Posted on 10 February 2016 with categories: Manga Experiment

Platina End

The story tells of a human and an angel, and centers around Mirai Kakehashi, a boy who “does not seek out hope in order to live.”

From the creators of death note and Bakuman we have Platina end. You can certainly see parallels to death note straight away. A supernatural being gives power to a high school student which happens to operate under certain rules. It’s not quite the same however as this leads into a battle royale scenario between people with different powers. The powers have interesting uses, such as an arrow that makes someone fall in love with you for 33 days. This does come up short when compared to death note however, mainly in the protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist did have an interesting contrast to Light as he’s someone who desires a normal life when Light was bored with normal life but other than that he’s rather bland and boring. Even more so after a rather drastic change in motivation. The antagonist is a bit too silly and lacks the charisma of L.  One particular aspect I like is the angel who wishes for the protagonists happiness by any means necessary. So she’s often encouraging him to abuse his power for his own benefit and disregards morality entirely. This story has the potential to go somewhere quite interesting but I admit that right now it’s a bit of a poor man’s Death Note.

 

LIttLE 13

Only one chapter so far and not even a synopsis. This story involves a girl in a middle age era who disguises herself as a boy so she can work as a servant for a strange couple. While there she finds an odd man in a pig mask in the basement and befriends him. In exchange the man saves her from a terrible fate by essentially killing people who intended her harm. As it turns out this odd man possesses supernatural powers and claims to be a demon. It a bit soon to see where this story is going but I love the mature feel of it and the character of Jack looks to be an interesting one. The artstyle is brilliant as you can see from the cover above. What I am most interested in this story is how this odd person called jack interacts with our protagonist as he seems to have a highly abnormal morality.

 

Somali to Mori no Kami-sama

A golem discovers an abandoned child one day in the forest. Together the pair set out to find more humans while travelling across a strange fantasy world.

Two chapters so far. This is a very heartwarming tale as a forest golem helps a little girl get back together with humans in a world filled with monsters. The thing is that this world is very dangerous for a human as the monsters are all fairly interested in eating humans so the wood golem needs to prevent others from finding out she is human while searching for humans. The girl is fairly navie and innocent and what really sells the story is her interaction with the stoic wood golem. There is a sweet feeling when the normally overly logical golem let’s out his emotions and shows he cares for the little girl. The art is also fantastic, dealing with various imaginative character designs and environments. It has the potential to be a really great read.

 

Mahou Shoujo Suzune Magica

A middle-schooler who gallantly sleeps in, Suzune. Though she always goes about with a bright smile, there’s another side to her. That is, she’s a magical girl assassin. What will be the fate of the four magical girls she ambushes…?! The first chapter of the spinoff that asks about the existence of “magical girls,” and the goodness and evil residing within oneself!

This is hardly the first Madoka spinoff. Plenty have tried to make use of Madoka’s universe to present new stories but none have matched what Madoka put forward. In particular The innocent Malice’s story got so silly that it read like bad fanfiction. However here looks like it’s actually attempting to present something unique with the premise. Suzune is a magical girl whom has taken up the role of assassinating magical girls. For reasons that those of us who have seen the series can likely guess. The best way to explain the story is that it’s like Madoka Magica from Homura’s perspective. We have a group of magical girls whom Suzune has decided to systematically kill and them not understanding Suzunes motives. It’s a story that feels true to its source material in presentation and writing. Of course I am not saying it’s better but if you are itching for more Madoka this might help you scratch it.

 

Shounen Shoujo (AKATSUKI Akira)

A boy sees all names and faces scribbled out, and later finds out that this is a lethal illness. But he is actually happy that it makes him special, because he hates surrounding world which lacks any individuality. But then he finds a girl who has the same condition. And now he needs to kill her in order to remain unique…

Two chapters so far and is from the author of the monogatari series and a artist by the name of Akatsuki Akira. Personally I am not a fan of Nisio Isin but I must admit that he’s got a interesting start with this one. It may be that due to the nature of manga that his usual style of blaring out pointless dialogue has been cut down to a minimum and I see it as a plus. What makes this story is just how messed up the the characters are. Our main protagonist is so desperate to be a unique flower that upon being told he is suffering from a new unknown disease his first reaction is pure joy. Neither him or the female protagonist talk like children but they are pretty interesting in their own messed up ways. However I dislike that the first chapter essentially gave away the ending of this particular story and well Nisio Isin stories always tended to leave me wanting. However I am interested to see how this goes despite knowing the ending.

Posted on 18 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist goes to a school that issues shoes that can fly.

Can the lucky pervert cliche not die already or at least have a different take on it? Well that aside my problem with this show is quite easy to figure. The characters act too anime. That might be a strange way to put it but what I mean is that no one in this show acts natural, there dialogue was a certain pandering quality to it. Take for example the Black haired girls dialogue, where she randomly adds in cat mannerisms like meow and purr. She’s the kind of girl who would claim things are purrfect. Everyone else talks like they are in a sitcom. My first thought on this would be that the show was going to be mainly slice of life with a small little supernatural thing of flying which wouldn’t play much of a part. The first half of the episode certainly reaffirmed that though the second half seems like there will be elements of this air sport called flying circus. I find this aspect of it slightly entertaining but I get the feeling we will start going by the numbers. I sense a neglected school club and competition in the future. You could certainly do worse this season but I feel this one won’t hold people’s attention for long.

Potential: 30%

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist ends up being transported to an RPG world after dying

It’s funny in how anime seasons generally tend to have more than one anime with a similar premise. Sure there are the bargain bin LN adaptations and harems but you do find animes with a similar premise airing in the same season by concedence. Much like Grimgar this anime is about ordinary people making their way in an RPG world but this time it’s a lot more focused on comedy. It already has the lead over Grimgar in that none of the characters make me want to scratch their eyes out and admittedly a lot better than I expected. The manga adaption was rather lacking but from the looks of this the anime is following the light novel adaption more faithfully. As a result the begining is handled a lot better. I still hold some scepticism as that chuunibyou Mage and Masochistic kight are still coming but it’s possible this could turn out to be a lot more watchable than I initially expected. The comedy works pretty decently and I love the way the main characters started off their quest basically by doing construction work and got so caught up in the daily grind that they forgot the whole reason they came down there. The subverting of the old cliche of the main protagonist having some incredible untapped talent for magic was also welcome. If you are looking for something light to watch on the side this could tide you over for this season.

Potential: 50%

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R

Short Synopsis: A small time idol becomes a magical girl

If it’s one thing I believe anime could do without, it’s concert insert songs. As well as a bunch of other things but still. This apparently is a spinoff from a anime called The SoulTaker but from this episode it looks like no previous information is needed to watch it. So what we have here is pretty much a played straight Magical girl show with some idol anime conventions thrown in. There’s some comedy thrown in but it’s really not noteworthy. My taste is a bit too far away from this genre to give it a truly fair assessment but what I see here isn’t much different from the standards of the genre. It’s possible magical girl fans might find it to their liking but I personally see it as a bit too sugary to enjoy.

Potential: 0%

Ajin

Short Synopsis: A boy finds himself hunted when it’s discovered he’s immortal

A big delay on this impression but it was hard to find anyone who was willing to sub it. The main reason being that the first few episodes of this series seems to be the Ajin movies cut up into anime episodes so if you have seen those movies then this is likely to look very familiar. I personally haven’t seen them and I certainly like what I seen. What we have here is a similar premise to Tokyo Ghoul but with an interesting twist. In Tokyo Ghoul the protagonist became a ghoul and essentially entered a world of hunters. Here in Ajin, our protagonist is discovered to be an Ajin, an immortal being and this results in him getting hunted. In this world Ajins are not regarded as human and there is a heavy amount of discrimination against them. The racism subtext is pretty blatant but non the less it’s a good watch. This episode has already set up a number of things, a neglected best friend, the mains troubled relationship with his sister, a mysterious shadow he encountered at a dogs death….I say this was a very strong first episode. That said it’s time to address the obvious greatest flaw, namely that it’s all in CGI. The uncanny valley is back with a vengeance and the robotic movement are something you just have to pretend to not see. You could say it can’t be helped but this season is full of much better CGI, which is really starting to bring the dream of it finally fitting with 2D animation without being out of place into reality. Bubuki Buranki for example is doing a much better job of smooth CGI animation than this episode, while still not quite prefect, it can make you forget at times that what you are watching is CGI. Still if you can put aside the CGI I believe this shows story should be able to make up for it.

Potential: 85%

Posted on 13 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Short Synopsis: A former criminal wishes to take up the art of comedic storytelling.

This has to be the strangest show of the season and for that I really like it. We have a first episode that’s around 45 minutes long and a large majority of that time was spent listening to a man on a stage tell a story. The art of Rakugo is a fascinating one, being similar to how a comedian tells a long joke but not quite the same. In some ways it’s like a man trying to put one a one man play with no props, stages or costumes. Just conveying a story through gestures and his voice.  When thinking about it you could brush it aside and say that’s nothing hard to do to which you would be correct. Anyone can get on a stage and tell a story but it’s something else entirely to entertain a crowd with nothing but yourself and a story. The oddest thing of all is that it actually works, in particular when listening to our main character tell a tale involving a comedy skit of a man getting burgled. Not once did the anime show a visual representation of what the man was talking about and yet just from him telling the story I found myself playing it out in my mind and even smiling. It’s a very bewitching and engrossing craft, one I am quite interested in. Visually the anime does work well with showing the subtles of the tellers moments and the character roster is most interesting. And what may be a godsend, there’s not a single stereotype in sight. No tsunderes, kuuderes, danderes, lolis, genkis, bland everyboys, emo boys, yanderes, yangiris….just people. It’s just so refreshing to see something that doesn’t contain characters lifted off the database of anime caricatures. Of course this is a very niche title, one that may not suit everyone’s fancy. It’s a very slow paced tale that’s very much focused on character more than anything else. Still I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this.

Potential: 90%

 

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

Short Synopsis: A group of people struggle to survive in a RPG world.

I truly love the visual direction of this series. It’s a kind of storybook/watercolour feel to it and I just think it’s beautiful. In terms of story I feel it was done a lot better than the light novel but a major gripe of mine remains. A lot of these characters just rub me the wrong way, especially that red haired Dread Knight. Every line of dialogue that comes out of this guys mouth is just irritating to the core and makes me want to punch him in the face. The other characters bug me for other reasons like them being rather generic tropes but if I was to point a finger at something it would be the dialogue. There’s just something obnoxious about these lines that bugs me to no end. That aside I do like the gentle atmosphere of this episode and the general premise is a good one. A group of normal people trying to make their way in a world in RPG game fashion. Nobody seems overpowered and it truly is a beautiful anime to look at. While the characters annoy me I might watch this on visual merits alone.

Potential: 55%

 

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

Short Synopsis: A clearly mentally unstable girl challenges a boy to a fight after seeing her na….oh come on! Really?! Again?!

You know, when you take up the position of watching every first episode of every season it really does become apparent when something is designed to be popular. A formula like the heroes journey, but more strictly kept to. It’s not only apparent in how these shows always tend to have the same lineup of girls but also in presentation. For example, how many of these shows start with exposition taking place over an epic battle? Answer, a lot. How many of these shows have the girl screaming with a shaking shot of the location? Answer, a hell of a lot. How many of these shows start which have the protagonist happen upon a girl naked and have her challenge him to a duel to settle it? Answer, 2…which happened last season. Before that god only knows. Look guys, I know you need your paychecks and until Japan realizes there a whole untapped market outside of Japan, this is the only real way to get your money back. But please, for all that is good in this world, can you at least try? I mean Tenchi Muyo had more creativity than this and that is an anime from over twenty years ago! Well what can I say about this? It’s Infinite Stratos with a medievil theme. It’s every standard light novel story you can think of. Nothing new to see here.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 12 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dimension W

Short Synopsis: A man is hired to reclaim illegal power sources and runs into a female Android.

I guess this proves that style and animation can breath life into manga. I previously wasn’t all that enthralled with the manga but seeing it in motion really gives it a better feel and the anime is adding to the source material. There’s a lot of style here and if there are those of you getting reminded of darker than black that would be because the mangaka of this work provided the character designs for that very show. We have some really impressive animation here, especially with that opening. Shortcuts were taken in the episode but the series still looked very good. Through there are some off putting block colour effects sometimes. The story holds quite a lot of potential and the nature of the power source known as Coils reminds me a lot of Giant Robo’s Shizuma Drive. Our main protagonist is a lot like Mugen from Samurai Champloo and his new robot sidekick has her own quirks. If they keep up with this presentation we could be looking at a very memorable title.

Potential: 75%

 

Dagashi Kashi

Short Synopsis: A girl must convince a boy to take over for a sweets shop owner.

In terms of enjoyability I would put this near ServentXService or your normal comedy. It’s unique enough to not be predictable and the characters are fun. Being a comedy show it really is something that relies on the jokes, I can say while it didn’t make me laugh, it was at least still a pleasant watch that I didn’t find myself bored. I won’t be singing it any high praises but it’s a lot better than most comedies I have come across. There are still elements that find all too often in comedies like a romance that is doomed to go nowhere and in general the series will just be this and nothing more. But while they did do the old cliché of the lucky Pervert, it’s at least fresh that they had the girl react differently from “KYA!” Another character did fill in for the unjustified beating but it’s nice to see a girl so openly unashamed of her body. Or just too caught up in her own dramatics to notice. It’s a fun watch.

Potential: 60%

 

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation

Short Synopsis: A student council President wants a boy to start playing an MMO.

This was a little better than I expected but I must ask one thing. If you were given the task of adapting a sci-fi space epic MMO into an anime, why would you set it in a school setting in modern day? That’s like making an anime out of the Fallout series and making it about people playing the game Fallout. Also school is terrible, I don’t know why anime is so infatuated with it. I was truly glad to leave it and move all memories associated with it to the recycle bin of my brain. Not because of any hard time or anything(My school life was utterly mundane) but because it was dreadfully boring and a period of my life when I was a complete imbecile. Ah, sorry, the impression, yes. Well leaving aside the complete madness of ditching an opportunity to make a Sci-fi adventure anime, this is decently done. It’s sort of interesting from the front of someone first getting into MMOs though his reasons for doing so are strange. The student council, naturally a important governing body instead of there real life counterpart, gives this kid a mission to start playing this MMO to…research his experiences? Personally it looks more like the council President wanted a raiding buddy and came up with some excuse to recruit someone. The creators certainly are taking creative liberties with the games as the level of player interaction is beyond a normal MMO. I am not sure if combat is representative of the product either as I don’t see health bars or attack numbers anywhere. For what it is, it certainly could have been a lot worse but it still remains a potential idea squandered to appeal to a mass audience…and college was a lot better than school.

Potential: 30%

Posted on 11 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Schwarzesmarken

Short Synopsis: A dystopian society Germany fights a desperate struggle against an alien threat.

To get the obvious question out of the way first. No, you do not need to watch Muv Luv Total eclipse to get this anime and you don’t need to play the original Visual novel trilogy. This is basically a stand alone spin off story separate from both mentioned. The only connection being that they take place in the same universe. As a start I say this was good though nothing truly impressive. My previous worries that this might leave people who are not familiar with the Muv Luv universe seem to so far be unfounded as we are given a quick intro into the state of things and immediately thrown into the action. Of course people may still have complaints such as “Why did they send out a soldier suffering from PTSD?” but we can’t really address things like that without giving too much exposition. The setting does indeed have barrells of potential though the CGI is particularly lacking. On the mecha it’s fine but on the organic monstrosities such as BETA it really sticks out like a sore thumb. A big thing in how this adaption turns out will really depend on how they handle the darker elements. This episode tip toed on overplaying them but I like how they cut down the main character’s backstory and it really is beneficial to not view his internal monologue. They need to be careful and downplay the drama on these grim dark elements as if they overdramatise them it could end up too overblown to take seriously. If you felt the main character was particularly annoying for being irritable all the time then be thankful that you didn’t have to read his thoughts too. Because they certainly don’t make him any more likable. If anything this adaption has made me aware of just how unbearably positive Katia is. Admittedly her role is mainly to highlight just how harsh this country is but it can be rather painful to see her being utterly naive. For lack of a better way to put it, she seems like an overly moe anime character in a setting clearly not suited for it. So with that said, the action is good, the characters look to have potential for growth and the setting is brimming with grim consequences.

Potential: 65%

 

Koukaku no Pandora

Short Synopsis: A cyborg girl helps fight out of control robots with the power of yuri

From the Mangaka behind Ghost in the Shell we have an anime about lesbian robot girls. Now your eyes might have lit up with excitement upon hearing this is from the maker of Ghost in the shell but let me put things into perspective. This the Mangaka who brought us the Ghost in the shell manga, not the famous anime movie or Stand alone complex series. For you see the manga of Ghost in the shell and the anime of Ghost in the shell are as different as night and day. The anime had a focus on the political and psychological aspects of the story were as the manga was more an action manga with some comedy and fanservice thrown in. For this show it looks like we got less action and far more comedy and fanservice. I have long said that I am not a fan of comedy but I think even those that go for anime comedies will find the slapstick of this episode humorless. Seeing as comedy is at the forefront that means this episode didn’t quite do anything for me and I find the fanservice to be a bit extreme. Basically in order to activate her powers for battle she must stick her fingers in the crotch area of another female robot. Classy. Action seemed decent for what little of it there is. I will give it a tiny bit of potential as the robotics side of things is interesting and chances are this would be enjoyable to a certain audience.

Potential: 5%

 

Luck & Logic

Short Synopsis: A boy once again decides to fight off world invaders with a mysterious girl

There must be a better way of giving the viewer information without resorting to exposition. In other cases it’s the source material that’s at fault for this but by being an original anime you should have no reason to resort to the laziest method of conveying information. We have a visual medium to work with here, make use of it. On that note if you call this system Logic then how would you separate the term from linguistic logic? Wouldn’t the similar terms get confused? Also do we really have to refer to the attacking monster as a “Foreigner”? Enemy, invader, Kaiju, threat…there are plenty of words for this already. There’s no need to invent a dictionary of terms when there are words suitable already. Not much to say on this one. I feel there’s effort behind this and while it is cheesy, it is watchably average.There’s CGI in the battle scenes which is of varying degrees of quality, from passable to terrible. Protagonist is fairly bland but seems to be the most experienced fighter of the cast which is a change. Though his sister is a rather irritating creature with her insistence for him to remain “Villager A” If you want some mindless entertainment this could do the trick.

Potential: 20%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu

Short Synopsis: A girl wants a guy to make a visual novel with her.

From the writer of the Majikoi visual novel we have a story about making visual novels. That may cause some of you to shy away due to Majikoi’s anime adaption but as someone who has read the VN, the anime and visual novel are completely different. Still Majikoi is no masterpiece. One thing this show has going for it is its cast of characters. It’s nice that the main protagonist actually has character and he’s offset by pretty interesting supporting cast. I particularly liked the misappropriately titled “Bitch queen” who acted as a wise love guru though a phone call. There are those making comparisons to SNAFU but I feel that this anime will be a lot less serious due to the majikoi author being behind the writing. It’s certainly watchable and the cast makes it rather enjoyable so far. Also the anime referenced Sharin no Kuni which happens to be one of my favourite visual novels of all time. So for that I bumped up the potential score. I know that’s not professional but I don’t care. Props for the G-senjou no Maou reference too.

Potential: 65%

 

Bubuki Buranki

Short Synopsis: A kid attempts to find something connected to his past while being hunted.

Well that was certainly a surprise. The first ten minutes of this show were not what I expected in a good way. It acted as a good setup for the series and leaves me wanting to know more. The CGI is liked the best integration of 2D and 3D elements I have seen in awhile. While still not perfect this could be a step in integrating CGI into anime without it being jarring. On bad points, characterisation is a bit on the weak side. Especially with our main character who is the kind of whiny wuss we often see in these positions. The second half of the episode isn’t as strong as the first but I see potential in this. There are definite hints of hidden agenda’s and the villain looks quite interesting. A very strong start to what could be quite an interesting series.

Potential: 75%

 

Divine Gate

Short Synopsis: A teenager is all mopey because he has superpowers and a school wishes to scout him.

“Pitter, patter, the rain starts to drop. While the water may fill up the hole on the road, it will never fill up the hole of one’s heart.” Oh god, when your episode opens with poetic nonsense such as this it truly gets you ready for the events to come. It’s pretty clear this was written by someone who never quite outgrew the chuunibyou stage of his life and decided to use this anime to spread his complete genius. The result is just insipid when clunky exposition given by a psychopath randomly out of nowhere, a protagonist that thinks acting completely emo is an interesting character trait and bringing along an utterly ridiculous tragic backstory to boot, and of course that despite this attempting to wax philosophical metaphors it’s still knee deep in many of the tropes plaguing the genre. There’s a school setting because of course there is and the characters powers are boring to boot. Red guy uses fire, blue guy uses water and I am firmly willing to bet that the green girl has powers relating to plants. My interest ebbed away with every minute and I can be fairly certain on this. This will not be anything worthwhile.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 9 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Active Raid: Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hakkei

Short Synopsis: A police force uses robot suits to catch criminals.

It really is quite funny how little I care about this show. We have the director of Code Geass as chief director and yet all this show inspires from me is apathy. For you see Active raid belongs to one of the categories us critics hate. It’s not good enough to warrant praise and not bad enough to warrant hate. In other words, it’s mediocre. The humor of the series is pretty terrible and the main character has a completely predictable character arc. She starting off as this cocky, uptight, by the book policewoman who gradually going to learn that working in the field isn’t as simple as she thinks and how important it is to take it easy on the job. Chances are she will be given a choice to effectively betray the team and sides with them either after or before making the choice. The characters are all eccentric besides our straight laced protagonist and yet not really interesting. The concept is hardly new, with police making use of high tech technology to catch criminals. All and all it just lacks something to truly to catch the viewer’s attention. The action isn’t noteworthy, the comedy isn’t funny and the plot doesn’t hold any surprises. It’s just forgettable.

Potential: 0%

 

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

Short Synopsis: A mangaka with the power to travel back in time finds himself facing an evil from his past.

Well we have the first contender for anime of the season. That was certainly a great first episode but I do have concerns. The pacing went fast by the second half and in terms of the manga this covered the entire first volume. The director has also stated that he intends to portray the original manga ending. There are currently 7 volumes to this manga and we have 11 episodes left. This is not good. The pacing didn’t kill this episode but if they continue like this I believe we may experience a adaption train wreck of the likes of Tokyo Ghoul. Due to the slow paced nature of the series this move might actually turn out beneficial but this director has his hands full fitting in that much content into such a small time frame without it feeling rushed. Still the first episode shows great promise. A good protagonist, a strong supporting cast and a fascinating plotline. Execution has so far been marvellous and the quicker pace did give a great cliffhanger to the episode.

Potential: 85%

 

Norn9 – Norn+Nonet

Short Synopsis: A girl boards a ship full of pretty boys

Why oh why does the protagonist of these things always have to be a bland dull nobody? I know the purpose of it is so you can transplant your face on to them but in practice I have found that never actually works. So we have a girl with a personality so bland that she could be replaced with a marionette and I am not sure if anyone would notice. As usual, companying the plank we call a girl is the pretty boy whose clinginess is on a very worrisome level. For one on first time meeting he saved her from falling into water by tying her up in vines. That fair enough but he didn’t untie her until someone saw him about to carry her into the ship. Less romantic and more like forced kidnapping. After that the guy practically stalks her at every turn. But my usual problems aside, why is this not engaging me? Well the story itself isn’t really all the interesting with the setting being on a ship that picks up people randomly to deliver to some place. The story is trying its damnedest to be atmospheric and surreal but I find myself disenchanted. We had some rather clunky exposition and it’s not exactly clear on the time frame. For the ship looks fairly futuristic but based on the flashes of memory from our protagonist, she’s from a Showa era setting. There isn’t much to our characters either as the few that made an impression seem rather one dimensional. One moment near the end that I found killed my suspension of disbelief was when our protagonist fell off a tree and fell hard into stone. She then rolled off and fell another 15 stories into water. Yet despite that she was perfectly fine, completely unscathed. So even if there is a threat on this ship based on that last scene, I doubt this terminator of a girl will have any trouble.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 8 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Musaigen no Phantom World

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist hunts phantoms as part of a school club.

This show started off with some examples to point out how unreliable the human brain is with optical illusions and made to point that our view of the world would be drastically altered if our brains were messed with in some way. And points out that if such a change to the brain occurs maybe we might see and feel…annoying tiny flying pixie girls. You know something is wrong when a show’s first lines are ultimately flawed logic. Yes, our vision of the world could be altered if our perception is messed with, but outside stimulus is still required to perceive something. Unless of course it was something intangible like ghosts but this series already breaks that rule by having one of these illusions pull open someone’s eyes. Of course you could make an argument for delusion or madness but I digress. So a lab is attacked which unleashes a virus on the world that allows people to perceive youkai and fictional beings. It also gives teenagers superpowers because…science. And naturally this virus has no negative side effects in the slightest despite messing with the most delicate organ in the human body. This may in fact be KyoAni’s lowest point and yes, I am taking into account the moe drivel and Free. At least those had some shrivel of creativity. One particular moment that really put the nail in the coffin was a point where the protagonist was about to do the cliched accidental pervert but realised that he was about to do the cliche. He very nearly subverted it but then then ended up doing the cliche anyway. Pointing out the cliche does not excuse the cliche. We have plenty of fanservice, particularly with the big breasted ponytail girl who apparently has the power to harness elements by feeling herself up. That isn’t the only dislikable factor as we have Ruru, a flying little mascot character who’s only purpose is poor comedy and to display the power to annoy. Everything else is just so run of the mill that it’s painful. It has very good animation and with the phantoms they seems to be trying to add in hijinks but the end result is just so cookie cutter.

Potential: 0%

 

Prince of Stride – Alternative

Short Synopsis: A girl helps restart a school club for free-running.

I refuse to call it Stride. To stride is to walk with big steps, in that regard it would make more sense to call it sprint. Let’s not beat around the bush and call it what it is, free running. Free running with a relay race aspect  With that out of the way I got to applaud the Madhouse animators. One of the hardest things in animation is a run cycle and here we have an entire animation dedicated primarily to just that. In that regards the running animation in this is marvellous. Though sadly that may be its only shining point. This show goes through the checklist of sports anime tropes. People who have an interest in a sport find club about to be disbanded and interest dying out. Revitalises the club by showing everyone how awesome it is and gathers a team of weirdos who each have their own approach to the sport. It’s pretty standard stuff. It’s not bad by any means but you do have to take into account that besides the running, you aren’t getting anything new here. The comedy is also pretty terrible. There’s also that thing where they try to make the sport as visually impressive as possible by exaggerating it to make it more interesting. But that’s more of a personal gripe, and not a Solid one considering an anime I really love, Hajime no Ippo, does the exact same thing. Lastly there’s the ever annoying trope of Otome games, the really bland female protagonist who gets all the boys. Pretty much a male harem protagonist gender swapped. So it’s fairly watchable and could make for a good in between watch anime.

Potential: 60%

 

Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru

Short Synopsis: A tomboy joins the brass band club and encounters a strange mystery.

Well my first impression of this turned out to be different to what I thought. But I like it when a show I didn’t expect much from presents something I could be interested in. What we have here seems to be a mix of Hyouka and a music anime. Now I can’t say I liked Hyouka because I find that the mundane mysteries it presented wasn’t interesting when nothing was at stake. Haruchika has a similar problem in that the mystery when solved doesn’t make much logical sense when you think of it from a human standpoint. It pretty much boils down to someone sending an innocent message by breaking into a school in the middle of the night and presenting it in the most cryptic and ominous way possible. That said the connection it had to music was interesting and it gave us a look into Haruta’s deductive capabilities. Our two leads seem interesting enough and the band aspect is done in a way that isn’t tiresome. Ultimately an enjoyable first episode but the thing I really liked was the development of the last scene. I will be vague so as to not spoil but it’s nice to see this particular thing shown in a way that isn’t overblown or in your face.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 6 January 2016 with categories: Manga Experiment

Seeing as it’s taking a while for the new season to start up, I thought I might try something new. Like my Manga recommendation corner or video game reviews, don’t expect these to come up often. What we have here is a simple post to highlight some manga that have just started and seem interesting. I say this now, there is no guarantee that any of these will prove to be fantastic but out of what’s presented so far its given me reason to continue reading. I don’t even promise these will be good, merely intriguing.

Gleipnir

Shuichi Kagaya isn’t human. He has an unnatural sense of smell, and can transform into an incredibly powerful beast… of sorts. He does all he can to avoid standing out and being discovered, but no good deed goes unpunished, and his decision to use his power to save a girl spells the end for his quiet life.

Currently at four chapters. The setup of boy meets girl and other elements are rather typical but there are interesting aspects to this. For one the main characters power transforms him into a strange mascot character. Another is the lead female is has a fairly flawed personality as she seems to be blackmailing him into playing her bodyguard. It’s rather refreshing to see a heroine with genuine bad traits and not just bad traits made to look like good ones. It also looks like she will play a much more active role by making use of the mains power. It’s a strong start so far and while the lead male’s personality is a bit too timid and pathetic, the character have enough to differentiate them from the standard stereotypes. Fanservice is also the usual demon to bear here. The story is hitting some same beats but has potential to go somewhere. Keeping an eye on this one.

 

Hatsukoi Zombie

 

According to his childhood friend, Tarou Kurume is not interested in love. One day Tarou is struck on his head by a ball rendering him unconscious. When he wakes up, there’s a girl floating above him.
What has happened to Tarou? Who is this mysterious girl? Find out in this one of a kind romantic comedy series!

Two chapters so far and this one could turn out to turn bad in its next chapters. The zombie in the title isn’t quite what you would think. It mainly refers to the main leads power to see guys mental image of their first love. I am curious as to what the plot of this series will do with the concept. There’s also a good twist at the end of the first chapter with the leads first childhood love transferring into the class and it turns out that…he’s a guy. I was waiting for the old reveal of him being a girl cross dressing but it honestly seems like he is truly a guy. The power is interesting though is surely getting used for fanservice and the main lead seems different from your average Highschool Student. Whether this turns out worthwhile or not depends on what the main plot will be as right now I am having difficulty seeing just where this is going.

 

Kyokou Suiri

 

Meet the cute, smug, cane-wielding 17-year old Iwanaga Kotoko as she aggresively tries to woo the older Sakuragawa Kurou and act as a mediator/problem-solver for the supernatural world.

Currently four chapters with about 80 page length which is fairly chunky by manga standards That synopsis doesn’t really do it justice. The lead male is at least different in that he doesn’t react to woman like one reacts to being sprayed with pesticide. In fact the main joke for the comedy often involves the lead female trying to come on to him and failing miserably. Not because of him being oblivious, he’s fully aware of how she feels, but simply because she’s not his type. I like this girl because unlike most female leads who ditter around waiting for the target of their affections to notice how they feel, she outright spells it out for him at their first meeting. The main story involves them facing supernatural beings with her Natsume book of friends style legion of Youkai minions and the lead males strange body constitution. Its the character interactions that really make this for me as the lead female feels fresh with her overwhelming confidence matched with childish romantic sensibilities toped off witht he fact that she has a false leg and a false eye. And our lead male protagonist breaks conventions by being someone who had a previous romantic relationship. The banter between the two is quite entertaining and newest character introduced looks to be being her own dynamic to the group.

Posted on 20 December 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Seasonal Previews

I am well aware I am quite late on this preview. Call it laziness or general procrastination but I wasn’t in much of a mood to blog this past while. I just have been lacking energy lately. Likely due to to the stent still inside my body and the nearing of the Christmas holidays. But enough of that. This isn’t what you are here for.

This season looks difficult to gauge before the series get rolling but I got three favorite’s that could make the season. Other than those we have some series that could be potentially enjoyable and the usual old pandering lineup of terrible anime. I have checked out all the source material I could and had a look at staffs previous works but I must admit that I had difficulty writing these this time as I don’t have strong opinions on a lot of these series. As usual, strawpoll is below. I have picked Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi and Schwarzesmarken to cover. Boku because it will give me a lot to talk about and Schwarzesmarken because I am a fan of the Muv Luv series. Be it good or bad, I want to write about it. The third choice for me to blog is yours. This time however you have multiple votes, feel free to make use of them.

http://strawpoll.me/6314112

First the sequels. As usual, if you liked the previous season then by all means continue. The last thing I would like to address is that I know the images are different for this preview compared to the last one but believe me when I say doing it this way saves me two to three hours of tedious work. And no, that is not an exaggeration.

The sequels/prequels I don’t care about

Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
Mahou Tsukai Precure (Mage Precure)
Osomatsu-san 2
Snow White with the Red Hair 2 (Akagami no Shirayukihime 2)
Fairy Tail Zero

Series I don’t look forward to

Active Raid -Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai-Hakkei- (Active Raid -Mobile Assault Division, Unit 8-)


 

An original anime set in a part of Tokyo that has descended into a quagmire, the story follows Unit 8 of the 5th Special Public Security Section’s 3rd Mobile Assault Division — popularly called “The Eighth” — who don powered armor “Willware” exoskeletons to counter the rise in crime.

An original anime so no sources to get an idea of what we are in for. The Chief Director has some standouts under his belt with Planetes, Infinite Ryvius and Code Geass. The music composer worked some of the same titles. From the same studio that brought us such greats as…Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha, Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu and a Date a live movie. That’s not a good sign. Twintail may have been a guilty pleasure for a few episodes and Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha seems like it was alright but this really doesn’t hold much hope with a premise that’s been done too much. There’s already a sequel planned so they got high hopes but I don’t see this being anything worthwhile.

 

Ao No Kanata Four Rhythm


 

 

The story is set on an archipelago of four islands far south of Japan or even the South Seas. It is all but a different world from modern Japan. From the discovery of anti-gravitons came the dream invention of anti-graviton shoes that let people fly the skies. They introduce people to a new realm by enabling flight with just one’s own body strength, without feathers or engines. This led to the rise of the sport of “Flying Circus”. The protagonist who once hoped for a future in this sport suffered a setback due to an overwhelming defeat, and withdrew from the sport for this and some other reason. However, he met the transfer student Asuka Kurashina, and in teaching her to fly the skies, the old passion returned. He takes part in the Flying Circus again.

So it’s a school slice of life anime with the only difference being that there are devices that allow people to fly. Other than that it really does look like something we have gotten many times before. Visual novels tend to have a slow start and it is possible seeing as the Promo is mainly scenes taken from the first episode that there wasn’t anything exciting to work with. But as with many slice of life Visual novels I don’t find myself invested because what it’s building up to just sounds so mundane.Admittedly one cannot really say what this will be like till it airs and the staff seem competent enough. Though current Gonzo’s quality of anime is quite shaky. The main reason I don’t look forward to this is that even if it’s done well I feel it will only end up another fairly forgettable anime in a genre that the medium is overcrowded with.

 

Divine Gate


 

 

When the Divine Gate opened, the living world, the heavens, and the underworld became connected, ushering an era of chaos where desires and conflict intersect. To restore order, the World Council is formed. As peace is restored, the Divine Gate becomes an urban legend. In that world, boys and girls deemed fit by the World Council are gathered. They are ones who aim to reach the gate for their personal objectives. Those who reach the gate can remake the world. What lies beyond the gate? When they reach the door, will the world change? Will it be the past that changes, or will it be the future?

Video game adaptations are something in anime or in any medium that has rarely turn out well. Hardly surprising as the games stories were never constructed to stand on their own. Unlike Manga and light novels, a video game adaption demands that you removed one of the primary factors of the original source and replace it with something that’s equally as engaging. However what if the game itself was a blank slate? Divine Gate is a match three Andriod app game that looks to be similar to Kantai collection in terms of story presentation. Meaning there is none. Of course this is mainly conjecture as Japan has not seen fit to grace the european Android app store with the game. It may have the Director behind Yu Yu Hakusho and GTO but I can’t see this being all that good.

 

Durararax2 Ketsu


 

 

The third part of Durarara!!x2.

Here comes my primary reason why I am glad Baccano never got a second season. If there’s a primary example of too much of a good thing then Durarara is it. Three seasons is more than any show gets and yet it feels with all its time Durarara hasn’t made any use of it. Instead these past two seasons it felt like more characters were getting added to an already huge cast and yet nothing was really done with them. Stuff has happened yes but more or less all of it has felt inconsequential. It’s fun but you can’t help but feel that this could be something more and that isn’t helped by the show alluding to future events presenting just that. But at the end of every arc everything is tied up without much repercussions or meaning and we are left with a teaser that next time it will be better. That trick won’t work anymore Durarara, so at least present some finality to this last season. For it would be a shame for this series the gain three seasons and yet end as inconclusive as the first.

 

Koukaku no Pandora


 

 

In an age when large-scale natural disasters frequently happen all over the world, when cyborgs and autonomous robots are beginning to appear on the market in technologically advanced nations, and major world powers compete for technology and resources, the divide between rich and poor grows and the future for the poor looks bleak. In this transitional stage, everyone wanders around in a self-indulgent daze and the way out isn’t clear… This is the story of how two cybernetically enhanced girls meet.

That Synopsis sure makes this sound like a cyberpunk adventure but I recommend to temper your expectations. For you see there are no ghosts in the shell here, what we have here looks more to be this seasons Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid. Why? Well the female robot main character powers up by…um…let’s phrase it as “Poking around downstairs” with another female robot. Seriously that’s literally what she does and there’s also a girl in a bunny suit for reasons.

 

Hai To Gensou No Grimgar (Grimgar of Ash and Fantasy)


 

 

Living, isn’t easy.

When Haruhito awakens, he’s in the dark.

He doesn’t know where he is, why is he here, and where he came from.

Around him there are several men and women who have the same circumstances.

Together, they advance forward away from the darkness, and a world they’ve never seen before called “Grimgar” spreads out before them.

Memories, money, special powers — This is the reality we who have none of those things have obtained.

Sometimes an anime can have an annoying character. Maybe even two annoying characters. But this may be the first were the large majority of the cast is downright annoying. The comedy of this series has the style of “Shout till it’s funny”. And we have the traditional boy runs in on girls changing/naked trope, marvellous. The story itself is basically a bunch of misfits coming together as a RPG party. They are the ones left behind after someone else took all the strong people so the weakest links have to come together and get stronger. There are twists and turns but the big problem remains, the characters are either annoying or boring.

Haru Chika Haruta to Chika Wa Seishun Suru


 

 

Anime adaptation of the Haruchika Series novels by Sei Hatsuno which revolve around two high school students named Haruta and Chika, who are members of a wind instrument club that is on the verge of being shut down. The two are childhood friends, and they spend their days practicing hard while also trying to recruit new members. When a certain incident happens within their school, they work together to solve it.

It’s PA Works doing a school slice of life show so it’s business as usual then. Only difference here is that Okada isn’t writing this one. It’s based on a series of novels but the premise sounds like something we have gonna for quite a while. In fact I believe PA Works already did this premise and it was called Tari Tari. Ah but this is for the wind Instrument club instead of the Choir club, yep completely different. For me Slice of Life kills my interest nearly as fast as the words “Average Highschool Student” in a synopsis does.

Kono Subarashi Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo (Gifting the Wonderful World with Blessings!)


 

 

The popular “alternate world home comedy” centers around Kazuma Satō, a hikikomori (shut-in) die-hard fan of games, anime, and manga. A traffic accident brings his disappointingly brief life to an end … or it should have, but he wakes up and sees a beautiful girl who introduces herself as a goddess. “Hey, I have some good news — would you like to go to an alternate world? You may only bring one thing you like with you.” He responds, “…So, I’ll bring you.” With that, he is transported to another world and his great adventure subjugating the demon king begins … but first the hard work of finding food, clothing, and shelter begins. Kazuma wants to live in peace, but the goddess raises one problem after another, and then the demon king’s army has its eyes set on him.

The joke is an average guy gets thrown into an RPG world and teams up with a party of misfits. A petty goddess who dragged him there, a chuunibyou who can only use explosion magic and a Masochistic female knight are the one note jokes we consider characters. Comedy is the main focus here and as I said many times before, that isn’t something I generally enjoy in anime. As a story it’s alright I suppose. It’s possible some people might find it funny but I for one find the jokes to be too predictable. Well there are some pretty good jokes involving a General of the demon king’s army but that’s about it. It might work as something light to watch but this isn’t going to be one you are going to remember or hold highly.

Luck And Logic


 

 

In L.C. 922, people faced a sudden crisis.
In Tetra Heaven, the land of legend, a hundred years of war had come to a close. The gods who lost the war searched for a new place to live, and found it in Septpia, the human world, which they proceeded to attack. The Logicalists attached to ALCA, a special police agency whose duty it was to protect cities from assaults by foreigners (angels), were compelled to act in defense of cities, whether they wished to or not. And depending on their ability, Logicalists could initiate trance with goddesses from the other world, and stand a fighting chance on the battlefield. A civilian named Yoshichika Tsurugi, who lacked “Logic” and lived happily with his family, was caught up in an attack, and took shelter along with many people. He meets a beautiful goddess named Athena. In her hands, she had the “Logic” that Yoshichika lacked. Now both Yoshichika and Athena head to their destiny.

Promoting an anime and a trading card game, we have Luck and Logic, a title that just makes me feel nothing. Not excited nor disappointed, just apathetic. But just why is that? I suppose for one the promo had fairly grandiose music to go along with some truly dull visuals. Two because the synopsis has the pretty standard “Boy meets girl” begining than many anime do. Third and most important of all, I just don’t see any potential in this. The animation studio is 50/50 with their portfolio featuring anime of pretty good status(Saikano, Natsuyuki Rendezvous) and pretty bad.(GJ-bu, 11eyes) The director has Last exile and full metal panic under his belt but even if this show had a top of the line staff, I doubt it would be anything other than a fairly bland anime. The main point of this series is to promote the card game so it’s going to be aiming for the target audience hard, and you can already see that from the female character designs in the promo. I would like to be proven otherwise but I highly doubt I will be.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara (I’ve Had Enough of Being a Magical Girl)


 

 

Yuzuka Hanami is a young girl who has few friends but who can do anything. One day, Yuzuka gets accosted by a strange creature named Miton who is digging through a trash dump. Miton tells Yuzuka, “you have the makings of a magical girl” and seems extremely suspicious. When Yuzuka is suddenly transformed into a magical girl, she’s wearing a bathing suit.

It’s been done. Magical girl parodies are nothing new but what truly is a problem with them is that they rarely deconstruct or truly mock the genre. More often than not it’s just a matter of placing a character in the situation and reminding the audience that they are not suited for it. So it’s the same old jokes, the magical outfit is embarrassing and the mascot is suspicious. Admittedly the first four small chapters aren’t a great gauge of what this show has to offer but I highly doubt there are any surprises.

Myriad Colors Phantom World


 

 

The story takes place in the near future, in a world born of human imagination. What humans would call ghosts or monsters appear, and they come to be called “phantoms.” The main character, Haruhiko Ichijo, is a first year at Hosea Academy along with his upperclassman Mai Kawakami, who fights phantoms with the ability “Spirit of Five Elements,” Izumi Reina, who has the ability “Phantom Eater,” and Koito Minase, who fights phantoms in solitude. They experience the ups and downs of high school life before a certain incident leads them to the truth of this world.

There was a time when I longed for KyoAni to move away from the packaged Moe fluff they are fond of making. Well now it seems that they have begun to do so. They have moved away from slice of life Moe fluff and gone into highly stereotypical Chunni anime. (AKA average supernatural harem battle fantasy plot) Well that’s like taking your hand off a hot stove and sticking it in a furnace. It’s hard to really blame them as it’s profitable but when I think of all those talented animators on making girls move as cutely as possible then my heart weeps. So that’s the deal, it will look pretty but what you are getting is the usual pandering fair. However that’s mainly based on assumption as I can’t get a hold of the Light novel. Regardless I think it would get the same treatment of adaption as Chuunibyou did.(Namely using the light novel as a guideline but going mainly anime original.)

Norn9: Norn + Nonet


 

 

The story takes place a little in the future. Guided by one particular song, young elementary school student Suzuhara Sorata, from the Heisei Era, is warped through a time skip to an unfamiliar place that looks much like the towns from the Meiji or Taishou period from his textbooks. In this world, he meets three young ladies and nine young men and joins them on a journey aboard the mysterious Norn ship, a giant globe that floats in midair. Otomate made the announcement at the “Norn9 with Ark & for Spica” event at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza on 2nd March 2014.

I wonder if that title has actual meaning or if the creators decided to throw some letter magnets at a fridge and pick the title out of whatever resembled a word. The original source Visual novel is a Otome game.(A visual novel mainly aimed at targeting a female audience) I would like to throw this in the same bin I would put Amnesia and Dramatical murder. But Naturally it’s best to give things a fair chance. So I went and read the first 6 chapters of the manga adaptions and then chucked it in that bin without any hesitation. The protagonist is a bland girl whose blandness is so great that she herself forgets her own name. In the 6 chapters I read mainly featured her and some guy who sees something to desire in that bland gelatinous mass that calls itself a girl. There is some underlying tone that some dark game is afoot but it’s not really clear whats at stake or even what the setting is. They say it;s a spaceship but it’s interior doesn’t resemble one in the slightest.The characters also happen to have powers and our little protag is ever so ashamed of being able to shoot fire out of her hands. Boo hoo, the rest of us have to make due with flamethrowers. It may be perhaps my hatred of Shoujo stopping me from enjoying this but I did find myself skimming the pages before long.

Nurse Witch Komugichan R


 

 

Komugi Yoshida is a somewhat clumsy second-year middle-school student whose strong point is her spiritedness. She performs as an idol like Kokona Saionji (her classmate and close friend) and Tsukasa Kisaragi (an idol who dresses in male clothing). However, unlike Kokona whose popularity is skyrocketing and Tsukasa with her charisma in male attire, Komugi’s only gigs are low-end ones like those at the local shopping district. Still, Komugi has her “dream” as she lives her dual lives as a idol and a middle school girl. One day, a mysterious injured creature named Usa-P appears before Komugi. Komugi gives Usa-P medical treatment, and Usa-P, in consideration of Komugi’s kindness, asks if she wants to be a Legendary Girl who can use magical powers.Having become a reluctant Legendary Girl, Komugi battles strange masked figures who suddenly appear! As a newly deemed Magical Nurse, she fights still more waves of masked figures. Meanwhile, a Magical Maid, a Magical Sister, and more also appear to make it a three-way battle!? Can Komugi handle the three roles of middle school girl, idol, and Magical Nurse? And, what lies ahead in these battles and her “dream” …!?

I would love for this to be one of those grimdark anime hidden under a cutesy exterior mainly because of my fascination with the destruction of optimistic happy go lucky individuals and general dislike of Mahou Shoujo tropes in general. But this looks to be legitimate standard Mahou Shoujo which I feel died out for a reason. I may find Sailor Moon to be a guilty pleasure in its camp glory but otherwise I find Mahou Shoujo to be too formulaic for my liking. In this regard the show looks far more silly than usual with Maids and Bunny girls.

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation


 

 

The Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation series will have a completely original story, and the story will take place on Earth in the near future.

A video game adaption. Those words alone give reason for caution. The thing however that really bugs me about this is that from my knowledge the game is a fantasy MMO. Yet for some reason the anime has stuck in a school setting. They just can’t get away from that school setting can they? You could have made it a straight up sci-fi anime, you could have gone the .Hack//Sign route and focused on MMO relations like .Hack//sign, you could have even gone the route of SAO and had people trapped in an MMO. But nope, let’s go with the more done to death and boring setup possible. The animation studio hasn’t done anything that catches my attention and the director has mainly harem anime for experience. This also happens to be the second anime he is directing this season with him directing the above Nurse Witch Komugichan R as well. This looks to be nothing special.

Reikenzan Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage


 

 

Since its founding in the year 4233 of the Nine Provinces calendar, the spirit sword clan has been producing first-class martial arts talent. Two thousand years later, the clan, which adheres to the principles of peace and spiritual development, seeks to find new disciples by holding a grand tournament. One of these candidates is 12-year-old Wang Lu.

Studio Deen, I don’t hate you. You never quite had the animation chops but you always tended to pick the unconventional choices. I don’t even hate you for the Fate/Stay Night adaptation. But looming at the director this doesn’t bode well. However quite honestly that’s all I got. This anime has nothing on it, only thing I can really gather is that it’s based on a novel and well that’s about it. No Promo, no noteable staff, nothing. Main reason for it’s position here is just that it doesn’t interest me and it sounds like pretty standard shounen. This looks to be one that will need to be judged on its first episodes.

 

Shoujotachi Wa Kouya O Mezasu


 

 

In the story, Buntarou is a student who wants to be something, but doesn’t know what. One day his female classmate Sayuki announces she is working on a bishoujo game. Sayuki scouted him because he wrote a good script for drama club, but Buntarou doesn’t know anything about bishoujo games.

Promotional videos truly are worthless to judge just what a series is about. So in looking into this title I find out it’s a pretty new Visual novel released two months ago. What I also found out was that the team behind this is also behind another rather noteworthy visual novel, Cross+Channel. Personally I didn’t like Cross+Channel all that much as my interest in it’s story was more to do with the supernatural phenomena which the plot tried its darndest to stay away from to focus on more obtuse comedy and slice of life hijinks. So here we have a title that’s likely going to ditch that entirely and focus on hijinks. Oh joy. What will make or break this series is just how in depth it will go into the process of making “Gal Games” The director has Steins Gate and pretty much the rest of his resume is bad anime. The animation studio does not fare better as it has nothing of worthy notice. Just some truly terrible anime such as Gunslinger Stratos. This doesn’t look promising.

Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle


 

 

The story of the light novel series revolves around Lux, a former prince of an empire named Arcadia that was overthrown via a rebellion five years earlier. Lux accidentally trespasses in a female dormitory’s bathing area, sees the kingdom’s new princess Lisesharte naked, and incurs her wrath. Lisesharte then challenges Lux to a Drag-Ride duel. Drag-Rides are ancient armored mechanical weapons that have been excavated from ruins all around the world. Lux used to be called the strongest Drag-Knight, but now he’s known as the “undefeated weakest” Drag-Knight because he will absolutely not attack in battle. After his duel with Lisesharte, Lux ends up attending the female-only academy that trains royals to be Drag-Knights.

It’s trash…if only you could let me just leave it with that. Very well, let me elaborate. It’s Danmachi mixed with Chivalry of a failed knight and sprinkled with some Infinite Stratos. With the lack of ambition that all three possess. There’s not a single thing here you haven’t seen before and it’s easy to tell right from the start seeing as it begins with the protagonist accidentally falling into a woman’s bath. It’s the obligatory harem action story that required every season for some reason. If you want something mindless it might fill void but otherwise this isn’t recommended.

 

Series I am middling on

 

Dagashi Kashi (Cheap Sweets Candy)


 

 

Shikada Kokonotsu’s father owns a rural sweets shop, and his plan is for Kokonotsu to take it over one day. However, Kokonotsu wants to be a manga author instead! One day in summer, the cute but weird girl Shidare Hotaru, from the famous sweets company, comes to pay a visit. Apparently, Kokonotsu’s father is famous and she wants him to join her family’s company. However, he will only agree if she can convince Kokonotsu to take over the family business!

This has less to do with manga and more a show that focuses on jokes around Japanese sweets. Seeing as I know next to nothing about Japanese confectionery I find it fascinating on that front. The lead female is heavily eccentric, often being as overall theatrical as possible, even if all she’s doing is eating a pocky. The male lead often just plays straight man with his father and this girls eccentricity. The plot mainly involves the girl getting excited about some Japanese sweet and trying to explain its greatness to the main. Naturally hijinks ensue. I might not get Japanese comedy but I found it enjoyable to read. My only issue is that like most comedies, it doesn’t like like it will go anywhere further than this. It even has “that side character who’s in love with the MC but whose affection is constantly never noticed” thing that resides in most of these kinds of comedies.

Dimension W


 

 

In the year 2071, the world’s energy problems seem solved by a network of cross-dimensional electric-field inductors- “coils” -that extract energy from a seemingly infinite source. That source is the W dimension, a fourth plane that exists beyond the X, Y, and Z dimensions. In this world, unofficial “illegal” coils harness powers that the police can’t hope to counter. Dealing with these coils is the job of coil-hating repo man Kyoma, whose run-in with the unique coil android Mira leads the two to form a reluctant partnership.

This is one of those titles that I am not really sure what to make of it. What I read of the manga certainly wasn’t bad but it didn’t quite catch my interest. I think it’s just a matter of it not being to my tastes but I believe this could being interesting to others. The setting is good and I see no high schools in sight. The promotional material might suggest there would be more focus on car chases but that really isn’t the case. Our main character is a fairly amoral repo man who uses steel needles as weapons and our female lead is a very humanlike android. It’s difficult to make a comparison but I suppose it’s like a much more serious Outlaw star? I find that if this is done well it would be a good anime to watch and there is potential for it to delve deeper into a more complex story

Prince Of Stride Alternative


 

 

The series revolves around a closed-down “Stride” club at Hounan Academy. First-year high school students Takeru Fujiwara and Nana Sakurai attempt to restart the club, but they must recruit six members for the team. They ask Riku Yagami to join, but he turns them down by saying that Stride is the one thing he doesn’t want to do. However, Takeru and Nana drag Riku into the clubroom to try to convince him.

Change “Prince of Stride” to “Muv Luv” and I would be so much more invested. First things first, the sport you are doing is not called “Stride”, it’s called Freerunning. This is another Otome Game adaptation but with madhouse behind it I say it’s not going to be a bargain bin Otome series. The promo shows off some pretty good animation and seems to say that the focus will be on the running itself and not on romantic pretty boys chatting up some girl which is just some self insert plank. There are no manga or other translated adaptations for to get a better idea on the story. We have the director of Sakurasou and No Game no Life behind this one so I think it should be a decent watch. I will give it the benefit of the doubt for Madhouse and the FreeRunning aspect.

Bubuki Buranki


 

 

When Azuma Ikki returns to Japan after 10 years, he gets assaulted by a group of armed men and becomes their prisoner. Kogane Asabuki, a childhood friend, saves him with a weapon on her right hand known as Bubuki; a weapon with its own mind. Azuma Ikki, who is a Bubuki user himself, learns about the existence of Bubuki and goes on a journey alongside the companions he has found, in an attempt to find and revive Oumai, a Buranki (titan) who sleeps underground.

Hoo boy, that 3D CGI uncanny valley. Japan can make great 3D animation but as long as they keep down the frame limit on TV anime this kind of animation will never look quite right.Still Sidonia has proven that even with shaky animation you can present a pretty entertaining story and before you ask, no, this is not by the same people who did Sidonia. Actually these people did Black Rock Shooter which isn’t very promising. One thing I can say is that the music in the trailer was quite good. The music composer has some questionable choices in his portfolio(Namely the large number of Queens blade OVAs.) but his work with Gundam Orphans makes me think that this guy could become a major talent.As for the story it at least looks somewhat interesting, the trailer has some good action and the synopsis sounds like it has good story potential.

 

Series I do look forward to

 

Ajin


 

 

For high schooler Kei—and for at least forty-six others—immortality comes as the nastiest surprise ever. Sadly for Kei, such a feat doesn’t make him a superhero. In the eyes of both the general public and governments, he’s a rare specimen who needs to be hunted down and handed over to scientists to be experimented on for life—a demi-human who must die a thousand deaths for the benefit of humanity.

The easiest comparison here would be Tokyo Ghoul but while Ajin does have some similarities, it has a different tone. For one Ajin are rarer and are essentially treated as not human. There is definite racism subtext as Ajin are heavily discriminated against and sold out to the authorities to become live lab rats. Personally I would consider this better than Tokyo Ghoul as it handles the matter of alienation that it had in the beginning but abandoned for Shounen battles. There is also the nature that Ajin are powerful but not unbeatable.  It’s certainly matches Tokyo Ghoul in gore level, maybe even surpasses it. Despite the promo image, this is a CGI anime by the same Makers of Knights of Sidonia. So getting used to that will be the first thing when watching this. Still like Sidonia I believe the story will help us get over that matter. The main character is hard to get a good read on, he seems to be cold, apathetic and calculating but it difficult to narrow him down.

Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi (The Town Where Only I am Missing)


 

 

Satoru Fujinuma is a young manga artist struggling to make a name for himself following his debut. But, that was not the only thing in his life that Satoru was feeling frustrated about…he was also living with a strange condition only he was able to experience.
╼ REVIVAL

A strange phenomenon where one is transferred back to the moment right before something life-threatening occurs. This continues to happen until the cause of the threat is erased. It is as if somebody is forcing Satoru to stop it from happening. Then one day, everything is changed!What truths are revealed when Satoru comes face to face with his own past?

How will they affect his future?

This starts off rather episodic with points were a mangaka repeats a period of a few seconds and has to find out what’s wrong. It’s a bit like spot the difference, except that you stop someone from getting killed and are doomed to repeat the same moment over and over again till you do. However this quickly is put aside for a ongoing plot involving time travel and a serial killer. The idea is fairly unique by anime season standards and should prove to be an interesting watch. This is likely to be a standout of the season.

Gate second season


 

 

The second season of the Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri anime which will cover the Fire Dragon Arc.

There’s still a dragon to kill and I am on board. The first season of Gate was an enjoyable show which boasted the superiority of firearms against magic and fantasy. I still want to see more middle ages folk get utterly flabbergasted at modern technology and just where this all is leading. I would like to see characters improve as there were weaknesses with characterisation in the previous season. I also hope this avoids the usual problem with second seasons, which is to focus on building up a conflict that would be later shown in a potentially non existent third season.

Muv-Luv Schwarzesmarken


 

 

The events in Schwarzesmarken take place in 1983, the East German Army 666th TSF Squadron “Schwarzesmarken” (Black Marks) are a special-forces unit tasked with assaulting BETA forces through unconventional tactics; specifically, they target Lux and Magnus Lux to deny the BETA the advantage of ranged firepower. Their orders are given the topmost priority, such that it is common practice for the 666th to ignore allied distress calls that will result in deviation from their original mission, even if only for a short moment.
The 666th Squadron mostly operates MiG-21s, with their squadron commander Irisdena Bernhard piloting an MiG-21PF.

About two months ago a kickstarter campaign was put up to bring a famous visual novel trilogy to the west. It ended up raising $1,255,444, over 5 times its initial goal and is currently the only visual novel Kickstarter to raise so much. Even your truly gave $320, the most I ever gave to a kickstarter. That trilogy was Muv Luv. Yet despite its fairly high profile status it has never gotten an anime adaption, instead having spin-off works animated. Those being the fairly lacklustre Muv Luv total eclipse and now this. Let me relieve some people by letting you know that this show won’t have beach arcs and bundles of fanservice. In fact from what I read of the first novel this seems more in tone with Total Eclipses first two episodes. What we have here is a grimdark Mecha anime set in Germany which has adopted a Orwellian inspired totalitarian society and is at war with Alien beings known as BETA which have overrun most of the world. As a concept, it has barrels of potential but I am not overly hopeful. Put simply, from what I read in the Light novel this will be a hard story for even the most prolific studios to adapt so it being in the hands of the studio that adapted Yamada and the seven witch’s really is a bad sign. They certainly don’t have the budget to animate BETA battles. Another issue is that this story makes no effort to clue the reader in about the setting. To those who know nothing about Muv Luv, this will likely have you clueless to just what is going on. To top it off the main character is really unlikable, he’s almost constantly pissed off and has a angst ridden past. In terms of presentation the biggest hurdle is that they don’t overblow the angst, because there is a lot of it. Even the LN does not necessarily avoid blowing the drama out of proportion and I feel like it’s trying too hard to be dark. However if they somehow manage to pull it off then this will be one of the most unique shows of the season. For one there isn’t a single Japanese person in the cast. All of them are from east or west Germany.(Germany is split between east and west and both sides hate each other with a vengeance.) The promo video looks very promising but while I know it’s necessary, it would have been nice if the TSFs were not CGI animated.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu


 

 

The first story revolves around a mature prisoner who was released on good behavior during Japan’s Showa Genroku era (1960s to early 1970s). He is called Yotarou by others, a term that means an “anti-hero” or a “dim-witted man.” When he returns to society, he starts a new life in rakugo (comic storytelling). Touched by Yakumo’s role as the “grim reaper,” he asks the master to take him in as an apprentice.

Now we are talking Deen. This is what I like about you. You do the unconventional choices. No school setting, cast made up of primarily adults and not a dash of Moe anywhere. My research into this one primarily is is based on the OVA released earlier this year. It wasn’t subbed and sadly my Japanese isn’t up to par to understand exactly what the characters were saying but it did give me a good idea on just what this is about. What we are looking at here is a mainly character driven drama that revolves around rakugo. Personally I find it fascinating as this is the first time I have heard of it and on that alone I think this show might be worth checking out. The director did mainly recent studio Deen shows with Sankarea and Rozen Maiden(2013) in his resume. My main concern with this one is that Studio Deens other show this season might take up more of the animation budget leaving this with less to work with. Hopefully that isn’t the case.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 10:41 PM)
    @Wicked, think you hit the nail on the head there. The characters one of the main reasons I am not too gone on it.
  • wicked
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 10:04 PM)
    Mob Psycho is well paced for a 10 minute show I think. It’s got a lot of these pseudo cliffhanger to play for jokes. The stories get better, it’s the characters that’s not as interesting as one punch man in my opinion
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 08:46 PM)
    Hmm, haven’t read Mob Psycho 100 much(just checked what its art looks like) so can’t comment on that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 07:43 PM)
    @masky, it does have better art but a much weaker story. I get the feeling the Mob psycho anime will be a five minute show.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 07:17 PM)
    Dunno, Mob Psycho 100 does have better art than ONE’s OPMan. Its still rough, but yeah.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 03:36 PM)
    @wicked, I wonder how that will work out, as ONE’s style is a bit of an acquired taste.
  • wicked
    (Thursday, Feb 11. 2016 12:59 AM)
    ah, they decided to go with ONE’s art style instead of really pretty it up with Mob Psycho 100
  • oldyang
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 06:36 PM)
    Ajin is interesting, but the character design is weird. Everyone looks lifeless and angry.
  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:55 AM)
    it’d actually be a shame for them to make it into I Wanna Be the Strongest in the World, or worst
  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:54 AM)
    @Aidan, Yeah that guy tries really hard to make it more than just fanservice though. I have a weird respect for people that can play ridiculous concepts straight.

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