’t know the role of Jean in a big narrative sense, but everything else from the Dowa world to the productions are handled very well. Still the premise is intriguing enough for me to check out more of it.

Potential: 60%

Posted on 13 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Hand Shakers

Short Synopsis: A boy holds the hand of a girl he finds in a hospital room and ends up in a supernatural battle to the death.

GoHands, you know what would be great? If you know, instead of slapping on lens flares and colour filters all over the place, you just don’t do that? For I can at least see some good character animation here underneath all the horrible CGI and distracting visual effects. Well except for that class president girl with breast physics that likened her chest to jello in zero gravity. Seriously, I think if I slapped these things they would jiggle in perpetual motion for all of eternity. We also have another girl in this episode who spend the episode being chained up and surely her acting direction was to moan like she was in a porno and not much else. This seems like an anime experiment of the bad kind as Hand Shakers has the characters in 2D animation and animated the backgrounds completely in 3D. Considering that the main character’s catchphrase is to saying things are meshing or not it seems unintentionally ironic than the 2D and 3D of this show doesn’t mesh at all. Plus this makes the same mistake as K in that the show decides to introduce itself by shoving the viewer into a full on confusing series of action sequences of which we have no idea what the stakes are or what is even going on. What is particularly annoying is that they repeat these animations at the end of the episode where we are at least up to speed so why even bother putting it at the start in the first place. A confusing mess, a visual disaster and considering the blatant fanservice(Oh look, the main heroine has a bath scene next episode), a rather trashy show. Still it’s not Occultic;Nine so I suppose that’s one point in it’s favor.

Potential: 0%

Mario: And I thought we can’t possibly get any lower than Spiritpact here comes Hand Shakers. The show is one rare anime that consistently messy, all over the place in almost every department. Where do I start first? Let’s talk about characters. All the characters are unmemorable at best, irritating at most of the time and just trash at worst. Our main guy has that stupid quirk, behaves like a doll with no real personality whatsoever, but worst is how the show portraits the female casts: his best friend talked while her boobs juggling, the main girl didn’t have a single dialogue this episode and that other girl was chained, tortured, lying on the ground, while her guy stepped on her stomach and used her power and talked bullshit. WHAT? Now that’s offensive! I can tolerate all other awfulness but if you treat your characters like trash then it’s hard for me to take you seriously, Hand Shakers. Then the story. What’s the story really as this is the most awkward pacing I’ve ever seen. Why include the scene of him fixing some stranger’s car? These shifts of tones are often jarring, like how the series showed his drama with little sister then jump to the action scene in the next minute. Finally, the visual. What utterly incompetence the visual was. Those chains were so out of place that a ten-year-old boy would do a better job at this, and those sparkling out of nowhere? Everything looks stiff and everything looks ugly. Even the idea of holding someone’s hand for the rest of their life scare the life out of me so really there’s nothing that hold me back here. In fact, keep delving on how awful this show is would require a whole length of Gone with the Wind novel so I highly recommend you guys to watch it for yourself to be stunned and amazed.

Potential: 0%

 

Kemono Friends

Short Synopsis: A human child ends up in a park filled with humanoid animals.

I am fairly certain this isn’t the kind of show for anyone who reads this blog. I am not really sure on how to judge it either as I am clearly not the main demographic. Basing this on if I was about twenty years younger, I say I would watch this episode but not really seek to continue the show. It has a very happy go lucky feel to it and the whole thing just felt very safe. The CGI wasn’t too jarring so visually it’s decent. Overall just a rather mediocre kids show.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Being a kid’s show (actually the only new kid show this season), of course my standard of giving my two cents is different too. There’s not much for us adults to take out from: the storyline is simple, the character designs are even simpler and the CGI animation is easily the simplest. But on the other hand, judging the show by how well it will entertain children, then actually I think the show does a decent job. The sense of fun is there, and even try to pick out what types of animals those girls are is amusing. The aesthetic isn’t much ­as everything appears quite plain and stiff, but I don’t fault it for that either. Only those Ceruleans are out of place but I guess those monsters are something akin to four enemies that try to catch Pac-man. Speaking of which did I mention that this show is based on the free-to-play game? For it being a children’s show I won’t treat it harshly like Hand Shakers up there (but really, this is a better show) as there’s nothing truly bad about it, it’s just forgettable so no, I’ve done the job for you to check it out so you don’t need to watch it yourself.

Potential: 10%

 

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Short Synopsis: A dragon falls in love with a human girl and vows to become her personal maid.

You know it’s a fairly long time since we got a truly hand drawn animated dragon instead of the usual CGI dragon. Which is a pity because those are generally the best kind. So how my heart weeps that the show to fulfil this desire is cheap gag slice of life. My biggest problem with this show is that it’s getting the attention to detail and level of quality it truly does not deserve. A series about a dragon that turns into a lesbian maid.  I will give credit that the dragon girl openly admits that she is sexually interested in Kobayashi which from my knowledge even Yuri on Ice was too afraid to do. But the problem is that this is an utterly mindless gag show with no real substance. Or at least what little substance it has is bound to be phased out in time as more dragons are introduced. Yes it’s not bad but it’s just so average that I can’t bring myself to care about it. If you have the time and like these kinds of shows it’s not a bad choice but truthfully you would be better off watching Demi-chan instead.

Potential: 10%

Mario: I guess your enjoyment out of this show will depend entirely on how you like Tohru the dragon maid and more importantly the dry humor of the show. As such I’m not a big fan of either. Given I already liked half of its jokes, from Tohru chewing the laundry to her roasted tail, I found it’s lacking in overall tones because in truth it’s a fan-service show from head to its tail. The premise is kind of lazy one as she just suddenly appeared in front of Kobayashi’s house and declared that she’d like to be a maid. Compare it with Demi-chan who actually give a lot of its heart to the characters and this is pale in comparison. The visual is attractive though, so are the character designs. I know after a spectacular Sound! Euphonium 2, KyoAni needs something light-hearted like this but aside from Tohru and the gags about her perspective towards this mundane, “inferior” world, this show is more a missed opportunity to me. If you have to pick one slice-of-life monster moe pick Demi-chan instead.

Potential: 20%

Posted on 12 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Little Witch Academia

Short Synopsis: A normal girl goes to attend a academy for witches

You know if the remaining 24 episodes are as great as this one this anime may end up on of my all time favorites list. Animation is great and full of personality, story is simple but fun and I had a blast while watching it. It’s a big joke to say that Studio Trigger is saving anime but the level of quality on display here actually lends credence to that claim. My biggest worry is whether they can keep up this quality for the remainder of the show and just what they plan on making the main storyline of the series. Though I am most certainly interested in finding out. Look, watch this. I give it the highest recommendation out of everything this season.

Potential: 95%

Mario: Apart from the show being a reboot, meaning that we have to go through the introduction and some of “don’t know how to use magic/ witch blood” situations all over again, which I’m kinda feel overdone at this point, everything else is what to be expected here (and I did expect a hell lot from this). For those of you who unfamiliar with its shorts, think the best elements of Harry Potter (which is its world-building) without all the dark, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named bullshit. Little Witch Academia is all about adventure and what an adventure the cast have been through this first episode, getting lost in the forbidden forest to hunt rare giant fire-breathing chicken. Already in this episode our three main girls have a great chemistry together, the visual is wild but creative as expected from Studio Trigger and the show never lose its sense of fun. If you’re about to watch just one show this season (hopefully you aren’t) make it this one and rest assured that even if this show will be released all at once by Netflix, one of us will cover it regularly for your own pleasures.

Potential: 80%

 

Idol Jihen

Short Synopsis: A farm girl enters the world of politics by singing on a stage.

Ah, the idol industry. The soul sucking demon which takes adolescent girls and treats them like mere commodities for making cash. Idol Jihen may be trying to dress it up like most anime do but quite frankly the only thing produced by Idols is crap music, destroyed childhoods and fanatical fans. I really do love how this show avoids talking about actual idol skill and instead we have these “aura” which apparently decides how good an idol is. Yep you can perform perfectly but you are doing something wrong because of your “aura”. Anyway the premise of this show is ridiculous with Idols somehow being politicians as well? My guess is the political side isn’t going to get explored much and instead idols will sing the corruption away. I can only imagine the fallout once they aged past the point where they are no longer suitable for idol business. There may be novelty value in the premise but all we really have here is yet another idol show.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Politics Idols? I admit that it sounds amusing on paper but when you actually mix them together the show just falls apart. First, the 2 tones are vastly different that it often feels like two different shows; and none of them work. The politics are decidedly in your face with corruption, stupidity (death by food choking?); whereas as much as the series show us the danger causes of this world, guess why the main girl decided to run for election? To make people happy. Yeah, that might be noble but that doesn’t fit with what you were selling us, Idol Jihen. The girls aren’t memorable and you can probably list a dozen other characters with that same traits. Afterall, the only thing remotely similar about politics and idols world is they are just for show so we appropriately can just take it at face value. An easy skip.

Potential: 0%

 

elDLIVE

Short Synopsis: A boy is randomly abducted and pushed to become an space police officer.

Considering this is a studio pierrot offering, the animation is fairly decent but the story is as inoffensive shounen as it was in the manga. If you are a fan of pretty standard shounen this checks the boxes in that regard. But I still say this is essentially the premise of Space Patrol Luluco with none of the fun. Our main character is apparently ostracized because he keeps talking to the pokemon that has taken residence within his body. Which would be tragic if he couldn’t just stop talking out loud to it. It didn’t take long for Migi and Shinichi from Parasyte to figure out that talking out loud to each other is a bad idea. So seeing as you spent your entire life with this and still are making this mistake that kills any sympathy I would have had for this plight. So he’s dragged kicking and screaming out of his normal life to be pushed into a life or death situation by superiors who clearly don’t care if he lives or dies. It’s played off comically but all things considered these policemen such are vicious. At one point when they shoved him into a spacesuit they even considered cutting off the oxygen to the suit if he refused. Though I am just looking at it far too seriously and it is a rather harmless show. Still if I wanted to watch space police take down alien criminals on earth then I would just watch Birdy the Mighty Decode again.

Potential: 10%

Mario: elDLIVE is Men in Black, anime-style. Not really. If I compare it to MIB than I give this show too much credits. Apart from Space Police which could be a fun angle to delve on, there’s not much else to recommend. Let see, how this kid was chosen in a first place? Because he WAS CHOSEN. And then they throw him back to his town for a test, but guess who figure out the alien? Not him, his “inner voice”. Who was the one that capture the alien? His inner voice. Who was the one that have superpower? His inner voice. In other words, this guy didn’t do any damn things except talking to himself, and that not even count the time when his complex kick in. That weird voice that come out from his chest gives me a creep to be honest, so no this isn’t something worth checking out. 10% comes purely on the weirdness of that mascot, because for the life of me I wouldn’t dare to imagine what my inner voice would look like in physical form.

Potential: 10%

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

Spiritpact

Short Synopsis: A boy is killed by a truck and finds himself teamed up with an exorcist as a ghost.

Sorry China, by all means keep trying but this isn’t going to top Japanese animation any time soon. So what’s wrong? Well the animation is fairly basic, the characters are annoying and the comedy falls flat on it’s face. Though I may be mistaken on this part but I think I saw signs of fujoshi pandering as well. It’s a bit sad that the execution of this show is so lacking when the general premise could work. I like the idea of a ghost and a exorcist teaming up together but the characters are just so bland and the dialogue feels so lazy. The exorcist just says exposition in a tone that honestly makes me think the voice actor is bored out of his skull. Not that I could blame him as does feel like a bankrupt show. There’s nothing interesting or notable about it.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Those Chinese co-production anime just keeps popping up every season now, huh? Anyone who read my post before might already know that I have very mixed feeling with Haoliners animation, and here Spiritpact is another uninspired product from them. I don’t know if it’s more of cultural unfamiliarity when it comes to humor but the comedy sucks big time here, and worse it drags out for too long. The story of getting the main guy to become a spirit exorcist is way too forced, way too inconsistent, way too bland, way to uninspired. The main guy might be one of the most annoying character I have seen in awhile, and it doesn’t help either that the production is among the worst so far this season. I originally brush this off but now with the constant influx of Chinese anime getting into Japanese anime market every season, it’s only a matter of time before Chinese anime make a breakthrough hit that will shake the anime community (I’ll say in 2 years), but as of now this title will be remembered as the worst of this Winter season. Congrats Spiritpact!

Potential: 0%

 

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Short Synopsis: A biology teacher who wishes to study demi-humans suddenly encounters a number of them in his school.

It can be difficult at times to predict just how well a manga would work in animation. In the case of this I found the manga to be a decent read though not something to blow anyone’s socks off. To my surprise, and what looks like many others, the anime was quite an enjoyable watch. I still think Monster Musume went a whole lot further on the monster girls aspect but Demi-chan is certainly a lot less fanservice focused. Well it certainly has moe in abundance but at least in this case that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The nature of these various monster girls integrating into society is more the main draw for those watching and so far at least it’s doing a good job. The main character is also a nice change of pace as it is rather refreshing to have someone talk about erotica and not flare up like a bunsen burner. After all he did make a number of good points on how vampirism is related to lust and it is curious in the way vampires can live without blood. The vegetation comparison was particularly apt and I at least appreciate a take on vampirism that isn’t a attempt to turn them into fetishised jewelry in human form. Though with only four demi-humans I wonder where the show will go once the teacher has interviewed them all?

Potential: 70%

Mario: Man, I was prepared to approach Demi-chan for whatever it is but I certainly wasn’t ready for this heart-warming and cuteness. The story takes a slice-of-life approach to explore the demi-human points of view in regards to adapting the normal life and redefining the “old legends”, which they deliver both the points in the most natural way. Usually for other slice of life cute girls show characters have their own quirks that more or less make them unrealistic because… eh, it’s weird or sometimes even irritating, but those quirks work surprisingly well in this series because they serve as the main point to both show the characteristics of those demi styles, as well as how those characters see the world around them. Then all the characters have such natural and warm chemistry together and you basically have a winner episode. Out of those demi-human, succubus sensei is the weakest character so far but other than that I have no real complaint. Check this little show out guys, it’s worth it.

Potential: 70%

 

Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

Short Synopsis: Fantasy war stuff, I guess?

As this show is really just a series of movies cut into tv episodes I won’t really bother giving my two cents.

Mario: Did they really start the show in the middle of the battlefield, right in the climax of a fight? How they think it’s a good idea to catch our attention is beyond me. Well, I get that our team failed so we’re going to have a whole series building things up again, but for the love of god don’t show us too many characters without proper introduction. They all gathered (and then disbanded) to follow the guy’s quest, but the problem is that we don’t even know that guy, let alone those characters so why should we care? Who is that girl who hold the precious book? Who is that princess, and from which country? The worldbuilding is surprisingly detailed on the other hand considered that this series was adapted from tower defense’s mobile game. The actual story though doesn’t look that promising so if you’re a fantasy buff you can get by with it, otherwise I don’t think it appeals to the general viewers out there.

Potential: 20%

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

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2

Short Synopsis: A former ex-con hopes to keep the profession of Rakugo alive.

It’s good to see this show hasn’t lost it’s touch in between the seasons and having Yotaro do a recap of the first season through Rakugo was a particularly great touch. The drama is still excellent and we already have some interesting aspects being brought up. For one it’s fascinating how Yakumo is in his prime as a performer now that he’s a senior. Age does benefit a storyteller as it gives his words more weight and you can really tell it with Yakumo. We have those claiming that Yakumo is a shinigami who will take Rakugo with him when he dies thanks to his reluctance to take on appearances. Even Yakumo himself isn’t reluctant to take on the role of being Rakugo’s reaper. Yotaro and Konatsu’s relationship is heartwarming and it is nice how Yotaro is a happy go lucky idiot that is charming for how genuinely honest he is. Yotaro looks to be bringing the future of Rakugo with the help of a man who was refused when he asked to be Yakumo’s apprentice. We have a great start to what is likely to be an underrated but absolute gem of a series.

Potential: 95%

Mario: Rakugo is back again in fine form, now the second season follows Yotaro in present day. As Yotaro is much more impulsive than Kikuhiro, the story in turns has a lot more comedic moments and overall offbeat tone. As for now I don’t feel that comic exaggerated gestures (especially his friend in Kyoto who gave up rakugo) fit well with the rest but I will wait to see more. Other than that, there’s nothing to complain here. Making new rakugo plays sounds like an interesting angle to me and I really don’t mind to follow just that for the rest of this season, but then we also have his relationship with Konatsu and Kikuhiro and many of the people who connected to rakugo in all sorts of way. As with the nature of rakugo or really of nearly everything traditional, women have a restrict, limited role so I really look forward for Konatsu to break that restriction. This show is easily the cream of the crop this season so people who missed out on its last season, go watch it. You don’t even need to catch up on the first season, just go watch it now.

Potential: 95%

 

Seiren

Short Synopsis: A series of romance tales involving a boy and various girls in his school.

This is Amagami in everything but name. The good news is that if you liked Amagami then you will like this. The bad news is that it carries the same flaws as Amagami. The biggest being the protagonist whose as bland as they come. I find that self insert protagonists really only work within novels and games where you are in the mind of the character in question. When it comes to the more visual medium self inserts are less effective as it’s difficult to insert yourself into a character on screen whom you cannot control nor hear his thoughts. You could imagine being in his position but not really usurping it. In truth this kind of protagonist only really serves to make the lead as boring and malube as possible which causes all character interaction with him to suffer. The second problem is that when you have romances happening and then negated to move on to the next heroine it somewhat falsifies the romance in question. After all even if the protagonist declares himself to have found his true love then wouldn’t that statement sound hollow considering that if things were slightly different he would be declaring the same thing with someone else just as easily? Either way there is nothing truly wrong with this show and I do find it watchable and the girls are rather charming. Should make for a fairly decent romance series.

Potential: 40%

Mario: In preparation for this show, I watched the first season of Amagami SS and I found all those standalone stories were a decent take on romance. Seiren, although billed as an original, serves as a more spiritual adaptation of that series so you know what you’re getting too. On the matter that whether Seiren can make itself apart from Amagami SS still remain a question mask. I enjoy the 4-episode arc format focus on each girl as the romance won’t drag for too long. The main guy is improved a bit compared to Amagami SS’s but he still isn’t interesting at all. That main character again has a little sister and I really don’t know why the show include her at all. Apart from the harem girls the show spends quite a time for Shoichi and his best mate so that’s a plus for me. At least the first girl Hikari is interesting enough and I very much enjoyed the loose but naturalistic dialogues. Overall I have a good time watching this and for the season that actually crowded with romantic offerings, this one still stands as your safest bet.

Potential: 60%

 

Urara Meirochou

Short Synopsis:

Out of cute girls doing cute things shows this is the best out of currently airing but I can honestly say this genre will never quite appeal to me. Maybe because I am a soulless gargoyle who wouldn’t be moved by such fluffy antics or maybe I just find the general concept a bit too artificial. There are no girls who act like this and the experience of watching this show is akin to watching baby animals in a zoo.  Sure it’s cute but there’s nothing more to it. It’s just watching dumb animals being dumb. So you will watch, go dawww, laugh and forgot it all by the time you walk away. Not saying anime doesn’t need a show like that but I find there is just too much of an abundance of them lately.

Potential: 30%

Mario: Okay, it was rather surprising even to me but I enjoy every moments of this show. The series is simply a variation of cute girls genre but damn are they overly cute! That town looks strange but lively and warm, these girls are admittedly very generic but just look at those ears and those belly buttons (I know, I know!) Those fortune telling types are what sell the show to me and I’m generally intrigued to learn more about those details. Yes, in that world every girls are obsessed to fortune telling, but to what extent and for whatever purpose are still pretty much in the air now. Of course not even the main girls but the instructors, the manly guardswoman, even all the animals are too fluffy that actually turn me off a bit. This normally isn’t my kind of show (on a second thought, maybe it is), but I’m more than happy to spend more time with those girls and those fortune tellings.

Potential: 50%

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
I know usually we should vote for the actual performances rather than their career, but I get the feeling in some cases it was just a matter of having the right role at the right time and not their actual talent.
SuperMario
I have no problem with Moonlight (instead of La La Land) winning BP as well. Easily the best one out there. Agreed with you on Huppert but Ben Affleck I got mixed feeling on that. He was really great in that role but based on his whole career he doesn't deserve to win it imo.
Kaiser Eoghan
Horray! Based Mel won best editting =O
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I am glad moonlight got best picture and Casey Affleck got best actor. Michael Shannon should have won best actor, Isabelle Huppert should have won best actress.
SuperMario
I just watched the re-broadcast of Oscar. What the heck was going on? How the hell can they mix up the Best Picture name????????????
SuperMario
@Aidan: I will go with whatever new manga he put up. That Happiness manga is currently intriguing as well
AidanAK47
Oh, the flowers of evil author started a new manga and...Oh no. I do not like where this is going.
SuperMario
That Dragon Dentist is looking good; I will give it a proper watch and then review it here. Don't know what to expect thou.
Anonymous890468
man just started a blog called the bran new day blog, this one is very interesting. consider me a regular
AidanAK47
I recommend clearing your browser cache and then checking the site again.
AidanAK47
Then how are we talking on a broken chatbox?
Ffafn
Yes it is. You broke the site. In every way possible. Parse error on the chat? Not broken? Sure.
AidanAK47
No it isn't. It just works better if you have an account with the site.
Ffafn
The chat is broken
Ffafn
Gantz:O is really good
AidanAK47
Horizon: Zero Dawn is another one that might force me to get a ps4.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Not gonna buy a switch until I see one right in front of my face. Considering Ninetdo's scarcity tactic that will be in a while and by then it will have more games.
SuperMario
Seiren finished its second route and well, it was still a mess. I think the story gotten a little bit better than the 1st one, but I found the main girl in the 2nd one less remarkable than the 1st
SuperMario
I myself had been checking this site for 5,6 years before "applied" to become admin here. Mainly to check out his older reviews. Was a real lurker myself; didn't feel the need to comment anything.
Lenlo
Zelda easy, except I refuse to buy a Switch for 1 game.
Vonter
And Nier might be the most unpredictable do to the director not conforming to typical storytelling. But also wacky gameplay design decisions like abrupt shifting from 3D to 2D. And being overall weird.
Vonter
Just asking but between Nier: Automata, Zelda: BotW and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Which one would you play first? Zelda sounds great with only the possibility of technical nitpicks hindering the Wii U version (or not). Horizon seems like a mixed bag, a graphically ambitious game with expected open world elements.
Lenlo
I began reading here back in 11/12, but never felt the need to post to much till now. Cant remember how I found it.
Topgavin
Googled "anime reviews" in 2013 and this was the first thing that came up. Didn't post until Kyoukai no Kanata's ending forced me to rant somewhere; that being here.
Kaiser Eoghan
I began visiting the site in 2009, though started posting sometime in 2010/11.
Topgavin
@Mario yenah don't worry, this website it one of my 6 or 7ish tabs that never closes. I'm sure many here are like this, but it'd feel wrong to stop reading a site you've been reading for a long time. I've only been here 3-4ish years myself, but I know there's some who've been here much longer.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sex sells baby.SEX SELLS (not sure if anyone biting it thou)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Putting nude screenshots into the Scum's wish posts I see to pull people into checking it out OwO.
SuperMario
@Topgavin: yeah the question is WHEN they will adapt all of these. Great that you're busy now with uni stuffs (always good to be busy) but make sure to check back in often. I don't want to loose the small number of regular viewers here so to speak :)
Topgavin
And yeah, been doing university stuff so haven't had much time at all to do own time stuff.
Topgavin
@Mario Apparently there's a decent amount of content left in the VN, and since it's the first show by the studio I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a second season. Pretty bad look if you neglect your flagship show
SuperMario
and haven't seen you around that often lately @Topgavin. Been busy this season??
SuperMario
For Tanya, there's either this type of episode that focused on war, action and Tanya being badass; or Tanya working her way up rank and fighting with God. While obviously I enjoy the latter much more, I think this was still a solid episode. My 2 main complaints would be I'd love for things go unexpected for once for Tanya and I don't think we have anything close to conclusion this season.
Topgavin
I wouldn't be surprised if the guy that got shot didn't actually die, and that he gets 'helped' by god to be Tanya's main opponent. Or we just continue like normal and that was just a show of Tanya being Tanya. Either way the show is going strong
Anonymous885442
What if Being X decides to help things along?
Lenlo
So I cant remember, whats the gang bosses relationship to Yakumo? I just cant place him.
Lenlo
If she does become a reasonable opponent, there needs to be some sort of time skip or buildup. Theres no way she goes from a little girl in America to a formidable opponent in afew months. Maybe once Tanya grows up some more? I think the Colonel that got killed though would have been fine had they not killed him off so anti-climatically.
HelghastKillzone
Much like how Sophie became the opposing witch for Izetta last season, although I hope to hell it won't suck as much.
HelghastKillzone
We're at latter stages of Vol. 2 LN for Youjo Senki and I think that there is the potential for Mary Sue to become a formidable opponent. She's the only one with any semblance of a motive for going after Tanya personally. Everyone else is either dead or under Tanya's command.
Lenlo
Agreed. My favorite part of the show was Tanya and her attitude/interactions with people. I know shes a badass, now show me where shes an evil monster worthy of being Gods foe.
AidanAK47
I do agree that Tanya hasn't really interacted with those around her. In that regard the shorts show more of that. I think we need to get into her head more as well. We haven't had much monologue these past two episodes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Deus lo vult. Admitly she's likely going to come into it at a later date but it is important to note that this story wasn't written to be chopped into anime seasons. We got 7 light novels and I hear the web novel has already been completed. My worry is that the majority of this season will be setting up a great conflict. This is going to become a world war after all.
Lenlo
But Aidan, we know nothing about her. Shes in America at the moment, so her getting to the war and becoming any kind of threat is ridiculous. He was much better setup to be an antagonist. He had history with the protagonist after all and was clearly skilled because of his position.

She just has no buildup as a major character that I care about in any way
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Agree on that. It's the drifters thing again, if the enemy doesn't make the main character sweat then there no real tension in the action.
Lenlo
We also dont get many character to character talks as you said. Its mostly just Tanya barking orders and chances for her to show off how smart she is. Aside from being a tad aggressive, nothing she has done has had any consequences, shes and the battalion are in no real danger since not even an unnamed member has died, and she has very few notable faults.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I disagree on that characters inclusion being pointless. I think it's setup for Tanya's antagonist. After all Tanya stole his gun, his gun which was a Christmas present from his Daughter and inscribed with his name. When someone sees that gun, they are gonna want some vengeance.
His daughters name is Mary Sue by the way. If she lives up to the name this will be most entertaining.
Lenlo
There was just very little character progress. Sure, the army and the war advanced, but it was just another battle scene with a named character who I thought was going to be reacurring and important, just get shut down immediatly. He didnt do anything. What was the point of his inclusion?
Anonymous884628
My question is what the end game of this anime is. The structure doesn't make it clear where the story will put a closure. And still there's not that many interactions between Tanya and her peers, the only character interactions that have felt meaningful have been with God.
Anonymous884628
Lenlo - So so. I mean I liked a proper mission that it's easier to see the impact to the enemy, taking a couple of railroads and advancing the infantry into enemy territory. Still on the other hand the character they killed makes his inclusion kinda pointless.
Lenlo
I found this weeks Tanya alittle weak. I was expecting something more after that week break
Anonymous884480
Mirror of Fate and LoS2 felt like they didn't know where to take the story they built on the first game. There's a lack of touch in regards to using Castlevania characters and in short they were a mess. The RE6 of Castlevania. Too big, too unfocused, too shallow.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - LoS 1 is decent. Evidently the developers wanted to make an original game that ended with the Castlevania game placed on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Apparently Lords of shadow ruined the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
That castlevania fighting game got stale quickly and Takeshi Obata's art wasn't suited to the characters.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've seen friends play the 3D ones, I remember some of the later ones including leveling up elements I think but those weren't so good.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - If you have a Wii or Wii U or a PSP, Rondo of Blood is good. In regards to the handhelds I think Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclessia are the best ones. The latter looking similar to what we've seen of Bloodstained.
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite my interest and enjoyment of Castlevania, I haven't played enough of the series as a should have back in the day. I played symphony of the night, legacy of darkness, dracula x, castlevania 4, bloodlines . I know the horrors of castlevania II.
Anonymous884275
At one moment Mighty No.09. Also seemed Megaman in everything but name. Both Yooka Laylee and Bloodstained are developed with a more modest budget than the former games. Also a key aspect is if they'll learn or stumble about the flaws the old games had. (Collecthaton and recycled enemy designs).
AidanAK47
Bloodstained is still about and that's castlevaina in everything but name
AidanAK47
Same on character design. Though I am worried they might pull out some adventure time character style.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's true about Ippo. It didn't really weaken as Ippo has a near perfect shounen formula. The problem is that it just stopped going anywhere. Still very enjoyable but plot progression is dead in the water. No ending aside it is likely the better anime. You can pretty much stop at the first season.
K-Off
I say Castlevania was fucked the moment it turned into a pachinko machine
Anonymous884097
I've heard Hajime no Ippo starts good and weakens the further you go into it. And I know Joe has an ending, I don't know if Ippo does.
Anonymous884097
AidanAK47 - I'm mainly worried about the western character design they'll use. Since it has the range of being like the new DC animated movies, or something like Korgoth of Barbaria. I think the castle is intended to not make sense given all the things it contains. Is more like a portal to another dimension.
AidanAK47
Looking at the poster image for the castlevainas animated series made me realise just how structurally unsound draculas castle is.
AidanAK47
@Mario, if your are starting something that long you might as well go for the better equalvent, Hajime no Ippo.
AidanAK47
That Castlevania animation has me worried. Fair enough if they are going to attempt it but the people working on it has me worried that they will try to turn it into a comedy. Adventure time Castlevania edition would make me very angry indeed.
Vonter
Like with the Rose of Versailles, or Remy (Le Naki Ko). It feels like witnessing the life of the main character. Since it also builds off the path to becoming a boxer. It's also in a way refreshing having a like-hate feeling for the protagonist, since he can be cool as well as being a total jerk.
Lenlo
Its the Hajime no Ippo predecessor and laid the foundation. Its pretty good imo.
Lenlo
Ashita no Joe is like, the original sports anime
SuperMario
wait... (looking at the details), so there're 79 episodes... well, I MIGHT give it a try but the long-run anime scare the hell out of me now
SuperMario
@Vonter: Really? If you like it that much then I'm gonna give it a try too
Vonter
Guys. I don't even recall how I ended watching this anime. But I'm enthralled with Ashita No Joe. Despite looking really really rough, despite having a rather easy to follow story. This anime feels with weight, it feels like reading a novel in best way.
SuperMario
...But I don't plan to watch anymore of it
SuperMario
@Spike: I watched the first 3 episodes of Akiba's Strip and I enjoy the show for its dynamic animation and its goofiness, after all I think Akiba's trip represents well the goods and bads of anime medium
SuperMario
This week has to be one of my personal favorite KonoSuba episode. Everything was hliarious from start to finish. I certainly didn't expect to enjoy Darkness that much. She's freaking amusing.
AidanAK47
Yamishibai really has gone downhill since it's excellent first season. Second season was alright. Third season was ruined by them relying on visual horror drawings that were more silly than scary. Fourth season is being ruined by the way that the stories don't seem to have a punchline. All the endings have been just let downs.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never expected this but, there's going to be an animated adaptation of Castlevania of all things.
Spike
Akiba's Trip is a real sleeper imo. It's pretty damn funny and goofy borderline trolling at times that make what should be a stupid forgetable show entertaining, worth checking out if you haven't.
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
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