Posted on 22 March 2015 with categories: Seasonal Previews

A new year means new anime and I can say that this year looks to have a better lineup than the last. There are quite a few hopefuls this season. I can see a number of these turning out to be surprise hits. That is of course if they are handled properly. Of course there is the usual trash that gets made every season but at least I can look at the season and be glad that there isn’t a incest focused anime. Maybe that annoying fad has finally died out.

As I said before, I am not psgels. So the anime preview this time will go a little differently. I don’t really see the value of checking the staff unless there’s someone remarkably notable. My impressions here are mainly based on Promo impressions, my view of the source material and either the authors or studios previous work. Also some animes have impressions from myself and co-writer K-Off.

One final thing to add. This season I will blog three anime. Two will be if my choosing. I leave the third in your hands. The link below leads to a poll which contains each anime in this season. (Fate is excluded because I will blog that no matter what. And unfortunately I had to remove a few sequels/not a chances and such as the poll has a limit of 30 choices but I got most of them in there) Whatever wins I will blog no matter what. So of course I trust that you won’t make me blog something like NiseKoi….yeah that would be far too cruel……have mercy….please.(Don’t use bots either. This is just a bit of fun guys) You will also notice options for a kaleidoscope if you would prefer I give an small opinion on everything. The polling closes on the air date of the first anime of this season. That’s about twenty days from now.

http://strawpoll.me/3924048

Let’s get started.

 

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Ameiro Cocoa

Due to various circumstances, college freshman Aoi Tokura begins part-timing at the café “Rainy Color” run by Shion Koga and owned by Kouji Amami. Attending the café are the cool and handsome Keiichi Iwase and the confident Ryouta Sakurai. Aoi’s life gets a lot more hectic, but fun.

A guy who works in a restaurant that “cool” and “handsome” guys go to? I think I see where this is going.

Baby Steps 2

Season 2 of Baby Steps.

A sports anime I have not seen the first season of and likely nowhere near an end goal. Marvelous.

Battle Spirits: Burning Soul

Buy our toys.

Diamond no Ace: Second Season

The second season of Diamond no Ace.

The same as baby steps 2. But with less interest.

Duel Masters VSR

The 11th Duel Masters series.

The first (or shall we say second if you count the zero series) is not going to be beat at this point. The 11th try is not the charm.

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?

The story takes place in the town of labyrinths, Orario, also called “Dungeon.” Bell Cranel is a newbie adventurer that admires “Having a fateful meeting with a person of the opposite gender.” One day during an adventure, he is attacked by a Minotaur. Close to destruction, he is saved by a top-class female adventurer, Eyes Warenstein. He falls in love with her at first sight, and begins actions to become an adventurer that is on her level. He later encounters Hestia, a god called a “Lolita god” due to her stature who falls in love with him.

I read the manga and found it to be like the growing popular genre of Reincarnation/other world novels. Unfortunately it is an example of the problems of that genre as a whole. Namely overpowering a protagonist by handing him a power that makes him untouchable. In this case it’s extra silly because this power is given to him because he got a crush on a girl. Imagine watching Dragon Ball where instead of Goku gaining strength throughout the series, he gets super saiyan right from the start. This is just poor wish fulfilment writing. Which will likely be very popular.

Etotama

The manga’s story revolves around Nya-tan, the cat of Chinese astrology who wants to become a member of the Chinese zodiac. Nya-tan is simple and suffers from memory loss, and she tries various foolish ways to become a member. She meets Takeru Tendo, a high school student who lives alone in Akihabara, and becomes a freeloader at his house. Little by little, she gets closer to her goal

Cat girls, dog girls, bunny girls…if you got a animal girl fetish it’s likely here. With what looks to be the same story every harem has. Girls gather around and fall for a faceless plank who made no effort at all. But this time it’s animal girls. Which likely has been done before but will still sell anyway. Enjoy your fruitless fantasy there buyers.

Grisaia no Rakuen

The Grisaia no Rakuen visual novel continues the Grisaia no Meikyuu visual novel’s main route and concludes the trilogy. It also includes a prologue following the five heroines as they arrive at Mihama Academy.

8-bit have you not done enough damage? You butchered the first season and even topped it off by adding the base equal of hentai with fan service specials. Can we not just had this over to someone who actually cares about the source material? Listen people. If you somehow enjoyed the first season then go and buy the games. A kickstarter to bring Grisaia’s first three games to the west was recently funded. (Yours truly was a backer) You will get something ten times better than anything these poor adaptations can give you. You even get better porn than these could give you. Don’t want porn? Well these are also going on Steam with sex scenes removed. Just don’t do the disservice of experiencing them with this anime.

Kaitou Joker 2

Second season of Kaitou Joker.

Didn’t watch the first season. No interest in the second.

 

Koukaku Kidoutai Arise: Alternative Architecture

A TV anime version of Ghost in the Shell: Arise. The first eight episodes are an edited version of the four movies while the last two are new content.

When the arise OVAS are good why is it that I am not looking forward to this? Simple. Because this is the OVAS chopped up into an anime series. I am not interested because I already seen it. There are a few new episodes getting into this but I don’t think it justifies the series.

 

Kyoukai no Rinne

As a child Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma’s home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura’s has been empty since the start of the school year. Then one day her always-absent classmate Rinne Rokudo shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

From the creator of ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, and Urusei Yatsura. You know what those series had in common? A ton of episodes that went absolutely nowhere. Sure she was also behind something like mermaid forest but this story sounds to me like Inuyasha 1.5. In this day and age I think her storytelling style would be dated and uninspired.

 

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

This spin-off of the Haruhi Suzumiya series takes place in the world of the “Disappearance” arc of the original novels, focusing on the high school life (and romance!) of a tentative and bashful Yuki Nagato quite unlike the one you’ve come to know and love through the usual exploits of the SOS Brigade… but no less charming! As the shy head of the Literature Club, Nagato has had a hard time recruiting members. Her close friend Ryoko Asakura supports her in this. Drafting Kyon, she eventually meets up with Haruhi Suzumiya, Tsuruya, Mikuru Asahina and Itsuki Koizumi, and has to put up with their hijinks while trying to romance Kyon. Asakura seems ambivalent about the latter prospect.

So it’s Haruhi without aliens, time travelers or espers. So Haruhi with anything remotely original removed. What’s the point of this exactly? It’s like taking Attack on titan and putting it in a school setting…wait that exists. Well like Soul Eater without soul eating…oh right, Soul Eater Not. I don’t get the fascination of placing the characters in much blander setting. If we are going to switch genres then why not have fun with it? K-on: zombie apocalypse or Csi To love-ru. I even saw a Web comic that takes the characters of gurren lagann and puts them in a buddy cop story. That turned out to be far more entertaining than this has any chance of being. I get that the draw of this is emotional Yuki but that is only special because it’s rare for the character to have emotion. A kuudere without kuu is just another character entirely.

 

Nisekoi 2

Season 2 of Nisekoi

Somewhere around the time To Love-Ru finally gave up pretending to not be softcore porn and start putting out, a gap was made in the cocktease category of manga. That gap was then filled by Nisekoi, a soulless harem which spends it’s time teasing story development only to pull right back into the status quo and harem hijinks. All to promote the japanese dream of having five constant teases in love with you whom you cannot touch or enter any meaningful relationship with. I have actually read Nisekoi completely up to date. Why?…good question. Don’t really know myself. There’s really nothing here than more Nisekoi.  More plot less, go nowhere Nisekoi.

 

Punchline

The series follows Yuuta Iritatsu, whose spirit has been separated from his body.

K-Off’s Opinion: So from a quick glance, it seems like Yutaka Uemura is in charge of this show, so it’s definitely one reason to be hopeful about it–he’s worked as a unit director on a Gurran Lagann movie, but the kind of premise found in Punchline is stupid and honestly should be retired (it’s about a boy who will destroy the world if he sees underwear). Yutaka Uemura worked on seriously enduring shows with a long-lasting fanbase like Gurran Lagann and Blood+, but he’s not alone with MAPPA (who he’s now with) when it comes to consistently creating shows that will be as contemporary and irrelevant in a year or a few months as possible. With the exception being Kids on the Slope (which was co-produced with Tezuka Productions) in 2012, MAPPA has since churned out shows with a lot of initial potential, like Terror in Resonance, Shingeki no Bahamut, and Garo, which ultimately ended up being “meh” shows that I haven’t even gotten the need to go back for and watch seriously. Oh, and I won’t even talk about Teekyu here. So, although I don’t have a very positive outlook for anything MAPPA puts out anymore, I can guarantee that Punchline will be an entertaining watch for some of you–Bahamut and Zankyou had great production values and were initially really entertaining, although Punchline will definitely be far worse than some of the excellent over-the-top comedies that have been released over the years. This isn’t going to be your Level E or One Punch Man, Uemura.

 

PriPara 2

In season two of PriPara the story continues with Laala and her friends Mirei and Sophy, who are part of the “SoLaMi♡SMILE” PriPara idol unit, which is rising in popularity. In the PriPara amusement park, a new zone called “Dream Theater” has opened, and it’s said that when a fateful five-man team filled with charm that performs there, a new event called the “PriPara Dream Parade” will be held. However, it is not known which five people make up this team, and the PriPara idols scramble give the greatest performance in the new zone.

This would make one great horror anime with all these mutants with huge dead soulless eyes. Like walking into the doll section of a shop and seeing them stare at you. Really unnerving. Well it isn’t a horror anime but a sequel to a magical girl show. So I couldn’t care less.

 

Re-Kan!

An anime adaptation of the manga Re-Kan! has been announced. The manga centers around Hibiki Amami, a girl who can see ghosts and other supernatural phenomena in her surroundings. The stories follow her daily life with both her friends and the otherworldly.

The second series in this season about a girl who sees ghosts. However without the notable creator and a worse studio. Even if that wasn’t so this sounds like a run of the mill slice of life comedy.

Shokugeki no Souma

The anime adaptation of the Shokugeki no Souma manga that centers on Souma, who works with his dad at his family’s restaurant. His dad is a culinary master, and he often hosts cooking battles with his father. His father then enrolls him in an elite culinary school that is very difficult to enter, and the graduation rate is only about 10 percent.

I gave the manga of this a shot just recently. The story pretty much is made up of anything you seen in a shounen jump manga. A protagonist who is aiming for a goal with an unspecified road.(King of the pirates, Hokage, etc) Has a hidden talent and works hard. Challenging an elite group to a series of one on one battles. But I feel it has a hidden agenda. Actually scratch that. It’s not hidden but out in the open. For example, the first chapter has tentacle groping fanservice. The sad thing is that isn’t a joke. Girls who eat the protagonists food usually tend to become overly sexually excited and fanservice images are used to describe the foods flavor. Like “it’s as if I am being groped by angels.” That my friends, is a direct quote. Gentlemen, this manga is most certainly not about food.

 

Show By Rock!!

Metropolis of music, MIDICITY. A kitty girl wearing gothic lolita clothing named Cyan is scouted by Maple Arisugawa, the president of a music agency. From there, she meets Chuchu (a pun off of the sound that rabbits make) the honor student rabbit girl, a net geek dog girl named Retoree (from “Retriever”), and an alien sheep (?) girl named Moa. Together, they form the band named “Plasmagica,” and aim for the top of the world.However, the path there is long and tough, and keeping in high spirits is important. By battling against other strange bands, Plasmagica slowly grows toward a top-grade band. In the end, they’ll be a band that becomes the driving force of MIDICITY’s music industry… Maybe? Gonna be a music millionaire!

Etotama with music apparently. The synopsis with various animal puns is enough to make me retch.

 

Triage X

 

Mochizuki General Hospital boasts some of the most well-trained (and well-endowed) nurses in town. But though these ladies spend much of their day battling disease, their after-hours are spent fighting a very different sort of sickness… Under the leadership of the hospital chairman, a handful of staff members and local teenagers form a group of mercenary assassins, targeting the “cancers” of society and excising those individuals before their wickedness spreads.

It’s always a bad sign when your main heroines ass is more prominent in the promo image than her face. But it does get the message across well. I don’t even have to watch this show to guess what it’s about.

 

Urawa no Usagi-chan

An original anime to advertise Urawa City in Saitama, Japan. The project features eight anthropomorphic girls representing the stations in the prefecture, which have “Urawa” with their names.

An original anime to advertise Urawa City in Saitama, Japan by making the train stations into cute girls…well it might be slightly educational at least.

 

Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Revolutions

The third season of Uta no☆Prince-sama.

This is essentially a harem anime for females. So it’s just as worthless.

 

Series I am middling on

Denpa Kyoushi

An anime adaptation of the manga which centers around Junichirou, a young man obssesed with manga, anime and games. He was a young genius who published papers in the journals Nature and Science when he was only 17. However, after graduating college, he became a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) absorbed in his anime blog. Unable to watch Kagami throw away his life, his sister Suzune gets him to work at the Ichou Academy she attends. The head of the school’s board, Koyomi Hiiragi, assigns Kagami to his new life as a teacher.

It’s a poor man’s Great Teacher Onizuka with a Otaku nerd instead of a gangster. That one sentence pretty much encapsulates this series as a whole. Now there nothing wrong with being a poor man’s GTO. Many manga have tried to be that and failed. Denpa Kyoushi does at least succeed in being a little entertaining. However I feel something is lost when instead of an uneducated gangster teaching life lessons through his personal experiences in life, we have some prodigy genius too into otaku culture to use his talents for anything meaningful doing the same thing. Still with the right execution this can be a watchable show.

Digimon Adventure tri

The Digimon Adventure 15th Anniversary Event announced that the characters of the first Digimon Adventure anime are returning next spring. The video shown at the end of the event described the main character Taichi as being 17 years old in high school with his Digimon partner Agumon. The sequel series will tell a “new story” “for all the ‘DigiDestined’ in the world.” “Now, [once] again, the adventure evolves.”

Digimon Adventure. That brings me back. I really liked this show as a kid and well quite a number agree that it’s a good show. Even the likes of Chiaki Konaka was a fan. They even let him write my favorite season of the show, Digimon tamers. Not sure what they were thinking letting the guy behind serial experiments lain, Texhnolyze and ghost hound of all things write a kids show but hey good for them. The big question here is whether this new show with its new cast can capture the magic of the show. Well I am willing to give it a chance for nostalgia sake.

K-Off’ Opinion: Growing up I was a little too old and therefore missed out on the whole Digimon/Pokemon hype of the early 2000’s, and only got into Digimon Adventures through playing Pokemon sometime before college. Strangely enough, as I grew older I began to strongly dislike Pokemon and appreciated Digimon Adventure’s comparatively deeper storyline, and this show will hopefully capitalize on why that was so.  If Digimon Tri does for the outdated Digimon series that Pokemon Origins did for Pokemon, I’ll be perfectly content.

 

Eikoku Ikke, Nihon o Taberu

Based on the book which follows Booth, his wife Lissen, and two kids Ansger (6) and Emil (4), on their 100-day trip to Japan as they try a wide variety of Japanese foods. Booth was inspired to make the trip by Shizuo Tsuji’s book, Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art.

I am willing to give this a chance for being different

Gintama°

A new TV anime of Gintama was announced at Jump Festa 2015.

How many seasons of this can there be at this point? Well it’s more Gintama for those who want it.

Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation

A.D. 2115—the island nation once called Japan is now known as the “17th Far East Imperial City Management District.”
The citizens were promised a life of peace in exchange for some of the comfort they were used to having. People believed their lives would never change and tomorrow will be the same as today. No one suspected the impending doom which their society was about to face.
“Degradation”—a rare disease which led to the total disintegration of the human body to a mere pile of sand was slowly but surely spreading throughout the world.
Tohru Kazasumi, an ordinary student becomes embroiled in a multi universal battle between his world and the parallel world of “Frontier S (Stratos).” This meant that Tohru must fight himself from an alternate world.
Their futures collide as their paths cross. Will both worlds ever find peace?

Video game adaptations are usually tricky business. Off the top of my head the best one I can think of is Gungrave. Story wise this does not look promising though Gen Urobuchi is credited for the story. Though I would hold my hope till I see how much he’s involved. But it may be able to deliver on the action front if it can keep the animation it has in the an promo up for a full cour.

Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic

The second season of Kiniro Mosaic.

I seem to remember a few people talking about the first season saying it was good. Maybe the second will show me why.

Hibike! Euphonium

The anime begins when Kumiko Oumae, a girl who was in the brass band club in junior high school, visits her high school’s brass band club as a first year. Kumiko’s classmates Hazuki and Sapphire decide to join the club, but Kumiko sees her old classmate Reina there and hesitates. She remembers an incident she had with Reina at a brass band club contest in junior high school…

So this is an anime where a group of girls join a club about music and if the promo is any indication, hijinks ensue. KyoAni…didn’t you make this anime already? I have long lamented KyoAni’s lack of ambition. So much like their other work this is likely forgettable fluff. But very pretty animated forgettable fluff.

High School DxD BorN

 

The third season of High School DxD.

My credibility as a blogger has likely plummeted with this. But hear me out. We all know that every season has to have that show. You know the one. The fanservice harem supernatural battle show that is a near carbon copy of the ones that came before. They are a necessary evil in this world. But the one thing that bugs me about these shows is how each one acts like it’s presenting something new and different. But then you have show like High school DxD which just said that it wanted to present a story with some action and nudity. And I find a certain charm in its honesty. This show isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is. Instead of censoring the fanservice they just show it. Instead of trying to present some been there done that story with complete seriousness it just doesn’t take itself very seriously. If we have to have this kind of garbage every season I at least would prefer it to be as enjoyable and honest as this. The first two seasons where a guilty pleasure of mine. The third is likely going to follow.

Houkago no Pleiades

So it’s a magical girl series from Gainax with a pink haired lead with a short blue haired friend, a blond girl with curls and…a long black haired girl…wait a second. Is this a Madoka wannabe? It’s only an inkling as the trailer shows no darkness but I find it odd for Gainax to come in with a magical girl show when the only other magical girl show they did was Petite Princess Yucie. Other than that this has some good animation and looks decent enough. But I am on to you Gainax. I wait for the traditional Gainax ending too.

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

The manga takes place four years after the JS incident in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, and stars Vivio Takamichi, a fourth-year elementary student at St. Hilde Academy of Magic. Vivio has learned to conjure her adult form and has received her own Device — named Sacred Heart — from Nanoha, and has promised Nanoha to never use either for mischief. Then a mysterious magical fighter appears and targets Vivio.

Seven Arc’s is notable absent for this entry for the Nanoha series. Possibly to prepare for dog days season four. Though I hope not. With the success of Madoka, Mahou Shoujo was given a revival which to be perfectly honest has been rather disastrous. The Madoka wannabes have been all equally awful so I for one would like to see another take on the other notable magical girl series. And with the director of the best season of Nanoha (Nanoha As) at the helm here this could be a return to form for the series. I for one would look forward to girls learning about the power of friendship by blasting each other to bits with weapons of mass destruction.

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

The story of the original light novels and manga revolves around high school girl Eruna Ichinomiya, who enters the Mikagura Academy dreaming of a boarding school life filled with beauty. However, Eruna finds out that in the culture clubs, there is a rule that battles that are fought with special powers decide a club representative’s treatment. Through various circumstances, Eruna becomes a representative of a club, and is thrown into the fray.

Why is it always a school? Why is it always a club? Do the japanese truly value their school life so much? Cause I remember school and I truly wish I didn’t. My life got a whole lot better once I left school and I never looked back. Now when I have to listen to someone prattle on and on I can at least say I am getting paid for it. Still even with the most stereotypical of settings a show can work if the plots good enough.

Narudoma

The “unorthodox hard surreal gag” comedy centers around the narcissistic (narushi na) Hagito and the masochistic (domazo na) Kei. Together they are “Narudoma.”
Hagito is a handsome yet pitiful man with a loli complex. Anytime, anywhere, a mirror is his constant companion. Surrounding him are a host of highly idiosyncratic characters: the diehard masochist Kei, the unnaturally strong yet girlish Totono, the exceedingly stylish working stiff Saitou, and the extraordinarily negative Roku. Even the one normal guy has his own issues

Comedy has never been a strong point for me in anime. This does have good points of having a wacky setup of characters but if this is the kind of comedy where one person does something stupid and then another points it out, then this will not be very amusing.

Ore Monogatari!!

Takeo Gouda is a giant guy with a giant heart. Too bad the girls don’t want him! (They want his good-looking best friend, Sunakawa.) Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn!

Points for having a protagonist who isn’t an average high school student. I read the first three chapters and can say I found it an rather heartwarming story. Its by no means a masterpiece but I can see myself putting time into it despite my utter despise for the Shoujo genre. The one thing that worries me is that the chapter I stopped at essentially capped off the story. I don’t see how it could continue after that and still be entertaining.

Owari no Seraph

The story takes place in a world where an unknown virus has killed the entire human population except for children. Those children were then enslaved by vampires. The manga centers on Yuichiro Hyakuya, a human who dreams of becoming strong enough to kill all vampires.

The warning signals are abundant. I see a school setting with potential haremettes in the mix. Not to mention with the protagonists declaration to kill all vampires I cannot help but be reminded of Attack on Titan. It also does not help that the animation studio making this are the ones who made Attack on Titan. This could be the first of the Titan wannabes. While I find vampires to be downgrade, the animation in the promo is impressive and I wish that this will at least break out on its own merits. However I am highly skeptical that it will do so.

Plastic Memories

This story takes place in a future not too far away when androids that look exactly like humans begin to spread across the world. The android production company SA Corp. produced Giftia, a new kind of android that has the most amount of emotion and human-like qualities out of any other model ever seen. However, due to problems in technology, the androids have a service life, and once they pass that, they… Well, it gets pretty bad. For this reason, SA Corp. creates a terminal service in order to retrieve Giftia that have gone past their service life. A new employee at the terminal service named Tsukasa Mizugaki forms a team with the Giftia Isla to retrieve the other androids, but…

This show has a premise with a large amount of potential but several warning signs. The first being that the cover image is of a cute girl. The promo does not inspire hope either. This is my wishful thinking that this may turn out to be more than it appears.

Yamada-kun to Nananin no Majo

Ryu Yamada is a second year student at Suzaku High. Ryu is always late for school, naps in class and gets abysmal grades. His life is a dead bore. The beautiful Urara Shiraishi, on the other hand, is Suzaku High’s brightest student. One day, without explanation, their bodies are swapped! Ryu ends up in Urara’s body, and Urara in Ryu’s.

I have read up to date with the manga and found it passable. The nature of the witch powers is somewhat interesting and the comedy can hit the occasional funny joke. I have dropped it and picked up the story a couple of times mainly due to dwindling interest. Its from the same author who did Yanki-kun to Megane-chan which is another manga I was mildly interested in but dropped and never looked back. So the main problem is whether the anime can keep people’s attention for a full season. In truth even if it succeeds I see this as an anime that you will enjoy but won’t leave an impact on you.

K-Off’ Opinion: Now around this time last year, I picked up reading the manga for Yamada-Kun to Nananin no Majo, and found it a pretty below average shonen comedy. I ultimately ended up dropping it pretty quickly because it was just too formulaic, not to mention it also turned terribly stale after 2-3 arcs into the story. So, I predict this show being somewhat watchable for the first few episodes and drying up pretty soon afterwards.

 

Series that I Do Look Forward To

Arslan Senki

The mangas story: In the prosperous kingdom of Pars lies the Royal Capital of Ecbatana, a city of splendor and wonder, ruled by the undefeated and fearsome King Andragoras. Arslan is the young and curious prince of Pars who, despite his best efforts, doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be a proper king like his father.
At the age of 14, Arslan goes to his first battle and loses everything as the blood-soaked mist of war gives way to scorching flames, bringing him to face the demise of his once glorious kingdom. However, it is Arslan’s destiny to be a ruler, and despite the trials that face him, he must now embark on a journey to reclaim his fallen kingdom.

Well it’s high fantasy manga by the author of fullmetal alchemist based on a series of novels called The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Do I really need to say more? I read the first two chapters of the manga and find it very promising. My only issue is that the manga and novels are both still ongoing so this likely will not have a satisfactory ending in one cour.

 

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season

The 2nd season of ufotable’s adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night. Set to air in April 2015.

Well now. For what possible reason could I be looking forward to this show? The high production values? The story? The fact that I have been a long time type moon fan and the first season was the very reason I started blogging here in the first place? Yes I think it should be rather obvious. This season will be the climax filled end the holy grail war. So naturally I am blogging it and naturally I am foaming at the mouth in anticipation.(That promotional image is also truly artistically beautiful)

 

Kekkai Sensen

A breach between Earth and the netherworlds has opened up over the city of New York, trapping New Yorkers and creatures from other dimensions in an impenetrable bubble. They’ve lived together for years, in a world of crazy crime sci-fi sensibilities. Now someone is threatening to sever the bubble, and a group of stylish superhumans is working to keep it from happening.

Bones has been in a slump ever since “Heroman” and I do want them to come back with something. Kekkai earns points for having what looks to be no teenagers in the cast and the promo has style. True the super powered team facing a monster threat is hardly original but maybe with some Bones character building this could work.

K-Off’ Opinion: The idea behind this story seems pretty similar to that of every anime in its genre, save for the slightly more interesting premise of mixed fantasy which takes place in New York City–which is my home city. I don’t know anything about this manga as I hadn’t heard about it until now, but it’s supposedly written by the author of Trigun so I can at least hope for some semblance of originality. I know Bones is perfectly capable of producing quality anime, so I’ll have to withhold judgment for later, although honestly the only reason I’m even looking forward to this anime is because it takes place in NYC.

Lupin III (2015)

The story of the new series will take place in Italy and San Marino.

I never watched the original Lupin the third. I have seen the Mine Fujiko anime and while Okada had her usual over dramatic breakdowns in it, I found myself intrigued to see the original show. Its also referenced everywhere within anime and manga so being an anime veteran I feel it is my sworn duty to watch it. Then I see it has well over two hundred episodes and the same reason as to why I have not watched one piece to this day comes up yet again. That episode count is daunting and I have never seen a show that had that many episodes that retained it’s quality throughout. So I am hoping this 2015 version can give me the cliff notes as to what the big deal is.

 

Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

Season 2 of Sidonia no Kishi.

The first season of Sidonia had the element of surprise. I expected nothing of it and was given so much more. The second season does not have that luxury so can it deliver again? There were sidestepped pitfalls in the first season that the second could very well fall into and become something inferior. There are plenty of ways this can go wrong. Yet I hope that is not the case. The first season left threads that could lead to exciting developments this season. I hope that they can tie up these threads with care. I also hope the CG animation has improved to prevent those uncanny valley moments.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

Second season of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru.

The first season of Yahari took a cynical approach to a tired concept. It was a refreshing show. However there are few shows that managed to retain quality with a second season. Even fewer that managed to surpass their previous seasons. What I hope for here is more of the main characters cynicism and observations. What I dread is a growing harem of girls and romantic antics that eclipses the plot.

Posted on 9 March 2015 with categories: Yearly Summaries

Well as they say, better late than never. Now I am aware that I am not psgels and so the summary is not quite as extensive as I only joined the site at the end of the year. Not to mention my tastes are far away from psgels tastes. But to have an anime year without a summery bugged me. Also thanks to a few commenters for bringing it to my attention. I will try my best. Another thing to note is that there are likely shows that deserve a spot on the top anime that are not there. Reason for this is probably because I didn’t see it. Examples such as Ping Pong or Gugure! Kokkuri-san.

Now many people claim anime is dead and needs saving. And certainly when looking at anime this year it can be quite depressing. There is a reason why it’s a top ten this year instead of a top twenty. Though part of that is because I simply didn’t watch every good show in each season this year. Shows with some great potential that lead to great disappointments. But the creative process is a lottery. Despite what many anime fans believe, there has never been a golden age of anime in the past were masterpieces came out at regular intervals. And to say there were no interesting anime this year would be a lie.

So without further ado, the 2014 summary.

 

Worst series

Grisaia no Kajitsu

I was willing to hand this to Sword art online 2 but couldn’t as I gave up on it in its ninth episode. As I have not seen the remainder of the series I cannot judge it as the worst. But if the rest of the series is anything like what I watched then it would have taken the award. To give it to a harem would be shooting fish in a barrel. But what did I watch fully that was just terrible in every shape and form? Grisaia, it breaks my heart to give you this but what did they do to you? Bad animation. Music ripped straight from the visual novel without any attempt to fit it with the visuals. An adaption which crushed and ripped apart the source material only to attempt to duck tape it together into something coherent which failed completely. Some of the most out of place, downright insulting fanservice ranging from a panty shot of a girl who is panicking while buried alive to slow pan of a girls underwear clad body when she is dying from disease and malnutrition. Think about the context of the scene for gods sake. But what makes it worse is there is potential for a good anime here but now because of general incompetence and a lack of care it shall never be realized.  And to top it all off there are two sequels coming. Just stop.

Biggest disappointment

Psycho Pass season 2

The first season of Psycho Pass had problems but the blade runner-quese world of Sibyl it built was rife with potential. So surely with the writer of Le chevalier d’Eon and Ghost in the Shell arise doing the series composition for the second season that world will now be explored with greater detail. Or…that’s what we hoped. Maybe the script should not have been placed in the hands of Jun Kumagai, a man responsible for writing some of the worst episodes for series such as Gaila Donna, Resonance in Terror and Persona 4. Its clear to tell that Jun either didn’t see the first season of Psycho Pass or just didn’t care about it. The script of this show starts decent and goes downhill fast with events becoming so nonsensical that one would claim it’s bad fan fiction. At the end of the story no one’s choices made sense and the entire season is made pointless. Only to be a large blemish on a decent anime franchise .

Most pleasant surprise

Sidonia no kishi

CG in anime is not very good. So one would think that making a full anime in CG when anime characters CG models are in uncanny valley territory sounds suicidal. But against all odds and iffy CG aside Sidonia turned out to be a good anime. A very good anime. The story has great pacing and action visually impressive and exhilarating.  There are problems with mild harem elements peaking in but the strengths of the show help those moments become tolerable. The world is fascinating and the situations do or die. To an anime I expected nothing with it came and gave me so much more than I anticipated.

Best animation studio

Ufotable

Ufotable is quite the mystery. At a time when KyoAni and Madhouse were the height of quality animation, Ufotable came out of nowhere and blew them both away. A studio whose most notable work being Coyote Ragtime Show it was a shock to see them come with something as finely produced as Kara no Kyokai. As it is now they are the pinnacle of japanese animation. If asked by someone to show them the quality of of anime visuals I would likely take out a Ufotable work. My only concern is that they may become limited to just creating type moon works. I love type moon but I would like to see Ufotable branch out from just that. Gyo was a decent attempt to do so, even if it was misguided and not really a wise choice to attempt with. Though I do think that it was brave of them to choose something so obscure and downright unadaptable.

Best Guilty Pleasure

No Game No Life

Quite a polarising anime to say the least. Now don’t get me wrong. If you said that No Game No Life was garbage I would actually agree. It is garbage. Its wish fulfilment tripe with an absolute minimal level of intelligence. But it’s entertaining garbage. I had fun watching this show despite its many, and I do mean many, glaring flaws. However if you were to come up to me and ask if it was good I would hesitate. And then mumble a incoherent response. I even considered putting it in the top anime below but it just felt instinctively wrong. I can’t even promise I would like it on a rewatch. But for what it is, it was fun. Just hope there isn’t a second season. Lighting like this does not strike twice.

Best animation

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works

Yes yes, I know I have a personal bias for this series. I would like you to know how hard it was to restrain myself from putting it in every best of category. But whether you love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny this is one beautiful series. The animation is phenomenal and art equally so. I would even be so bold to label this show the best looking anime series to date.

Worst character

Mika Shimotsuki

There are characters you love to hate and then there is Mika Shimotsuki. A character whose very nature is to insight utter contempt in the viewer. It makes no sense considering her character in the previous series but in the second season of Psycho Pass Mika was made into a pro Sibyl puppet. Her every action, her every line of dialogue only there to anger viewers. At any chance of improving her character she does a 180 and regresses further. To the point where they will make her as stupid as possible in order to make choices no human would ever make so that she is hated further. This is not a well written character. This is just an object to inspire hate, a quite literal animated troll. In the end her role in the story is pointless and she didn’t even give the viewer the satisfaction of seeing her recognise her mistakes or paying for them.

 

Top 10 anime of the year

10: Gin no Saji 2nd Season

Basically the same as the first season. It’s hard for me to talk about Sliver spoon. This is due to myself becoming tired with the heavy saturation of slice of life anime. This is unmistakable a solid show as anything that can make something as mundane as agriculture watchable is commendable. Out of the series in 2014 it was one of the most solid.

9: Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis

The show that could have been so much more. With more character development this could have really stood out. However despite that it did have good animation and a fair amount of action. If you walk into it expecting a adventure it will deliver on that front. The story didn’t throw any twists or turns that you won’t see coming but it does excel when it comes to presentation.

8: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

It does not have the same spark as it did in the first season but it certainly is trying. The stands have made the battles less inventive, the story is a long episodic line of one note villains, and the main characters are not as amusing as the previous entry. This season to me seems to be quantity over quality which is a shame. But despite all that, the over the top nature of the show is intact. The latest episodes of the egypt arc have gotten better and few shows have the infectious energy and ridiculousness of Jojo.

7: Isshuukan Friends

Slice of life is a genre that has been beaten into the ground already. Despite that One week friends managed to be a lighthearted enjoyable watch each week. Considering that I have grown completely sick of the genre that this show could get me to tune in each week was quite an achievement.

6: Log Horizon 

Essentially the anti-thesis of Sword Art Online. I mean that literally as Log Horizon was in fact created by those dissatisfied with SAOs presentation of MMOs. The first season was a fascinating look at how living in a MMO would be like. Essentially delivering on all the things SAO left to the side. While the comedy is weak and relies on repeating gags, the world building aspects are solid. With the change in studio for the second season not really bringing any changes and the quality of the show more less the same, it still remains a decent watch. My only real complaint being that it’s very slow and the current arc’s are not quite as interesting. So I place the first season here instead of the second.

5: Shirobako

I was late to see this little gem. Shirobako was something I shunned as I saw it as yet another show of moe drivel pretending to be about a subject but instead just uses it as a setup for cute girls doing cute things. But I seen some comments about it and gave it a chance. And was honestly surprised. Shirobako is a nice look into the trails and tribulations that give you your weekly anime fix. It has a lot of uncomfortable truths about the workplace environment in general. There are issues of course, such as the main cast of five girls not really being interesting at all. Two of whom I could swear where essentially taken from other Pa works like Hanasaku Iroha and Nagi no Asukara. They seem like a flat attempt to bring Moe to the show that quite honestly, didn’t need it. But when it focuses on the animation process, it shines.

4: Sidonia no Kishi

A fully CG anime should have been doomed from the start. But if you can put aside the uncanny valley you will have a addictive battle for survival. The are problems with clunky romance and harem moments but the action is intense and the situation dire. Was honestly looking forward to each episode. And I did get left wanting more by episodes end.

3: Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu

Truthfully despite a hugely faithful adaption I find Parasyte to be missing an ingredient that made the manga special. That said there are not many anime like it. The horror genre is surprisingly stark with the anime medium so I welcome any new entry that dares to be different. Ah, but less dubstep please.

2: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Obvious choice. I know. Fantastic production values, great action and a overall solid ride with a likeable, distinctive characters. Its not for everyone but if it is your thing then you get entertainment in spades. There are problems such as a number of battles where characters decide to battle another day for the sole purpose of delaying servants from being taken out of the war and calm which might put off those who want more action. Another thing is that this is essentially only one half of a story, so it is incomplete. Truthfully these things do not concern me.What does concern me is whether UFOtable can continue to deliver for the second half.

1: Mushishi Zoku Shou

It’s hard to beat an undeniable classic. The first season of Mushishi is considered a must watch for all anime fans. The second season carries it’s legacy. The only real negatives are its formulaic nature of the show and the character designs can make people look too similar. But it still can spellbound even the most tired anime veteran. There’s truly not much more to say about it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rolling Girls

Short Synopsis: What did I just watch?

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

Potential: 60%

 

Yoru no Yatterman

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

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

OP: I like it.

Potential: 80%

 

Sengoku Musou

Short Synopsis: Too many cooks.

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

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

Potential: 0%

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

Durarara!!X2

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

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

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

Potential: 80%

 

Soukyuu no Fafner Dead Aggressor – Exodus

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

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

Potential: 60%

 

Aldnoah Zero Season 2

Short Synopsis: I SAY CRYYY! I SAY CRYYY!

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

Potential: 20%

 

Some really quick first impressions

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

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

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

Kantai Collection

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist sucks at playing battleship

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

Potential: 0%

 

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to become an idol

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

Potential: 30%

 

Tokyo Ghoul √A

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist eats Soylent Green.

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

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

Potential: 10%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc

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

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

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

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

Potential: 60%

 

Death Parade

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

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

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

Potential: 90%

 

Assassination Classroom

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

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

OP: Annoyingly catchy but a nice tune.

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

Potential: 50%

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

Shinmai Maou no Testament

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

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

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

Potential: 0%

 

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes

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

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

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

Potential: 40%

 

Junketsu no Maria

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

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

Potential: 70%

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

Absolute Duo

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

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

OP: The song started with potential but fizzled out.

ED: Bland.

Potential: 0%

 

Yuri Kuma Arashi

Short Synopsis: Chibi Bears are eating schoolgirls.

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

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

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

Potential: 50%

 

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!

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

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

OP: Silly and cheesy.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 18 November 2014 with categories: Random Posts

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

Abnormal-kei Joshi

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

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

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

Current number of translated chapters: 10

Recommendation level: 50%

 

Shinigami 4 nin no kanojo

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

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

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

Current number of translated chapters: 17

Recommendation level: 90%

 

Mousugu Shinu Hito (Haruse Hiroki)

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

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

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

Current number of translated chapters: 12

Recommendation level: 80%

 

New and interesting

  1. Dead Tube
  2. Boku no Hero Academia
  3. Inuyashiki

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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