Posted on 4 July 2015 with categories: Anime Reviews

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away from the stigma of being children’s entertainment. However in doing so I believe a fear was born. A fear to return to making “childish” media or to attempt to step down from creating something that could be considered for kids only. It’s a shame really as some of the most fondly remembered games and shows are those “childish” material.  The Crash’s, Spyro’s, Sly Cooper’s, Dexers laboritories, powerpuff girls, Samurai Jack’s and many more do seem absent in current times. When you get down to it, sometimes you don’t want an intellectual thriller, a political commentary, a satire or philosophical exploration. Somethings you just want something simple and fun. Trigger have provided exactly that with with the second OVA/movie for Little Witch Academia.

For those who don’t already know, this anime is a result of studio trigger putting up a Kickstarter to help extend a planned second episode for their 2013 animated short made for Anime Mirai 2013. They asked for $150,000 and with the help of 7,938 backers they got $625,518 instead, over three times what they asked for. Thanks to that we have an hour long, wonderfully animated episode that never overstays it’s welcome and is just downright enjoyable from beginning to end. The story is fairly simplistic and is predictable from the get go, as well as the characters being straightforward. Through that really just adds to the charm, for you see to those who grew up watching saturday morning cartoons this anime brings back that nostalgic feeling. You can really tell that this was made with a lot of heart and soul with the animation which is more cartoon than anime styled. On that note many of triggers works tend to go in that direction and it is their strongest suit in my opinion. When you think of a trigger work it’s not for it’s story or deep thought provoking characters but instead for it’s seer energy and lively atmosphere. In that regard it’s hard to judge a Trigger work on a critical standpoint when the real value is just in how it makes you feel. When watching this I knew exactly what was going to happen, I knew Akko would have a falling out with her friends and this would end up with them making up at the climax to help defeat the villain. I seen all the chekhov’s guns get fired and there were no twists and ends that surprised me but I just didn’t care. The journey and characters were so entertaining that I honestly didn’t want it to end.

I think that if this anime deserves real merit it would be in how contained the story is. Often in anime I find that Japanese works seem to have trouble with a small time frame, anime movies in particular are guilty of this. It always seems like they can never wrap up the story in the movies time frame, pacing can just become too slow or go too fast and endings don’t feel like an ending. It’s like a large story crushed into a short time frame but with this the story doesn’t waste a single moment. It went on exactly as long as it should and ended where it needed to end thus creating a solid satisfying experience. I understand that this might not be the kind anime for everyone as I am certain people will get turned off by its simple nature but if you find the character interactions as amusing as I do I say this will give you entertainment that is harder to find in the current market. I can safely say that the backers of this project got their moneys worth which is rarer than you think with Kickstarter projects. Studio Trigger, I missed the Kickstarter for this episode but if you are planning a new kickstarter for the third episode then you can count on me being a backer.

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Gangsta

Short Synopsis: A deaf man and a gigolo take on a job to wipe out a small time crook getting too cocky

If it’s one thing this show has got, it’s style. Mangalobe always had a talent for great openings and this anime is no exception with a opening with a catchy theme and a very manga style colour scheme. But the music throughout the first episode was just as catchy and sleek which is good as I found that the music never really stopped playing throughout the episode. At times it was somewhat overbearing. Art and animation are good though some far away shots of people had some bad faces and a small bit of animation looked off during the sword fighting near the end. But all things considered this is a very strong start to the season and everything here was more or less a perfect adaption of the manga. We already have an unconventional cast of characters and an amoral setting so all things considered we have all the ingredients for a very good anime. The only reason the potential rating isn’t 90% is because I don’t have much faith in Mangalobe for this. There is high probability of the animation getting limited at this rate and whether they can stop themselves from adding their own material to a story that doesn’t need it. It’s a good start, keep it up.

Potential: 80%

 

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

Short Synopsis: A Student wakes up in a classroom with his dead teacher and now must work to prove his innocence.

Well now that’s one way to start an anime. The opening was unique to say the least and after that we are greeted with a feminine like boy waking up in a classroom to see his teacher dismembered into a meditation pose. I did a double take when this character who looks like a girl in every aspect was in fact a boy. But at least from research, Kobayashi was said to be adept at posing as young women so it’s accurate to the character at least. What isn’t accurate is the title of this episode which was called the human chair. Now Ranpo did write a story called “The Human Chair” but that story was about a crazed carpenter who build a compartment inside a chair and hid himself inside it so he could rob the hotel the chair was sold to. The story eventually led to the chair getting sold to a rich couple and the carpenter growing obsessed about the man’s wife. It was a disturbing story that had no murder in it though this episode looks to have just taken the title and ran with it. The main character is interesting to say the least, seeing as he reacts to his teachers death with an unnerving calm and proves to be a highly observant. Akechi looks to be a good detective, already channeling a more depressed and somber Sherlock Holmes. I am still at odds with making the characters high school students and the show itself seems to be going out of it’s way to excuse it with Akechi’s ridiculous exposition on why he can solve crimes for the police while still being a student. I also cringed at the sight of a teacher who dressed herself up and had cat ears with a try hard cute act. They made her a little more interesting by showing her scars from cutting herself in a handshake but I don’t understand why she had to be so….peppy. Another thing was that all background characters were represented as gradient silhouettes which I understand what they are going for but I don’t think it works. Still those things aside we have the ingredients for an interesting anime, one I plan to keep an eye on.

Potential: 85%

 

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

Short Synopsis: A medieval fantasy world attacks the modern day world.

It’s a solid start to the series but admittedly not the most engaging. In the manga the attack on Ginza was only covered briefly whereas here it was made into a full episode. This may be because the light novel put more detail in the event or simply because the anime wanted an exciting pilot episode. My opinion is fairly mixed at the moment. I really like the fantasy vs technology aspect of the story and the real worlds reaction to the Gate. But I find the comedy to be pretty terrible and the main characters Otaku traits to be rather irritating. There are definite positives such as the absence of a school setting and that the cast is well over their teenage years. Music is not the best with the opening and ending themes being out of place in their bubbly J-Pop and the soundtrack rather mundane. Animation and art are passable, nothing really special. The big question is how close the adaption is to the original work and whether they can keep a good pace going. So far it’s promising.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 28 June 2015 with categories: Anime Reviews, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided on what to think of it, some will claim it’s overhyped garbage, others will think it’s the greatest thing on the face of the planet and few such as myself will see it as good but short of what it could have been. Let me give two pointers on things which could help your enjoyment. One, do not walk into this expecting Fate/Zero 2, many did and naturally they were disappointed. Basically what you should expect here is not a mature thriller but rather a shounen action. This isn’t Fate/Zero and it isn’t trying to be. Second, marathon it. The pacing of this series is dead slow and it’s better experienced in binge sessions rather than sporadically. For those who have no idea on wherther to start from here or watch Fate/Zero first you can start from either and there is no real proper order to watch these shows.

The characters and their interactions are enjoyable though some characters basically disappear in it’s second half. Shirou and Rin make a enjoyable partnership thats a joy to watch and the charisma of Lancer and Archer makes it just impossible to dislike them. The plot has interesting themes though at times they can feel forced down your throat but overall the presentation of a selfless hero’s flaws is interesting. Your enjoyment of the series may depend on your knowledge of the source material as the anime does a poor job of conveying some things which can make certain parts of the story seem like deus ex machina or cheap developments. That aside there are also weaknesses in the original text that carry over to the anime such as excessive monologuing and exposition which becomes tedious in the second half of the series when the fights become much shorter due to either a waning budget or poor decision making.

Regardless of whether people love it or hate it, this anime has set a new standard in animation and art for anime to strive for. The fight scenes only are the kind of thing that action anime dream of. I mean just look at the screenshots for these reviews, this anime is beautifully drawn and beautifully animated. This kind of quality is unimaginable for anime years before and if studios each strive for it we could be seeing an upsurge of truly visually stunning anime. Perhaps then the best animated fights in action anime will not be in the opening of the series. Music for the series is excellent but sadly not quite as noticeable, while scenes are enhanced by it there are a bit too many points of silence in episodes. The pacing of the series is it’s biggest flaw, ranging from hot and cold periods before entering into a snail’s pace for it’s second half. The second half of the series is were the main problems come in as the amount of material left in the game was not enough for a full one cour season. Things begin to get dragged out as dialogues stretch on and less and less happens each episode but if you can get through it you will receive an excellent climax with a resolute satisfying ending.

Despite it having many flaws I do believe this is an anime that anime fans should make a must watch even if only for the visuals. The first half of the series truly is excellent and for all the problems of the second half there are still standout moments such as internal visualization of Shirou coming to terms with his answer to the battle of berserker and Gilgamesh. There is definitely things to love in this adaption and hopefully for new fans it can birth an interest in the series as a whole. Now there’s only the hope that maybe the blu-rays will add more action scenes to the second half and that the upcoming Heaven’s feel movie can be as great as it can be.

Posted on 13 June 2015 with categories: Seasonal Previews

At first glance summer season looks to be a weak one. I thought the same as I glanced over it. However appearances can be deceiving and there are a number of titles here with potential. I put a little more effort into this preview than the last. I have checked out the source material of everything I could so I can at least give an impression of what the show might turn out to be.

First off, an apology. I am aware that I failed to cover the straw poll result winner for last season. A number of things happened. My laptop broke for one, the winner Digimon adventure tri decided not to air and become a movie instead and the runner up Arslan Senkai was already halfway through a cour before I found this out. And to be perfectly honest, procrastination was a big factor. It also doesn’t help that Arslan didn’t turn out to be quite as interesting as I hoped and I was putting off catching up with it.  I will try this one more time but this time I won’t make any guarantees. I will try to cover three anime this season. Two my own choice and one yours. Straw poll is below.

http://strawpoll.me/4615825

My two choices which I will cover is Chaos Dragon and Gate. Also a note that I noticed that my source for this preview can be a bit flimsy about figuring out what’s a full length show and what’s a five minute anime so some titles may turn out to be not full fledged shows.

I think I will add a category here for sequels I am not interested in. For these it’s really a matter of myself not knowing enough about the show. In pretty much all these cases my opinion is the same. If you liked the previous season then by all means continue. I don’t think there are many who would be interested in jumping into a later season anyway.

 

Non Non Biyori Repeat

THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls 2nd Season

Gatchaman Crowds insight

Junjou Romantica 3

 

And so on with the preview.

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

The story of the original manga revolves around Shirayuki, a beautiful girl working as a medicine woman who has red hair, which is very rare in her country. When she is proposed and chased after by the prince of her country, she runs away, only to meet Zen, the prince of a neighboring country. Finding respect for the young man, she decides to serve at his side as his court doctor.

One thing I always found odd is that some of the most chauvinistic depictions of men are often from works aimed at girls or more bizarrely, written by them. I can say with certainty that with the number of times men invade the personal space of this girl would not earn adoration in life but rather gain a pair of handcuffs and a restraining order. But this has to be the most superficial reason for these guys to like a girl yet. From what I have seen these guys basically like this girl because she has red hair. In fact it may be her key defining characteristic. A prince decides to marry her because she has red hair. Another rapey guy decides to kidnap her because she has red hair. Other than red hair and some tossed in herb knowledge, the girl is basically a plank. There not a chance of that red hair being natural either as I don’t see a single freckle on this girl. Much like the harem is a desire of those who have no idea what it truly entails, this is the desire of girls who have no idea just how bad a relationship would be with these kinds of guys.  I didn’t give it much of my time but I certainly saw no reason to continue reading.

Makura no Danshi

The anime promises a “new and novel ‘sleeping side-by-side’ experience entirely in the first-person perspective” to “heal tired hearts.” It revolved around 12 “makura no danshi” (pillow boys), all full of distinctly individual personalities and each catering to viewers who like a certain “type.” The boys all live in the same town underneath a starry sky. Each of the “makura no danshi” will star his own weekly episode as they “sleep beside you and whisper.”

Wow…now that’s a…unique concept. Disturbing as hell but well points for originality…I guess…maybe. I believe there is a female version of this called Sleeping with Hinako. Granting you the experience of someone who broke into someone’s home and stood over them as they slept, watching…likely breathing heavily. Yes, no matter how much you attempt to dress it up as romantic I don’t think the concept will stop being creepy as all hell. Whatever demographic this anime is targeted for is a demographic that I believe shouldn’t exist.

Aoharu x Kikanjuu

The manga follows high school student Hotaru Tachibana, a girl disguised as a boy. Through strange circumstances she finds herself drawn into the world of survival games by a host, Masamune Matsuoka. The two form a team with ero-manga artist Tohru Yukimura and aim to be the be the best in Japan.

This started off somewhat interesting at first. The story of two working men getting into survival games was at least different. But as it turns out that wasn’t the true beginning to the story and these guys were not the main character. The main character as it turns out is a crossdressing school girl and with her introduction everything goes downhill from there. Insert “hilarious” misunderstandings as she tries to hide her gender but gets mistaken for a perverted guy.The two male leads have no idea that the main is a girl but even so the host guy is still doing things that would weird out a guy. This seems to be heading in the direction of a love triangle. The story tries its best to make survival games as dramatic as possible as most sports anime do. I can’t really comment on how accurate it is but it is rather predictable with over dramatic framing over events that would naturally be mundane. I say pass on this.

Dragon Ball Chou

The first new Dragon Ball TV series story since Dragonball GT. The story is set a few years after the defeat of Majin Buu, when the Earth has become peaceful once again.

Akira Toryami should quit while he’s ahead. I liked Battle of Gods as a loving nod to the series and I do look forward to the return of Frieza in the new movie. But this series has used up all its ideas. The characters have powered up to a level akin to gods so creating a threat higher that Majin Buu is nigh impossible. What’s more I feel Akira’s creativity has waned. The new transformations for Goku, Frieza and Vegeta are just palette swaps. I mean for Frieza it was far more disappointing, considering that Cooler already showed a Transformation form beyond his that looked awesome. I don’t care if the movies aren’t canon, that form was ten times better that Frieza’s purple gold form that looks like it was made by adjusting hue in Photoshop. Unless we turn up the power levels and make battles of Gurren Lagann finale scale this will likely end up another Dragonball GT.

Himouto! Umaru-chan

An anime adaptation of Himouto! Umaru-chan manga. The sibling gag comedy manga centers around Umaru, Taihei’s little sister who boasts beautiful looks as well as prowess in both school and sports. However, “Himouto” (beautiful little sister) has a certain secret.

What we have here is essentially a one note joke turned into a series. Umaru is the perfect superhuman at school but at home she’s a neet who acts like a Otaku spoiled brat to her brother. The big problem with this is that Umaru is a horrible person to her brother for the sake of comedy. She constantly does inexcusable things to him to push her own selfish agenda. Putting that aside it’s pretty by the books as far as this kind of comedy goes. It even has a romance that involves one person being oblivious yet accidentally raising the others affection through misunderstandings. As an experiment I jumped 90 chapters ahead in the manga to see if anything significant happened. The result was that there was some new characters but everything else was exactly the same. Seeing as that is the case I don’t see this show as anything but a waste of time.

Jitsu wa Watashi wa

The romantic comedy centers around Asahi Kuromine, who has a crush on a cute girl named Yōko Shiragami. Shiragami just happens to be a vampire. Asahi cannot keep a secret, but he is determined to keep Shiragami’s secret anyways.

This is some pretty typical harem. At first it starts with one chosen girl but then girls get added into the harem later. There’s a childhood friend and then they chuck in an alien and so forth. This is a rather pointless venture as the main has already chosen so why bother to add in more girls? They have no chance so its only giving people false hope. Well not that any of the girls will be chosen in the end. This is another one of those cases where once the cast has been assembled then the story will move into the purgatory that Nisekoi, To-Love Ru and eventually all harems reside. The place of school trips, festivals and holidays where the spotlight is swapped around each girl while never moving an inch away from the status quo.

Joukamachi no Dandelion

In the story, the everyday lives of the nine super-powered siblings of the royal family are monitored by more than 200 surveillance cameras and broadcast nationwide. The people of the nation who are watching the broadcast will have the ability to elect the next monarch. The story focuses on Akane, the third-oldest sister who can manipulate gravity. She is shy and desperately does not want to be caught on camera.

Based on manga raws I skimmed though this seems like a fairly underwhelming title. I was originally expecting a light novel-eqe supernatural battle story but it’s actually a four koma comedy manga instead. I was looking at this in Japanese and yet I could get the basic idea of what’s being said. Honestly its not an upgrade from supernatural generic battle story. Instead we have a standard comedy. Admittedly seeing as I do not know Japanese this judgement could be mistaken. But I highly doubt this anime will be noteworthy.

Kangoku Gakuen Prison School

Hachimitsu Private Academy was a revered and elite all-girls’ boarding school on the outskirts of Tokyo…once upon a time. But with the new school year comes a revision to school policy: Boys are to be admitted into the student body for the first time ever. But on his first day at Hachimitsu, Kiyoshi Fujino discovers that he’s one of only five boys enrolled at the school. Their numbers overwhelmed by the thousand girls in the student body, is it heaven or hell that awaits these five (un)fortunates?!.

I checked out prison schools manga a long time back and stopped mainly because it was not my thing. I always found that comedy in anime and manga tend to miss more for me than hit. I can see how some would like this. Its a raunchy comedy with sex jokes and fan service by the barrelfuls. My main problem with it was that all the characters were really unlikeable. All sex crazed and highly obnoxious. Whereas the female characters tend to go to the dominatrix side of things. There might be a few good jokes here but I find the story too aggravating to enjoy them.

Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan

The story is set in a world where humanity, driven off the land by the threat of magical armored insects, now live in aerial floating cities. Thus wizards — aerial combat mages who fight the insects with magical powers — came into being.
Kanata Age (Eiji) is a young man who lives on the floating wizard academy city of “Misutogan.” He was once celebrated as the “Black Master Swordsman,” the elite ace of the S128 special team. However, he is now despised as the “traitor of the special team.” One day, he is assigned as the instructor of E601, a team that has suffered 10 consecutive defeats. E601 has three girls — Misora Whitale, Lecty Eisenach, and Rico Flamel — with one or two peculiar quirks.

Charlie’s angels, the anime. Actually no, that would have more value. One, Take your average light novel plot. Two, Make the main character a teacher instead of a student. Three, ????. Four, Profit. This is pretty worthless. The three girls have one note personalities. The setting has been done to death. And we have a accidental fall followed by a boob grope. There’s no hope for this one.

 

Rokka no Yuusha

When the Majin awoke from the depths of darkness, the deity of fate chose six heroes and bequeathed them with the power to save the world. Adoretto, a boy who proclaims himself the strongest on Earth, was selected among the Rokka no Yuusha (Heroes of the Six Flowers), and he goes to the rendezvous point — but seven have gathered there. The heroes suspect that someone among the seven is the enemy, and the initial suspicion falls on Adoretto.

This title does have a premise with potential. Six heroes are chosen to save the world but seven show up at the gathering. Everyone is at each others throats trying to figure out who’s the imposter. However the writer doesn’t seem talented enough to pull it off. So what we have is a fairly mediocre story with some excellent artwork in the novel. The characters aren’t anything too notable and I fear that two will become aggravating in this anime as one constantly says “I’m the strongest!” and the other adds meow/nyah to his sentences. The characters personalities are quite one note but tend to change when the plot decides they need to act suspiciously. I read the first novel and a large amount of the plot revolves around them being caught in a trap. And examining the details to try and figure out who set them up. What follows is a series of misunderstandings as each of the cast gets into fights over who is the seventh for well over 200 pages. They try to put some logic into the mystery but the rules of this world are so vague that any speculation is meaningless. I thought I had a pretty good idea of who it was but then was proven wrong when one character practically pulls something out of their ass which reveals the culprit to be someone with little to no foreshadowing. With that I thought the story would move on to some new kind of arc but then a new hero of the six flowers shows up and it looks like this farce is ready to start again. This may prove to be more entertaining animated but overall my experience with it was apathetic. I predict this being decent at best, boring at worst.

 

Sore ga Seiyuu!

The original four-panel manga centers on Futaba Ichinose, Ichigo Moesaki, and Rin Kohana, three rookie voice actresses. The manga features small but humorous observations of the voice actor industry. Hajimemashite launched the manga at the winter Comiket event in 2011, and the duo have released new issues at Comiket events since then.

Cute girls being all cute and stuff…plus some insight into the voice acting industry…maybe…if there’s time. Here’s the thing, Shirobako already did it. And did it well. You are not going to top that. Certainly not by adding more moe girls.

 

Suzakinishi: The Animation

Voice actresses Aya Suzaki and Asuka Nishi announced at an event in Tokyo on Sunday that their SuzakiNishi radio program will get a television anime adaptation starting in July.

Absolutely nothing has been revealed on this. All I know is that it has something to do with a radio show.

 

Venus Project – Climax -

Venus Project tells the story of idols living in Japan in the near future. In this world, data devices and video technology have been progressing to new heights, and people are abuzz about a new form of entertainment — Formula Venus. In Formula Venus or “F-V,” the chosen top idols battle in live performances with their willpower, skills, and all their experience gained.

Its become the norm to have at least one idol anime each season, hasn’t it? Well I am at least glad that it’s not that other fad that looks like it’s died down. (My little season can’t have no incest anime! Let’s hope it stays without it. It’s hard enough getting people into anime without that ugly genre popping up.) Not really sure what to say here. Studio doesn’t have any notable works and this is about as basic an idol plot as it gets.

 

Working!!!

The third season of Working.

I haven’t watched Working myself but I have watched an anime adaption of another of this artists works called Servant X Service. And from what I hear that was essentially Working in a Office instead of restaurant. So with that I can have a pretty good grasp on what to expect. Decent comedy with a go nowhere romantic subplot. This is the third season of Working so chances are that if you plan on watching this then you have checked out the other two. For the rest of us I think we will pass.

 

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz!

This will adapt the second half of the 2wei manga.

I bet some thought I would put this in one of the bottom two categories but at least this proves I am not biased towards my favourite franchise…well mostly…somewhat…alright definitely biased. For some reason the Prisma Illya manga is spilt up into three parts. The first, which season one covers, Zwei, which the second season covered half and the third season which will cover the second half, and Drei. Prisma Illya Drei is better than it has any right to be. Great epic battles, all annoying characters replaced with far more interesting ones, a great antagonist to go up against and nods to fate all around. Its really the time this series breaks out of Fates shadow and becomes its own thing. But that’s if there is a fourth season of this show. This third season will be terrible. Zwei in general just feels like padding and only really stands out with its finale. Even with the appearance of the under appreciated and awesome Bazett cannot save the story. My advice is to just watch the final two episodes or so. Trust me, nothing worthwhile will be missed.

 

Durarara!!x2 Ten

The second part of Durarara’s second season.

After the first cour of this second season has aired and provided no real push or change whatsoever, my excitement for this series has run out. The nostalgia factor is gone and while I will still watch it, I don’t think I will enjoy it unless the story gains some level of consequence. Or at least stops pretending that there will be consequence later down the line. I say stop introducing characters and just work with what you got before the cast goes into triple digits.

To love-ru Darkness 2nd

A second season of To LOVE-Ru Darkness announced at Jump Festa 2015.

Somewhere in my hard drive sits the first season of To love-Ru Darkness. I mostly figured I might get to it someday. I also happened to read the manga up to date. Am I a fan of To Love-Ru? God no! Hate a large majority of the characters, the story is nonexistent and is really just a series of really stupid contrived setups for ecchi. Honestly I don’t think anyone reads this for the plot. Its a fair point to say that the main reason this keeps getting anime adaptions and the manga keeps selling for pretty much one reason. Yabuki Kentarus art. Say what you will about him, the man can draw a damn fine female figure. And while I would prefer that he use his skills for good instead of evil, someone’s got to fill this quota and it might as well be someone who puts in some kind of effort. I might watch it for Momo. Might.

 

Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX

After the frontier incident, everyone who knew the circumstances believed the Noise were gone and the pain they caused was at an end. But a new conflict approached unseen. In the Yokohama Harbor Oosan-bashi Pier, a new pattern is detected that is similar to the Noise. A combat group wielding mysterious technology stands in the way of Hibiki and the others. When she hears of this enemy of unprecedented strength, Tsubasa hurries back home from England. But the Symphogear users see no opening to counterattack and are forced into a difficult fight. In this situation of extreme disparity, the battle for the song that will end the world begins.

Ah Symphogear. The show I point to and say “that’s how Madoka revolutionised the industry. By birthing terrible knockoffs” So I think we can all agree that Madoka reviving the dead genre of mahou shoujo has for the most part been a mistake. And while some can’t say Symphogear wasn’t inspired by Madoka I point to all those moments it tried to be grimdark but never had the actual guts to go through with it. And it was obviously made to capitalize on Madokas popularity. Previous Seasons of this show presented sub par story with clashing “please buy our records” jpop songs sung during battle. Both ended on a flat note, leaving only the knowledge that you just wasted hours on this show and you won’t be getting them back. The third looks to be no different.

Classroom☆Crisis

A romantic comedy set in a near-futuristic world about the troubles and tribulations of high schoolers on salary. With aims to one day reach out into the stars, humanity has colonized all the planets of the solar system. This story of young high school hopefuls is set in Fourth Tokyo in a Japanese Martian prefecture. Iris Shirasaki is a third year student/aspiring test pilot. Mizuki Sera is her peer/mechanic and Mizuki’s brother Kaito is their homeroom teacher and the young director of the program developing their talents.

Truth be told there isn’t a lot to say about this one. It’s an orignal work so no source materiel, studio has very little work, trailers show absolutely nothing and for most working on this it’s their first real project. Looking at it I am being reminded of a visual novel called “If my heart had wings” and I don’t consider that a good thing. This is guesswork but this looks to be a slice of life club anime. I bet it won’t present anything mind-blowing.

Series I am middling on

Charlotte

The story centers around the special abilities that occur among a small percentage of boys and girls in puberty. Yuu Otosaka uses his power without others knowing, and lives a fairly normal, average school life. Before him suddenly appears a girl, Nao Tomori. Due to his meeting with her, the fate of special power-users will be exposed.

I originally thought I wouldn’t have much to say about PA works new anime for this season. That is until I watched the preview and the first thing to show up was the name “Jun Maeda” You know Jun Maeda, even if you think you don’t. Fairly prominent in the visual novel industry who’s previous works include the likes of Air, Clannad, Little busters and Angel Beats. So already we have a pretty good idea of what we are in for if he’s writing the story. Likely a show with a first half focused on random comedy skits and slice of life with mild supernatural elements which is followed by a tragic second half that will try to make you cry by any means necessary. And topped off with a truly insulting deus ex machina to make things right as rain. You may have noticed with that last sentence that I am not too fond of Jun’s writing. While he can have moments where his writing can touch the heart its often full of several contrivances to ensure that things are made as sad and tragic as possible, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Air is pretty much an example of this as to this day I can’t make sense of what actually happened at the end of that show. (But at least it avoided to cheap make everything right deus ex machina.)I wouldn’t mind this if he also didn’t want to avoid the actual consequences of tragedy as well. Happy endings are all well and good but if the render the events lead up to it as pointless then that just isn’t right. Never have I been burned harder that the ending of little busters, which presented a heartfelt and true message. Only to spit on it and render the message, which the entirely of the visual novel was working to convey, completely null and void. In this regard I have become immune to the attempts Jun makes to tug my heartstrings because in the end it won’t amount to anything but a fake out. However while his writing is something I have problems with, his music on the other hand is magnificent. He looks to be making the OST for Charlotte so that’s at least a huge incentive to watch. I may have to break my rule of never checking out a Key work again.

Gangsta

In the city of Ergastulum, a shady ville filled with made men and petty thieves, whores on the make and cops on the take, there are some deeds too dirty for even its jaded inhabitants to touch. Enter the “Handymen,” Nic and Worick, who take care of the jobs no one else will handle. Until the day when a cop they know on the force requests their help in taking down a new gang muscling in on the territory of a top Mafia family. It seems like business (and mayhem) as usual, but the Handymen are about to find that this job is a lot more than they bargained for.

What we have here is a Black lagoon/Jormungand kind of story. Our main characters include a prostitute, a gigolo and a deaf man. Gritty and dark is the name of the game. From the first few chapters of the manga it looks fairly solid. No real problems and while it is very similar to Black Lagoon that’s fine as anime could use another Black Lagoon. The big problem here is the animation studio. Manglobe hasn’t been very good with adaptations and their output lately has been pretty terrible. Samurai Flamenco pretty much destroyed any good graces I had for the company. This is a pretty good work to choose for adaption but if you can’t bring out its potential then it will all be for naught.

Aquarion Logos

A new anime in the Aquarion series.

My experience with Aquarion mainly has to do with Aquarion Evol. Overall it wasn’t bad or particularly great. I think there was overly sexualized robot combining and a love triangle. Also something about a guy being the reincarnation of a dog from the first season or something. This season looks to be more of the same. The director’s resume basically consists of Aquarion Evol and nothing else notable. The writer even less so, as this looks to be there first work that wasn’t an adaption. I say this will be a mediocre mecha anime. Maybe enjoyable to watch but not something you will remember.

Gakkou Gurashi!

The story revolves around four girls who decide to stay over at school: the energetic Yuki Takeya, the shovel-loving Rumi, the center of the group Rurii, who brings everyone together, and Megu, the spacey school adviser. However, through mysterious circumstances, the girls find themselves the final survivors in a zombie attack, and continue to live at the school.

When making a preview of that Haruhi Nagato spinoff, I made a joke about how if you are going to make a genre swap then at least make it amusing and sited K-ON zombie apocalypse edition as an example. Well someone in Japan must have listened cause welcome to K-ON zombie apocalypse edition. Oddly enough it kinda works. I don’t think this will be the new Madoka but at least its a kick to the teeth that the “cute girls doing cute things” genre has been needing for quite a while. Like for example, I like that the peppy energetic one is like that because she has essentially gone insane and now lives in her own dream world instead of facing reality. And it makes sense that the characters interactions would be so over the top and forced because they are trying to brush off their grim situation by being positive. When thinking about it the contrast between the two genres actually works in its favour to make the dark side more effective. It may end up being just a gimmick but from what I read so far I like.

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

An anime inspired by late author Edogawa Ranpo’s works.

Rampo is a famous mystery writer in Japan who was a fan of the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. As this anime has the character Kogoro Akechi present I am guess this will be mainly inspired by Rampo’s series of mystery novels about Kogoro rather than his horror works. Kogoro Akechi is very much the equivalent of Japanese Sherlock Holmes. So I suspect this will be an episodic series of “Who done it” mysteries. I have read some of the works of Rampo and find that if adapted well this should be an interesting series. My main issue would be how they plan to modernise it and why have we included high school students?

Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai

The novel’s story is set 16 years after the “Law for Public Order and Morals in Healthy Child-Raising” banned coarse language in the country. Tanukichi Okuma enrolls in the country’s leading elite public morals school and is soon invited into the Anti-Societal Organization (SOX) by its founder, Ayame Kajou. As a member blackmailed into joining by Ayame, Tanukichi ends up taking part in obscene acts of terrorism against the talented student council president Anna (for whom Tanukichi has a crush).

This is a strange one. So much so that I have no idea what to think of it. What we have here is a kind of “good guy master thief” scenario. The main character gets forced to become an accomplice to a girl who is a terrorist. Well her acts of terror are mainly saying dirty words, tossing around porn pictures and informing people about the birds and the bees. In this world nobody can say anything sex related due to special collars and insane measures are taken to keep knowledge of sex a secret. So our female protagonist is the Robin hood committing crimes for the greater good. Of course we have a school setting where the student council acts as the governing force, with the student council president playing the role of “determined police officer” antagonist. Comedy seems to be the main goal and there’s plenty of reference humour. I see danger signs of a harem as well. Along with the female council president and the terrorist we also have a girl who seems obsessed with discovering what sex actually is and a painter girl who looks to want to make the main her “pet”. I could only check out two chapters of the manga adaption and that didn’t give a impression of whether this could be bad or good. It really depends on whether the novelty can carry the show. However being a light novel adaption it’s best to reserve judgement till after the first arc as it is a general thread for many Light novels to go downhill after that point. In truth I say this will be amusing at first but then become terrible.

Overlord

The story takes place in the year 2138 when virtual reality gaming is booming. Yggdrasil, a popular online game is quietly shut down one day. However, the protagonist Momonga decides to not log out. Momonga is then transformed into the image of a skeleton as “the most powerful wizard.” The world continues to change, with non-player characters (NPCs) beginning to feel emotion. Having no parents, friends, or place in society, this ordinary young man Momonga then strives to take over the new world the game has become.

As I said before in my Damachi impression, I am not fond of power fantasy that basically hands the main character god mode from the start. Well here’s another series that starts by giving the main too much power. He he has a legion of followers, every useful rare item and likely the highest level possible. But to be fair unlike Damachi at least this seems to be making more of an effort in the story department. There are bad aspects such as it being still pretty obvious wish fulfilment and the fact that there are two girls(With more likely incoming) aiming for the main despite him being an undead Skeleton. Girls, I think before falling for him it might be wise to figure out if he’s even capable of intimacy. Out of the opening 6 chapters I read this looks like it will appeal to some people but I feel that unless it brings something unexpected it will just be an alright anime.

Monster musume

Three years ago, the world learned that harpies, centaurs, catgirls, and all manners of fabulous creatures are not merely fiction; they are flesh and blood – not to mention scale, feather, horn, and fang. Thanks to the “Cultural Exchange Between Species Act,” these once-mythical creatures have assimilated into society, or at least, they’re trying.
When a hapless human teenager named Kurusu Kimihito is inducted as a “volunteer” into the government exchange program, his world is turned upside down. A snake-like lamia named Miia comes to live with him, and it is Kurusu’s job to take care of her and make sure she integrates into his everyday life.

In a genre so utterly devoid of new ideas that its basically decided to repeat the same show over and over again, Monster musume may be the closest thing to creativity this genre could get. Well of course if you can see jumping into a new fetish as inventive of course. The characters are pretty much standard stereotypes of the genre but this series does have a rather interesting take on dealing with their various needs and quirks as monster girls. Such as the Lamia being cold blooded and therefore sensitive to drops in temperature. Or the harpy liking to collecting shiny objects and having a terrible memory. These aspects are actually surprisingly interesting. Though sadly you will also have to deal with harem hijinks which are now a little more disturbing when you consider that these girls are not technically human. Truthfully this vears a little too close to beastilty. I don’t think the manga is terrible and it does stand above other lazy efforts but if this becomes a hit then…the trend copycats may go into some truly disturbing territory.

Ushio to Tora

Ushio’s family maintains a Shinto temple in Japan, where ~500 years ago, his samurai ancestor battled that same tiger to a standstill, and eventually trapped him against a rock using a blessed spear called the “Beast Spear”, which in addition to its intrinsic formidability as a weapon, can also endow its wielder with the martial ability of the ancestor who originally wielded it. Ushio accidentally unsealed the cave Tora was trapped in.
Initially, Ushio refuses to remove the spear pinning Tora down (as Tora made the strategic blunder of mentioning that the first thing he would do upon being freed would be to devour Ushio), but Tora’s unsealed presence summons various monsters who wish to fight him, and by extension Ushio. Ushio is forced to free Tora, who would like to eat Ushio, but dares not since Ushio keeps the spear close by. The series focuses on their relationship, interspersed with battles against mythological foes, and with Tora’s attempts to grapple with modern life.

This is an adaption of a manga made in the 90s. The story of the manga is nothing truly standout. Actually the first chapter mirrors the start of Tenchi Muyo’s first episode right down to a t. There’s a spunky tomboy love interest who constantly complains and fights with the main character but in truth likes him. The first chapters are a series of episodic encounters with various demons around school and etc. I would say there isn’t anything you haven’t seen before except for one thing. The boy is accompanied by a demon named Tora and he’s what really makes this series. The two have a rather friendly/antagonistic rivalry that makes the highlights of the series. Its good to see Tora’s reaction to the modern world and his bickering with the main. But I feel that once his facade of being enemies drops this series won’t be anything too memorable.

God Eater

The Far East, 2071.
The domain of the mad gods.
In the early 2050s, unknown life forms called “Oracle cells” begin their uncontrolled consumption of all life on Earth.
Their ravenous appetite and remarkable adaptability earn them first dread, then awe, and finally the name “aragami”.
In the face of an enemy completely immune to conventional weapons, urban civilization collapses, and each day humanity is driven further and further toward extinction.
One single ray of hope remains for humanity.
Following the development of “God Arcs”—living weapons which incorporate Oracle cells—their wielders are organized into an elite force.
In a world ravaged by mad gods, these “God Eaters” fight a desperate war…

This is on the borderline between middling and not interested. The good news is that this is Ufotable so if this is getting the Fate treatment then it will be eye candy galore. There’s plenty of action and it is nice to see Ufotable make a move away from type moon works. But the bad news is this. I haven’t played the God Eater game but video game adaptations do not have a good record with anime.I have checked out the manga adaption of God Eater and if this is the story we are getting then we are in trouble. Highly generic, with cliche characters and plot. This does not deserve the Ufotable treatment. Ufotable, if you want to break away from being the type moon animator company then you better make wiser choices for adaption material. For example, Sharon no kuni. I would even settle for G-senjou no maou. Make that happen.

 

 

Series that I Do Look Forward To

Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaerirslan Senki

The military fantasy series begins when a gate appears in Tokyo’s Ginza district sometime in the 21st century. From the gate pours out monsters, knights from middle-age Europe, and other fantasy-like beings, and they kill many of the citizens of Tokyo. This event is known as the Ginza Incident.
The government sends a small group of soldiers from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (a replacement for Japan’s military) to the alternate world beyond the gate. Led by otaku soldier Youji, they find that the villages in the world are being attacked by a dragon. An elf girl who is a survivor from the dragon’s rampage joins the group in their travels across the dangerous new world.

A while back I watched an anime called Outbreak Company which mildly dealt with a modern society handling the sudden appearance of a medieval world. I remember thinking to myself “If only they focused on this aspect instead of relegating it to the background.” Well here’s the anime that fixes that. Often in fiction mankind is one with the inferior firepower while the enemy is more technological advanced. Here its the opposite. This medieval world attacks the modern world and are completely decimated. With these people slowly realizing that they just picked a fight with an enemy whose power is practically godly in their eyes. Its amusing as I don’t think many works acknowledge that mankind has become quite proficient in killing. Often while watching Harry Potter I kept thinking that these wizards were deeply underestimating humanity. You got a spell that can kill a person? Well we can nuke you all to hell from half the world away. Even put a bullet between your eyes before you think of a syllable. There are some issues such as the commander being an otaku and the presence of a Goth loli and elf plus some danger signs of a harem. But there aren’t many anime like this so this such be interesting.

 

Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen’eki

The story takes place in the sparkling era year 3015, where the great nations Donatia and Kōran divide the world in a cold war as they fight for supremacy. In the middle of this standoff is island country Nil Kamui, which has lost its independence.

I was ready to write off this title as standard generic light novel trash before I looked into it. Its understandable as one the surface it does give that impression. But then I remembered that there was coming an adaption of a certain thing called red dragon which was renamed to Chaos Dragon. It is true that this is a light novel adaption. However, that novel was in turn an adaption of a tabletop role playing game session between Iduki Kougyoku (Mimizuku to Yoru no Ou), Simadoriru (member of the Stripe Pattern doujin circle), Ryohgo Narita (Baccano, Durarara!!), Gen Urobochi (Madoka, Fate/Zero) and Kinoko Nasu (Fate/Stay Night, Kara no Kyoukai). Those last three names shot my interest in this anime through the roof. We are talking about some highly prolific writers getting together and doing essentially a improv night. As far as anime adaptations go this may be the first of its kind. True that just because these people are involved does not mean it’s guaranteed to be great or even good. But in any case it will be interesting. Sliver Link are a decent choice as an adaptor as lately they have been doing a good job.(The faults of Prisma Illya was the faults of the source material. Adaption wise it was done well.) The last time two of these writers got together we got Fate/Zero. So will this be another case of perfect combination or a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen?

 

Posted on 18 April 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kyoukai no Rinne

Short Synopsis: A girl encounters a grim reaper who solves people’s ghost problems.

I said before that seeing as this is from the maker of ranma 1/2 and inuyasha that this will likely feel dated in this current era of anime. I can now say that I was absolutely correct. This wouldn’t look out of place at all if airing beside sailor moon and Yu Yu Hakusuo. Even if the animation is better and art cleaner. Its both a plus and a minus for it as it does give it retro charm but also brings back the cliches and exaggerated comedy of yesteryear. This really just shows to me that the mangaka hasn’t changed, for better or worse. The episode itself is fine but frankly I am not set on jumping into a series likely to drag on and on.

Potential: 30%

 

Yamada-kun to Nana nin no Majo

Short Synopsis: A boy switches bodies with a girl and both go through the school day.

The episode was decent but there is a major warning flag. This episode adapted 7 chapters of manga and there seems to be plans to go to chapter 70 with one cour. This my friends, has never ever turned out well for any studio who attempted it. Which makes me wonder why some believe they will pull it off differently. Sure I said this story tends to drag a bit but this isn’t the solution. Prepare for pacing issues galore. Which is a shame because the points they did animate faithfully were done well. Perhaps they could somehow manage to make it watchable but I expect this to unravel fast. The same studio is working on Arslan, so I hope they don’t plan to rush that as well.

Potential: 30%

 

Ore Monogatari!!

Short Synopsis: A gentle giant falls for a girl.

Far too much Piano. I understand its a great instrument for conveying emotion but can we use it a little bit less? The selling point of this show is the untypical main character and it works. Its nice to see a character design often used as a low level enemy for the hero to defeat and impress the girl instead be likeable lead. Though he is made stupid for comedic effect but at least he’s well intentioned. The comedy is decent but the romance…well. Let’s just say it’s like shoving your mouth full of sugar. Its nice but very sickening. Watching as the background goes to the void and two characters stare at each other for a length of time that would make any person greatly uncomfortable. But I am watching this still and may even finish it so it must have some draw. However as mentioned before this story caps off quite early and I have no idea how the author would go on after that point that could be entertaining.

Potential: 50%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

Short Synopsis: A girl joins a school with supernatural battles between clubs.

A main character who is a lesbian gamer? You have my attention. She does tiptoe between endearing and ingratiating but she’s interesting. Even if she suffers from hyperactive delusions that I find Shoujo female leads often have. The animation is decent though jumping ahead to the second episode gets spotty in action sequences. The story is reminiscence of the first episodes of Kill la Kill though a little less over the top. The comedy is hit or miss. Some jokes fall right off the mark while others are amusing at least. One joke had me laughing out loud so points for that. Main detracting factor is that the story is rather typical but its rather enjoyable.

Potential: 60%

 

Houkago no Pleiades

Short Synopsis: A star loving girl becomes a magical girl.

So this is anime sponsored by car maker Subaru. A factoid that I missed in my preview of it. My fault but I really do think that is ridiculously strange. That a car company thinks a great method of advertisement would be to sponsor an anime in a genre aimed primarily at children. Who cannot buy a car, let alone drive one. Overall there isn’t anything particularly bad or notable. But the way that the flying wands sound like racing car engines is so out of place that I will never get accustomed to it. The obvious awkward CG during flying sequences is another issue. The characters are alright and the animation is fairly good. Its a decent watch for a magical girl fan.

Potential: 40%

 

Kekkai Sensen

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist joins a group who keeps a supernatural new York safe.

What is it about Bones and placing pointless mascot characters in their works? There was the balloon squirrell, the parrot, the sloth, the yellow fox and now a super fast monkey. Are these some marketing decision to help sell plush toys? So far we have vibes of Baccano in the music and darker than black in the setting. I find it difficult to judge. The villain is trying too hard to be crazy and the main characters aren’t proving to be distinctive. The structure of the episode could put people off as there a flash forward to what looks to be the end of the series, a jump to present, a flashback, present, flashback…its not giving you time to get your bearings. The action is good though I think the names of supermoves appearing on screen is a bit too Kill la Kill. There are some hints of potential but so far I am not sold.

Potential: 50%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

Short Synopsis: Haruhi without Aliens, time travelers or espers.

I certainly watched something. And that something wasn’t Haruhi. Sure the characters look similar and bare the same names but are so different they may as well be different people altogether. Kon isn’t narrating or being a deadpan snarker. Nagato is nothing like her counterpart. Asakura isn’t being a psycho smiling doll and green hair isn’t laughing her head off at everything. Only one who’s the same is Mikuru but maybe because she’s the only one that didn’t need to be Moefied. I said before that I don’t see the point of this and I still don’t. Really this just looks like an attempt to capitalise on Haruhi’s success by turning it into something blander and more forgettable. Sure you could write me off saying that I don’t like it because its different but quite frankly this story could be done without using Haruhis characters. Change the character designs and few would make the connection. The point is, that judging it as a standalone anime this is nothing significant at all.

Potential: 10%

 

Highschool DxD BorN

Short Synopsis: I watch this for the plot.

Oh you shameless vixen. I want to hate you and yet I cannot. High school DxD brings what it has brought for two seasons before. Boobs and butts and bare bones animated action. I think its it not that fun being an anime fan if you can’t enjoy something stupid every now and again. And this show is stupid in spades and shows it proudly. I just wish the animators could put a little more effort into the action pieces. With two assuming successful seasons you would think there would be a budget for beefing up the battles. But perhaps that went to another area… So purely for the interests of science I will watch it to its conclusion.

Potential: 0%

 

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

Short Synopsis: A girl receives her first magical device as a mysterious woman is attacking people in town.

This looks to have the same problem as Nanoha Strikers. Namely characters from previous seasons are dragging down the story. These characters have already completed their arcs so adding them in just amounts to fan service. This results in the cast being bigger than it needs to be and complicating the story because it needs to involve all these characters. Nanoha is best kept simple and fun. The previous seasons were not known for epic storytelling after all. But it is interesting that Vivio is a magical girl that focuses mainly on physical attacks and close range fighting. It differentiates her from her mother who was more a long range fighter. The character designs are a little rough on the eyes but animation looks solid. Its hard to gauge so far but it does have that fluffy easy going atmosphere of the original.

Potential: 50%

Posted on 13 April 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Etotama

Short Synopsis: The cat wants to become part of the Chinese Zodiac

Now this is odd. I originally pegged this as a harem anime but it seems its a harem/supernatural battle anime. Not scoring points in the change though. But here’s the thing, the battles are a remarkably clever use of CG. The characters change into a chibi look making them easier to animate and distinguishing them from the main style. By making the battles take place in another world it allows the transition to be more natural than simply switching between the two. The CG is also remarkably impressive. The battle was fluid and dynamic with it actually being difficult to see if it was actually CG animated at times. A truly inventive way to incorporate CG into anime. But that’s where my praise ends. While  basing the animal girls on the chinese zodiac is intriguing the fact is that the girls are annoying and the comedy is flat. It relies on the typical, “stupid person does something stupid, straight man points out they did something stupid” method. It also breaks the fourth wall a couple of times. The problem with this is the same problem I have with punchline. I can’t discern whether I am supposed to take this seriously or not. Comedy wise I thought it was amusing how the girls of the Zodiac kept asking people to recite the Zodiac and half the girls getting depressed because no one can remember the second half of it. Take note that I found it amusing, not funny. Overall I find the comedy to counter the battle which I could possibly get invested in if it wasn’t undermined afterwards by stating it was all a ploy to endear the protagonist. I am disappointed that such great use of CG was placed in a show such as this. I at least hope these animator take their work to more worthwhile shows because this to me is the kind of quality CG in anime should aim for.

OP: Peppy and upbeat

Potential: 30%

 

Shokugeki no Soma

Short Synopsis: A boy can make woman beg for his cooked meat.

Well…Did I mention this manga was made by a former Hentai artist? Before in the manga the reactions to food were pretty ridiculous but now animated takes them to new levels of absurd. Almost as if the protagonist slipped in fifty aphrodisiacs into the plate but even then I doubt anyone would react to food with such blatant sexual excitement. If I am wrong then well I better take up a cooking class. Well besides that odd quirk this is pretty standard shounen with a school setting incoming and the old elite group to take on. As some commenters have mentioned, you can find some enjoyment in it’s absolute ridiculousness. There is a certain charm to it’s complete over the top serious attitude to food. Making it the end all of all conflicts. It’s the usual thing in anime to over dramatize the subject in order to make it more visually interesting. Even one of my favorite animes, Hajime no ippo makes use of this with punches that sound like jet turbines and visual air bursts from each strike. But this is just too much for me. I even had to turn down the sound of this anime because I thought that anyone who heard it would assume I was watching pornography.

Potential: 0%

 

Plastic Memories

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist works as a retriever of robots at the end of their life span.

I hate love at first sight. When you cut out the ‘romance’ of it the idea becomes superficial. Determining that you are in love based on first sight means you essentially judged her entirely by her looks and this line of think has lead many into terrible relationships. When compared to a relationship formed through shared experiences and interaction its clear which of the two is the stronger. But alright besides the typical boy meets girls setup, I at least appreciate the lack of a school setting and a rather unique premise. In terms of how it is handles I say they are going the right way with this. Using a robots end of life span as an allegory for acceptance of death is smart and it is touching to see characters say goodbye to their loved ones. On those aspects you have a perfect show for generating tears. The main problem with it being that it’s very easy to go overboard with it and attempt to make it as melodramatic as possible. But that isn’t the only potential problem with this show. Despite the characters working they are still teenagers which honestly I don’t understand as to why that is. The most annoying by far is the stereotypical tsundere character. Girl, even if you think you are being something original, I have seen you a hundred times before and most likely will a hundred times again. The comedy is just at complete heads with it’s premise. We have a great moment of a grandmother saying goodbye to her little girl andriod only to follow it up with a joke about the female character pissing herself cause she drunk too much tea. Pick a side because you are not going to hit two birds with one stone. There are lots of ways this could go wrong and I already see a future development with the partner andriod thats so foreshadowed that they might as well spill the beans. But assuming this can avoid the trappings that Okada often falls in and kept the slapstick comedy to a minimum then this could be something.

Potential: 60%

 

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

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to be an RPG pimp

I am getting SAO reminders already. Let me talk about something for a moment. You see when I first played the game dark souls I was frustrated and angry at myself because of my own failings. But then I worked hard. I learned the enemy tells, figured out how to balance my stats, learned what was useful to what was not. I got good, nay, I got great. And when I struck the final blow on the last boss I knew that I got here from my accumulated effort, by challenging myself and now I could carry that experience into other games with pride. Now I imagine if I was given an ability that doubled my stat growth from the get go, handed all the best equipment and basically given regenerating health. Even if I steamrolled through the game my victory would be hollow. Because I didn’t earn it. I won not because of me, but rather because of what was given to me. It is for this reason that power fantasy such as this show does not interest me. Our protagonist has three girls already interested in him, an outright broken skill that gives him huge stat grown and the over powered equipment is coming. So with that out of the way, the writing is flimsy and contrived, that goddess girl is more annoying than I remember from the manga and the setting is just an rpg game. I will pass on this.

Potential: 0%

 

Denpa Kyoushi

Short Synopsis: A Otaku traumatises three girls for life to teach a life lesson.

Perhaps calling this a poor man’s GTO was a bit generous. It does have the same setup but the protagonist is certainly less likeable. Its hard to get on the side of the gifted prodigy who couldn’t care less about using his talent for anything besides otaku interests. Even worse when he’s a Gary sue who knows everything. It is odd that despite his actions being portrayed as heroic for giving bullies payback, his method seemed rather villainous. I mean the bullies did do something too far but threatening to publish all their personal information on the net, even as a joke, is going way too far. The character designs are not really pleasing and animation is fairly passable. But this is looking weaker than the manga. Or simply the flaws of the manga are getting illuminated.

OP: Very very annoying.

Potential: 40%

 

Arslan Senki

Short Synopsis: A young prince faces the task of inheriting his father’s throne.

This starting episode sets up a solid base for the remainder of the series. Two factions of different beliefs each with pros and cons. Motivations for what seem to be future important players. Excellent animation and art. Topped off with a persian arabic high fantasy setting. The main character is rather stereotypical but has much room for growth. The designs make it very clear that fullmetal alchemists author is in place though she didn’t write the original story. One negative however is the poor CG. Its understandable considering the number of people fighting on screen but it does look like rusty robots in motion at times. There are small pans which use CG as well which don’t look very natural. High fantasy is not often seen in anime nowadays so if this plays it’s cards right we may be looking at a potential highlight of the year.

Potential: 90%

Posted on 10 April 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Punchline

Short Synopsis: A guy whose spirit has been separated from his body

As I expected from just looking at the director and the studio’s pedigree from the last three or four years, this show rehashes stereotypes and fails to distinguish itself from the wacky comedies of the past. Because I’m rather tired of this genre at this point, this first episode needed to impress me, but it unfortunately did not–through its crappy soundtrack and generic set of uninteresting characters.

Potential: 40%

 

Sound! Euphonium

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist joins the brass band

Judging from the first episode, it’s just another music anime, and seems like a dull series I really don’t have much to say about at this point. Seems like a copy/paste of Hanayamata’s formula.

Potential: 30%

 

Triage X

Short Synopsis: Half naked women go around acting like the Thought Police

I hope you like fan-service, because unless you do, there is no enjoyment in this show for you. A terrible premise? Check. Blatant fan-service? Check. Yeah, I’m not going to bother watching this one. The manga was written by the writer of Highschool of the Dead, so I guess fan-service is kind of his thing, but at least Highschool of the Dead was entertaining in that it brought a genre of horror we hadn’t seen very much in those days into anime. This is just…stale and nonsensical.

Potential: 10%

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:57 AM)
    Or more accurately the feeling that I’d watched a grown up anime for the first time.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:57 AM)
    The feeling at the time of “This is my first “REAL” anime.
    And I was a cyberpunk nut ever since.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:56 AM)
    Call it nostalgic nonsense, but randomly video hopping on youtube, I find myself listening to the bubblegum crisis soundtrack, laughably dated yes but its taken me back to that moment when I was 11 and those ovas were the first thing I saw that wasn’t pokemon and how blown away/emotional I got and felt.
  • MCAL
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:47 AM)
    Seems like they’ve licensed Umineko.
  • MCAL
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:46 AM)
    @Emma Well they are the kind of company who will license those kinds of titles.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:16 AM)
    Honestly, I’m a bit concerned about Mangagamer licensing euphoria and some lolicon game I can’t remember the name of, it might be sending a bad message of VNs in the west.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:14 AM)
    I really, really want to see Aiyoku no eustia licensed as far as visual novels are concerned and I’m willing to give comyu another shot if it gets fully translated.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:12 AM)
    Not sure if I like what they’re doing with Charlottes protaganist, fair enough he’s a badass, he may become funny/entertaining, but he also kind of comes off as a loser/gary-stu/forced.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:09 AM)
    Yeah, I’m pretty cynical when it comes to kids targetted stuff I guess, but I found the first witch academia thing kind of endearing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jul 5. 2015 06:07 AM)
    @;(: Welcome aboard.

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