Posted on 13 April 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kenja no Mago

Short Synopsis: Some guy dies in a car accident (how many times has it been already?) and is reincarnated into an overpowered wizard.

Mario’s review:
As I mentioned in the Seasonal Preview, Kenja no Mago obtains a deadly combination: it serves as both an isekai and a magical high school harem. The result? The most blatant, shameless show that embraces all the tired tropes with zero tact. First, not only the protagonist is already overpowered, he has the knowledge of an adult and he has the memory of modern world. The level of he learning new magic reaches a ridiculous level as he literally blows everyone away with his power. So it sucks out all the fun when we know he will overcome everything, with ease. The supporting characters fare no better as they are cliched with familiar tropes, even down to their designs and their dialogues. The production is horrible as you can see in the above screenshot where the main character just floats around the still background. The world building is samey-samey with nothing interesting of note and guess what, cute girls with big boobs already line up to be his future classmates. When the show that only cares for making things easy for the protagonist, why should we care?
Potential: 0%


Carole & Tuesday

Short Synopsis: A runaway rich girl and a street-smart orphan meet in a bustling Martian city and decide to compose music together.

Wooper’s review:
This was undoubtedly one of my most anticipated shows of the season, and I’m happy to report that it’s pretty good! The animation is top notch, with attention being lavished on moments both big and small. From shots as complex as Carole’s hoverboarding scene down to the way a guitar case shifts when you pop one of its latches, the team at Bones really pushed themselves for this episode. The characters’ outfits are particularly stylish, with fancy dresses, belts, piercings, and the coolest pair of overalls Mars has to offer on display. The main characters themselves are well-worn types, but they’re backed by strong showings from two hungry young seiyuu. By the end of the episode, their passion for music makes their bid for stardom feel worthwhile, but there are some potential hang-ups surrounding the jam session near the end. The all-English lyrics are repetitive and simple, and pop music won’t be everyone’s bag, despite being Carole & Tuesday’s bread and butter. Luckily, there are already subplots and side characters populating the script, from an actress who wants to break into the music biz to the friction between A.I. composers and the old guard of record producers. Without these stories to offer extra information about C&T’s vision of the future, the series might have felt too conservative. Thankfully, its detours are doubly exciting due to the show’s colorful, detail-heavy nature. Check this one out if you haven’t already.
Potential: 75%

Helghast’s review:
Netflix is back to save anime once again by throwing a ton of money behind the very well-regarded director of Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Kids on the Slope, Zankyou no Terror) and enlisting Studio Bones to do the animation. That kind of support pays off in spades when it comes to the glorious production values and soundtrack that would find little trouble in appealing to both Japanese and international audiences. For example, the character designs takes cues from contemporary anime and western influence to create a visually alluring cast that embraces the ideal cosmopolitan future of a terraformed Mar. While Yoko Kanno isn’t scoring the music, the Canadian composer of Mocky is more than capable of crafting the OST with his background of R&B, Funk and Soul that would complement the upbeat and futuristic tone of Alba city. I’m glad they went with the route of switching the VAs from Japanese to their English counterparts when it came to singing the songs. While it comes off as a bit jarring, it is a far better solution than having VAs attempt to sing at the musical levels that Carole & Tuesday demands. Speaking of VAs, I can hear Shinji (Fate/Stay Night) taking on the role of the all-knowing producer with his AIs and predictive algorithms. This sets up the multiple character threads that will no doubt end up intertwining together and clashing between the assembly-line manufactured songs and unrestricted freedom of Carole and Tuesday.
Potential: Should have streamed on a Tuesday but would still watch on a Thursday.


Sarazanmai

Short Synopsis: Three boys are transformed into kappa after angering Keppi, the successor to the throne of the Kappa Kingdom.

Mario’s review:
IKUHARA IS BACK. He’s one of my two favorite directors working in this industry (the other is the late Satoshi Kon), so I had a ridiculously exorbitant expectation for this one, and this premiere manages to match it with flying colors. Well, I still regard his Penguindrum premiere as the better one (in fact, one of my favorite opener of this decade), but this one comes very close to that bar. There’s his visual quirks, there’s his heavy symbolism, there’s his irreverent humor that is both bizarre and charming at the same time. His distinctive style won’t be for everyone, though. The sequences where our characters pop out from Kappa King’s butt can easily turn viewers off; and this episode lacks the dramatic weight (another one of his trademark) that only hinted very slightly at the end of the episode. Everything else though, is a knockout. The premise is so weird and fun that it’s refreshing to see how it folds out. The visual is simply sublime that at no point the REAListic backgrounds become a distraction, and the layers of symbolism so far work for the show’s benefits. I’ll be frank, Sarazanmai is everything I could ask for. Keep this up and I am a happy Mario.
Potential: 1000%

Wooper’s review:
This episode was an achievement in both visual presentation and symbolic saturation. The first of those two items is a straightforward compliment, but the second may be backhanded – Ikuhara and MAPPA have packed this thing to the gills with metaphorical objects, to the point where it feels overstuffed. We’re entering Penguindrum territory after just one episode, and your preparedness for this series will be a lot greater if you’ve seen that earlier work. There are cardboard boxes, cucumbers, bridges, and dishes all over this episode, representing the secrets and connections held by the three main characters, but they hardly pose any interpretive difficulties. The real wrench comes when the boys’ shirikodama are wrenched from their anuses, and we pass through several layers of reality with different art styles and functions. One is a miniature musical number, one is a dimly-lit combat set piece (against a giant screeching cardboard box), and one is a melding of minds where a character’s deepest secret is revealed to the other two. By the time you come out the other end, the episode is nearly over, and you’re wondering what the hell you’ve just watched. But that’s when the show hits you with a post-credits scene featuring two sexy policemen and a giant taiko drum, which makes even less sense than everything that’s come before. What ties all of these crazy elements together are the nostalgic background art, beautiful animation, and double-edged sense of mystery and fun. There’s no way to predict where the show will go from here, but its visual magnificence is likely to persist.
Potential: 85%

Helghast’s review:
I don’t know what those two above me are smoking but if you enjoy cross dressing, yaoi, anal, scat and bestiality all mixed up in a drugged-fueled psychotic dream, then this is for you. For the rest of us, RUN AWAY.
Potential: 0.69%

Posted on 12 April 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

One Punch Man 2

Short Synopsis: It’s more One Punch Man. Don’t act like you haven’t seen the original.

Lenlo’s review:
The best thing I can say about OPM2 is that it isn’t as much of a disappointment as I expected it to be. There are definitely issues, from some weird shots and angles to some lines not landing quite right, but production wise it’s better than I thought. The animation is there, it’s not a slide show, and someone is clearly trying. Plus, ONE’s writing still shines through! My biggest complaint though has to be the artstyle. From the weak lines around characters faces to the weird gradients on Saitama’s skin and Genos’s arms, it just looks… bleh. I’m not a fan of it. These characters already have designs, styles, from the first season that I loved. That its being changed now and replaced with this weird hybrid CG cyborg body is just disappointing. Plus many of the “epic” fights have this weird layering technique, where instead of animation inbetweens it just fades to the next frame? I hate that. I hate that more than anything else in this first episode. I am sure I can get used to it, and I will because I am going to keep watching it, but I won’t enjoy it. My only hope is that ONE’s writing carries what is, visually, an otherwise meh show.
Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:
My favorite thing about the first One Punch Man adaptation wasn’t its flashy fight animation, but its commitment to the series’ absurdity. Saitama’s goofy marching after a devastating practice match, Genos’s alert body language whenever his boneheaded master seemed ready to drop some wisdom, and Mumen Rider’s earnest cycling in the face of overwhelming adversity all marked the series as a satire, rather than a simple beat-’em-up. The premiere of season 2 focuses largely on King, and while his situation is ridiculous, it doesn’t carry that same absurd flavor. Shots of his terrified or bewildered facial expressions get the job done, I suppose, but they’re too far removed from the thing with which they ought to be contrasted: his position as a Class S hero. He just mentions it over and over, without getting into a situation where that status guides the story. While we’re on the topic of how these events were arranged, does anyone else find it strange that we open with Saitama, Genos, and King all in the middle of the city on the verge of being attacked? It felt like an abrupt start to the proceedings, especially since One Punch Man expanded its cast and scope with this episode. That move toward an overarching story has me sort of concerned, but at least it gives Sonic something to do apart from languish in the background. In fact, plenty of characters are moving closer to the forefront of the series, but it’s anybody’s guess whether J.C.Staff will be able to balance them to the satisfaction of a rabid fanbase.
Potential: 50%

 

Isekai Quartet

Short Synopsis: The main cast of Re:Zero, Overlord, KonoSuba and Youjo Senki get teleported into a high school and shenanigans ensue.   

Helghast’s review:
With all of four of these series either wrapping up their latest season or having their sequel released some time in the far distant future, this is a easy and fun way to keep their massive fanbases happy and entertained. The animation is on par with those silly flash movies last decade, but the strength of show comes from the voice actors and having the ensemble from each franchise size each other up. It’s the group of misfit low-level adventurers thinking they can take on the overpowered monsters from Great Tomb of Nazarick while Tanya is brooding over getting screwed over once more by Being X. I found it amusing that the studio decided to compressed her entire story inside of a minute, complete with chibi art of her most violent acts, since Youjo Senki has the smallest fanbase out of the four. In a season where there aren’t that all that many hit shows and plenty of disappointment to spread around, Isekai Quartet is the most fun you’re going to have with an anime short that flips the isekai meta on its head and gives it the crossover that no one asked for but everyone needed.
Potential: 65%

Mario’s review:
I’ve watched 3 shows out of the “Quartet” this show parodies, and I have to say those shows are amongst better isekai options out there. Re:Zero, Tanya and KonoSuba are all in my top 5 favorite isekai of this decade, and while I don’t know much about Overlord, these four proves to be an interesting mash-up: 2 shows from Fantasy, one from alternative history and one from inside the game. Even with the Fantasy shows the variation of races and social status can be an interesting angle for this chibi show to poke fun if. So far, the very concept of these characters get incarnated again to the highschool settings is a pretty darn good parody. In addition, the humor works so far. Every characters keep their most distinctive quirks and they bounce off each other with ease. Konosuba cast and Tanya shine in this first episode in particular. If the show knows how to make the interactions from characters in different series spark, this will be one hell of a ride.
Potential: 30%

 

Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san

Short Synopsis: An overworked salaryman comes back home late… to find out that there’s a fox spirit in his house.

Mario’s review:
Damnit, right before the last two shows everyone has been waiting for, we have two shows that are absolute garbage. This one has only one thing going on: raise the cute level of that fox-deity who acts like a perfect wife for some sad sack loser. Well, I might sound harsh, but is there any point of having all the comfort – cute girl appear inside your house, food fed to the mouth, all the physical touching, and the laps to sleep on – while you don’t have to work to obtain it? You said he’s overworked so he deserve this? He goddamned brought it all himself. Healing might be what this show aims for, but this is a toxic healing. Our Senko is a perfect waifu material, the show is a one big wish fulfillment with a hint of fetishism on top.
Potential: We all need a deity-fox as housemaid in our petty life.

Real Potential: The worst premiere of this season hands down

Posted on 11 April 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena

Short Synopsis: Pretty boys who are deities and their jobs is to destroy negative energy from human.

Mario’s review:
When will this hot boys trend die down? Rendai Utena (not to be confused with Ikuhara’s Utena. That’s an insult!) spends 80% of its energy to introduce dozen boys with colorful designs who happen to be deities. What do they do in this entire episode? Cleaning the house, buying some goddamn milk and eating dessert together. The rest of its energy it addresses its main concept: they’re here to destroy vices, negative force within each human. I mean, dessert is nice and all but that’s the only entertaining part I can take out from this episode. The production is below par, the characters are nothing original and the concept isn’t that engaging or interesting. It doesn’t have anything offensively terrible, but at the same time it doesn’t leave much impact to me whatsoever.
Potential: 0%


RobiHachi

Short Synopsis: A down-on-his-luck freelance journalist flees Earth to escape a loan shark, but accidentally brings along one of his debt collectors.

Wooper’s review:
RobiHachi is Space Dandy by way of last year’s Double Decker, with 10% of the humor and 0% of the style. It sports a colorful sci-fi setting with flying cars and bustling city life, but only takes advantage of it once or twice in this premiere (the scene where Robby gets caught in an alien street crossing comes to mind). Apart from those rare moments of inspiration, it’s only a mildly amusing and below average-looking buddy comedy. Main character Robby takes life as it comes, while Hachi is obsessed with experiencing new things, and these traits envelop their entire personalities, rather than informing them. As a result, there’s a lot of bickering between the two, including a moment where Robby gives a lecture on smelling the roses, and a smooth sax solo starts playing as though he were Onizuka from GTO. Speaking of music, the second half of this episode takes every opportunity to cram boilerplate 80s rock into the background, even when characters are just talking to one another. I can only assume this choice was made to distract from the series’ limited animation, which punches below the standard of modern TV anime. Even Robby’s insulting rabbit butler is only good for a couple chuckles before the whole show collapses under its own weightlessness. Unless you’re really into space adventure/comedies, give this one a pass.
Potential: 20%

Mario’s review:
Hmmm, even the character design of Hatchi reminds me a great deal of last year’s Double Decker and the plot is a mashup of shows from the past (Space Dandy, Cowboy Bebop come to mind), so right at the first round the originality is already out of the window. Then the production isn’t something that I normally recommend, given it doesn’t impress me in any way. Furthermore, while I’d say the mains’ interaction is solid (hence the score), I don’t care much for either Robby and Hatchi individually. The brief callback to Robby’s misfortunate events is funny on paper, but when they display it on-screen, it falls flat. This premiere runs mostly as a prologue to the adventures between this duo as they travelling through planets, so I’d say that next episode is where the show showcases its true color. One important thing that the premiere fails to do, however, is that for a show that has “cool” factor written all over, it doesn’t offer half of the “cool” vibe it aims to achieve.
Potential: 20%


Gunjou no Magmel

Short Synopsis: A relief worker trained in supernatural combat travels to a mysterious continent to find a client’s brother.

Mario’s review:
Magmel is based on a Chinese manhua and it pains me to say that anime medium doesn’t have a good track with Chinese material. But I have middling expectation for this one based entirely one the first manga chapter that I read, with was a decent fun. Turns out that this first episodes material isn’t the same with the first chapter, but I’m still pleasant surprised on how much I enjoy Magmel so far. Its biggest strength right now is its setting that is both dangerous and inviting at the same time. The setting reminds me a bit of Made in Abyss, which is pretty decent praise in my book. It also succeeds on providing the sense of adventuring, of discover new area and monsters. This episode’s story works well as a standalone story and as a good introduction as how twisty this new continent can be. So far, I like the main characters well enough, and even the side characters have some legit moments there. The fact that it’s made by Studio Pierrot means that they can pad out this material with fillers and squeeze the most out of this show’s juice, but as far as “intriguing” goes you bet I am.
Potential: 50%

Wooper’s review:
The first thing I have to mention about this show is the background art, which is verdant and lush. It was really important that the series nail this aspect of its production, since it’s set largely on an unexplored continent where thousands of new species are lurking. That kind of setting should be as vivid on screen as it is in concept, and here Gunjou no Magmel succeeds. The second thing I have to mention is that everything else about the series bored me. The gigantic flashback to a one-off character’s backstory near the start killed its initial momentum, and his cluelessness until the moment of his death made him frustrating to watch. Main character Inyou’s stoicism isn’t a bad foundation for his character, and his willingness to kill a man he’d promised to save was appreciated (as opposed to the righteousness of most shounen protags). But he didn’t hold my attention despite his position in the dead center of the story, perhaps because of his overwhelming strength. The relationship between him and his robot-piloting maid wasn’t even deep enough to get my toes wet, either. I’ll admit that these are a lot of criticisms for a shounen series with a simple core concept. It ought to be judged largely on the strength and viability of that premise, and I think there’s lots of room for Magmel to do its thing in future episodes. That “thing” ought to look a lot different from this premiere, though.
Potential: 30%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Fairy Gone

Short Synopsis: A handful of fairy summoners must reenter society in the wake of a large-scale supernatural war.

Wooper’s review:
Getting into specifics about your fantasy world before fleshing out your characters is typically a bad idea. If you needed any more evidence to support this principle, Fairy Gone has you covered. Though its characters are all set against the backdrop of a recent war, they’re sorely lacking in personality or individuality. You might assume the show would hint at the psychological toll the war took on them, or their religious or spiritual lives (since fairies are so important to the story), or anything apart from their general stoicism, but it doesn’t. One of the characters, Marlya, is obsessed with meeting a friend from her past, but that’s about all we’ve got in terms of motivation. We’re sure to learn more as the story progresses, but this premiere doesn’t have a hook for propelling audiences toward those later episodes. Fairy Gone fares better on the technical front, sporting some decent action and P.A. Works’ pretty background art (the backstage room at the auction is especially noteworthy). Still, the show is grayer and grainier than their output has been in the past, marking something of a departure from their house style – even last year’s Sirius the Jaeger wasn’t this grim, despite its similar premise and tone. Director Kenichi Suzuki might be responsible for the change, but given his link to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and this show’s use of CG fairies as “Stands,” his involvement is likely to be remembered as a meme more than anything else. That’s kind of a shame, as there’s a decent show in here somewhere, but what came together in the premiere isn’t the best version of these ingredients.
Potential: 40%

Lenlo’s review:
3 minutes in and we have gone through 2 text crawls, 3 countries, 3 cities, and probably a time skip/flashback or 2. It’s hard to tell. Whew, is that not a good sign. Wooper hits the nail on the head when he says Fairy Gone cares more for its history/world than its actual characters. I hardly know or care about any of them, partly because the central goal is thrust on us so quickly. Marlya’s goal is to find Ver apparently, and she does so in the first damn episode. I don’t know these characters, am I supposed to care? As for production, the fights were… weird? There are elements of greatness there, the backgrounds and kinda CGI JoJo Stands. But once everything starts moving together and playing in the same scene, you start to notice a lot of jank. My read is, Fairy Gone clearly has someone who cares about it in PA Works, someone is passionate about it. But the actual production doesn’t really come together, all its separate parts just sorta… falling into place instead of being carefully placed there. If you can get past the jank, and not get bored to death after the exposition stops, then you might find something interesting here. But I wouldn’t expect it to be anything amazing.
Potential: 35%


Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin

Short Synopsis: A public servant in Shinjuku ward suddenly gets the ability to interact with supernatural beings.

Mario’s review:
Well, if you think tengu and angels eloping isn’t absurd enough, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what Occult can offer. As the title suggests, it takes place at night, in Shinjuku ward. The show doesn’t really make this unique setting distinguishable enough, sadly. Most of it is because the visuals look unremarkable, and there’s no stand out element that could highlight the settings. The same can be said for its busy plot. The show introduces the main guy, establish its supernatural world before revealing, in the span of 10 minutes, that the protagonist has “special power” no one else has. It’s often the case that when the plot goes so fast, it has a harder time to let the events sink in. All in all, this is an alright but unremarkable entry. And be sure to check out the OP as it is one of the better moments out of the entire episode.
Potential: 20%


Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine

Short Synopsis: A bunch of girls participate in their school’s baseball club.

Mario’s review:
This one turns out to be a nice surprise. While it’s in essence a CGDCT show, it’s charming enough and the execution is solid enough to make it an enjoyable ride. The visuals sometimes remind me of a lesser-KyoAni inputs, or more on point – Love Live’s level of visuals presentation, with cute character designs and bright backgrounds. The animation, however, is limited and there’s one point during the practice match the show is filled with powerpoint screenshots hovering up and down. The cast so far made up of girls with different individuality who come from different ground regarding baseball and so far I enjoy them well enough. This show won’t be a sport drama (hence lacks the competitive thrills), but if you regard it as a show where dozen girls with different traits join up for the same hobby in an Idol-anime fashion, you will have lots to enjoy here.
Potential: 40%

Posted on 10 April 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

Short Synopsis: A high-score boy is asked to be a tutor of other talented girls.

Mario’s review:
Just fresh off from the Quintuplets show last season, we have another harem anime where main guy is a tutor for “hot, talented but somehow still needs tutoring” girls, and it’s pale in comparison in almost every department. The main lead isn’t particularly interesting for one thing, since he does very little to stand out from a normie harem protagonist. The show delivers some decent chemistry between him and the girls, but the girls themselves, despite spend majority of time together, share zero interaction whatsoever. Secondly, all the narrative beats this premiere goes through is predictable and uninspiring. We see some lame fan-service, we have the normal shtick of him saying misleading comments, we have girls already falling head over heel over him by the episode’s end. Lastly, the production is plain. The art-style is unremarkable and there’s nothing worth recommending on the visual side. Watch (or re-watch) Quintuplets show instead. They share the same DNA but the other show makes full use of its harem roots.
Potential: 10%


Kono Oto Tomare!

Short Synopsis: An annoying nerd prevents, then accepts a troubled delinquent’s application to the traditional koto club.

Wooper’s review:
The ubiquity of high school clubs in anime can lead some viewers to find them tedious, but I wouldn’t have considered myself one of them until recently. Series like Chihayafuru and K-On! are among my favorites, with the formula of finding new club members providing a way to explore both themes of friendship and their clubs’ focus. But we’ve seen an outpouring of half-hearted club shows in recent years, and even promising candidates like Kabukibu have fallen into template mode after a few episodes. My theory is that anime’s new 12-episode standard is to blame – a thought was strengthened by Kono Oto Tomare, which sprinted haphazardly through its opening chapters to enter the recruitment phase. Club president Kurata’s pitiful backstory (he failed an entrance exam because he was sick that day) is only fed to us after he stresses about the koto club for eight minutes. The blonde delinquent who wants to become its second member teleports around the school so they can share as many scenes together as possible, most of them being overly dramatic or laughably violent. A dark incident from the delinquent’s past is only revealed so the school’s current gang of thugs can recreate it thirty seconds later. As far as atmosphere goes, the voice acting is too shouty for the material, and there’s zero koto playing in the premiere (which would have been a welcome respite from its relentless drama). Of all the episode’s components, only the art was passable in my eyes, but it wasn’t good enough to bring me back for round two.
Potential: 25%

Mario’s review:
UNBEARABLE PROTAGONIST, ACT III

It’s another show about high school students and their club activities. On that angle Kono Oto Tomare is a solid entry. The subject of Koto club isn’t something we see that often, and what this episode does well is to provide the leads’ own connection to this Koto club. Although I can’t say I am fond of the wimpy male lead (his shtick: I HAVE TO PROTECT THE CLUB is especially annoying), the show does spend time to provide backstories from our leads and inform us their points of view. Unfortunately, apart from that part this first episode suffers from many more glaring issues. First, the pacing is way too quickly that it feels as it they try to rush the material to a certain point. Things happen, things resolve in a flick of fingers, and worst offender is everything that related to the unnamed bullying kids. It’s so obvious that they are there to be the most hateable bunch of kids and I don’t really appreciate any of that. And while the subject matter is koto, there isn’t much of what makes koto club appealing, though I believe we will get to that in later episodes. So in short, Koto has some good characters development, and if you enjoy their chemistry of this premiere, there will be a lot to like here. Beware though, the plot can become contrived in service of these characters’ development.
Potential: 30%


Shoumetsu Toshi

Short Synopsis: A girl, with a help of a vespa-riding boy, decides to visit her vanished home town to see how it has changed.

Lenlo’s review:
Jesus christ, Madhouse is doing this? Are you serious? Am I being punked right now? Because this is legitimately terrible, at least on the production side. Everything from the art to the animation looks like it wasn’t finished when it aired. As for the story itself, for the life of me all I can remember are a bunch of tropes. I have absolutely no desire to see more this.
Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:
Just like Yu-no at the start of this season, Toshi suffers from introducing way too many characters before the main event even kicks in. Toshi seems to be interested in its own mystery that it forgets to tell a proper story, or flesh out any character for us to invest in. Take the main lead who acts like a complete bonker, first established him as the man who honor his job, then at the end try to convince us that he’s good nature enough look after that girl? The visual looks stiff but worse, it looks implausible. Take several chase scenes where he doves his scooter up and down (and at one point, block the attack) like he’s playing Wii and when the torrent of knives come toward him and somehow he gets away from it with only scratches? The central mystery is solid, however. It’s clear that the girl is the main cause of this disaster and it’s interesting in the fact that it could go in many different directions. Character-wise the show remains duh (remember a guy who keeps saying “could be a worthy test subject”?), and I don’t think that aspect can get any better. Watch it if you like the central mystery because otherwise, it offers very little else.
Potential: 20%

Posted on 8 April 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Short Synopsis: A socially anxious girl must befriend all of her new classmates to win back the love of her former best friend.

Mario’s review:
UNBEARABLE PROTAGONIST, ACT II

Hitoribocchi is dull, Hitoribocchi is boring. Unlike Lenlo below I have a good relationship with the SoL genre, and even then I wouldn’t recommend this show. The main girl makes up the biggest issue for me as her social anxieties makes her act and behave like a 5-year-old kid. This one reminds me a bit of Slow Start last year with the same level of stupidity and dumb her down for the sake of making her cute. Her making friend feels way too easy, her anxiety plays mostly for laugh and I’m pretty sure I have seen all these familiar beats before. Look, if you’re a middle school girl, how about you act like one and not drawing plans to get rid of the society? This isn’t kawaii, this is just plain dumb.
Potential: THERE’S A CINNAMON ROLL WE ALL HAVE TO PROTECT

Lenlo’s review:
Hitoribocchi’s biggest problem, for me, is that it’s a Slice of Life. It’s simply not a genre I enjoy. By about 8 minutes in, I felt like I should be at the end, such is how it drags. That is most likely just my aversion to the genre though. As far as content, Hitoribocchi is basically a more wholesome version of Watamote. Both are school Slice of Lifes about an anti-social girl fitting in. The issue is though, just like Watamote, I was bored out of my mind. Maybe it’s the setting, maybe I just can’t enjoy a school-life centered drama anymore. I am not sure. Either way, from what I watched if you enjoy Slice of Life, you will enjoy Hitoribocchi, if only because your enjoyment will be inverse to my dislike of it. That’s typically how the trend on Slice of Life goes for me.
Potential: 10% if you’re me, 80% if you like Slice of Life.


Mix: Meisei Story

Short Synopsis: A pair of talented baseball-playing brothers rejoin their middle school team for another mediocre season.

Wooper’s review:
I mentioned it in our season preview, but Cross Game is my favorite anime, so it’s impossible for me to judge Mix (which is from the same author) without any bias creeping in. Just looking at the simple designs of these characters makes me want to smile, reminiscent as they are of Adachi’s other works. And it’s not just audiences that might be attached to other series of his – Mix itself makes its connection to Touch very clear, using an extended flashback at the start to link Meisei High’s past glory to its present mediocrity. Even Mix’s narrator is a character from Touch, and there’s a bit of fourth wall-breaking when the two main characters acknowledge her presence from within the story. This level of narration, the character introduction cards, and the VCR-mimicking scene transitions are all potential stumbling blocks for new viewers, I suspect. Mix is playing with its format a bit, rather than going for 100% naturalism as might benefit such a slow-moving anime. Despite these modern flourishes, though, Mix’s character work is old-fashioned in the best way, making the establishment of their personalities its number one priority. The male siblings at the heart of the story share an easy-going demeanor, but one is a tad rougher around the edges, which will likely be brought to the forefront when their coach’s favoritism starts hurting the team. There’s a bit of a mystery at play in their relationship, as well, which I won’t address for the sake of any newcomers. I’m quite eager to watch the next episode (if only to see the series’ glorious OP again), but I’ll bump my score down a bit to account for its uneventful first episode and odd scene transitions.
Potential: 70%

Lenlo’s review:
As Wooper correctly anticipates, there are a few issues for a new viewer who doesn’t know the original story to get over. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the extreme amount of narration. Yet at the same time it gives the series a very… old feeling, while still having the modern production. Take the character designs for instance, though it has a modern coat of paint, it’s all very late 80’s early 90’s, really making it stand out from other series. As Wooper said, Mix also goes out of its way to establish its characters clearly and early just like the oldies. I quite liked these two leads because of this, I think they will be able to play off of each other well. The whole sibling bond/rivalry going along with their differing personalities. I am also always one for a good sports anime, and the time period of the original story made a lot of good ones. Basically, I think Mix has a promising start and I look forward to seeing where it goes. As someone who has no idea about the original work, it pulled me in.
Potential: 60%


Kimetsu no Yaiba

Short Synopsis: A kid comes home to find out that the entire family has been killed and his little sister has turned into a Demon.

Lenlo’s review:
Well, I suppose we know where Ufotable’s fraudulent taxes went, because Yaiba looks great. A treat to watch. This is the only aspect of Yaiba that wowed me in this first episode though. While the world was interesting, the premise itself a classic shounen, we didn’t get much more than that. The protagonist is a bit of a wet blanket and there really aren’t any rules yet established. However if Yaiba can take this first episode and run with it? Expand on the world, and grow the lead? Then I think it can be a great shounen series. All the pieces are there after all. An end goal, a mysterious final boss/demon, a weak character growing strong and plenty of room for good fights. Yaiba just needs to take this framework and start filling it in, and I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Potential: 75%

Mario’s review:
I’ll be honest that prior to watching this episode I don’t have that high of an expectation towards Yaiba. Shonen Jump golden egg and ufotable aren’t something that attract me personally, but the premiere proves to be a worthwhile watch all around. If I have one small nitpick over the presentation, it’s the large amount of narration that nearly threaten to overwhelm the story. It does add a sense of novelty that other action shows usually lack, though. Right at the first episode, Yaiba successfully tells an engaging premise where Demon element fuses naturally to the world. Then it nails it on giving us 3 compelling characters, each stand out in their own ways and set up very well the journey ahead. The visual, in addition, is gorgeous. This episode doesn’t have much of bombastic action sequences, but based on how crips the characters move and how pretty everything looks, be it the background or the character designs, there’s a lot to like here. This could prove to be one of the highlights of this Spring season.
Potential: 70%

Posted on 6 April 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Ultraman

Short Synopsis: A superpowered space officer and his son are called to save the Earth from a familiar-looking villain.

Lenlo’s review:
Having never seen the original series, I had no idea what to expect going into this one. But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The CGI was off putting at first, but Ultraman really commits to it and by the end, I barely even noticed it. I was all in, and it looks just enough like the cheesey live action of original Super Sentai series for me to enjoy it. On top of that, the story itself actually appears to be quite new to the genre! Instead of being episodic, this is more like a coming of age Western super hero story, like Spiderman. There definitely appears to be some influences from there to my eyes. That it follows the original series as a sequel of sorts also plays in its favor, as Ultraman isn’t forced into the originals mold, its free to be its own thing. The series could easily take a turn from this, the actual city and interiors showing some cracks in the facade, but from what I saw in the first episode, Ultraman is a Netflix series worth your time.
Potential: 60%

Wooper’s review:
I think I’ve been spoiled by Polygon Pictures’ 3D anime offerings, because series like Ronja and Seikaisuru Kado looked much better than this. Ultraman moves slightly away from the traditional influences of those series and edges towards more sophisticated lighting and shading, plus more CG involvement in its background art. This pays some dividends, as in the bit ripped straight from Spiderman where Shinjiro tests his powers on the roof. His weightless leaps from building to building are given some life by the way he gels with the sunlit scenery, which is great. There’s much more to be disappointed in, though; the oppressively geometric layout of every single interior scene, the total lack of environmental damage from massive impacts, and the photographed trees that appeared as glorified sprites were especially ugly. On top of that, we have CG anime’s usual stumbling blocks of stuttering pan shots and Botoxed facial expressions to yank us out of the story. Speaking of story, Ultraman 2019 is another superhero tale that promises to comment on power, morality, and human potential in the same way hundreds of others have done in the past. The characters might have been able to carry the half-baked setup if not for Shinjiro, the sort of MC who ponders how many “points” he’d score by rescuing a cute girl from a trio of delinquents. That girl also happens to be a pop idol, who will almost assuredly become his girlfriend because wouldn’t that be awesome? It’s a shame the “next generation” feeling is so prevalent here, because Shinjiro’s father (the original Ultraman) is a fabled Adult Protagonist, despite being a wet blanket himself. Pretty disappointed with this one on the whole, especially since Kenji Kamiyama’s name is attached (hopefully he’s putting all his effort into next year’s Stand Alone Complex sequel).
Potential: 15%

 

Konoyo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO

Short Synopsis: A high school boy whose father just disappeared still goes to school, meets girls with big boobs before gets transported to an alternate timeline.

Lenlo’s review:
Let’s see, mystery transfer student, CHECK. A load of established harem members, CHECK. Weird McGuffin with no explanation, CHECK, and a clearly evil authority figure, CHECK. Hmm… yup, from my diagnosis YU-NO has a clear case of the “Tropes”. While normally not fatal, and occasionally beneficial in a series, I fear this is an advanced case. All originality has been used for a singular perverted MC gag that wasn’t even funny. I fear there is little to be done for the series but to sit back and watch the train wreck. If you like watching something die a slow and inglorious death, YU-NO might be for you. However if you value your time, my recommendation is to avoid like the plague, so you might be spared the terrible affliction.
Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:
UNBEARABLE PROTAGONIST, ACT 1

Yu-no is, in a word, a throwback anime. There are many tropes and styles of humor that bring you right back to the 90s aesthetic that you don’t see often today, at least not to this extreme. Right at the first bit of dialogue, “panty” and “something hard” are thrown to our faces, and it’s getting worse from there. Just look at the screenshot to see the level of unabashed foolishness Yu-no contains. It also has a typical issue when anime tries to adapt a Visual Novel material: it introduces way too many characters before the main plot kicks in and to be frank, none of them is that interesting. Worst among them is the titular naked girl who kisses this horny MC and vanishes into thin air like an acid version of beautiful mermaid. The bad guy screams “villain” from Day 1, and like Steins;Gate 0, his evil seed is a whole bunch of crap. And then we have the lead who has a bit of hormonal issue (or is his own words: is he in that day of the month already?). The hook is solid, though, but with the ensemble cast this cringy, and the humor this dated, Yuno, you know, isn’t worth your time.
Potential: 10%


Fruits Basket (2019)

Short Synopsis: Girl meets several boys in their home and decides to stay there with them.

Mario’s review:
Overall it’s decent start that we have here. The strongest component in this episode is how the show fleshes out all the characters just about enough, especially the main girl with her own struggles and personality. The visual department, however, is sadly unremarkable. It looks “old”, not due to its intention, but more because of its lack of polishment (the worst bit is the distracting CG smoke). The story, while goes through many shoujo tropes (the Prince type, her friends), still remain quite solid because each character has their own voice and there’s much more opportunity to flesh out these characters. It’s true that Fruit Basket is much more interesting when it focuses one characters’ drama, not romance. Another thing that could tamper this adaptation is the pacing, given at one point (where her tent is buried under the snow) passes so quickly and abruptly. For now, I have my reservation regarding the production, but given the strong material it has, there’s still heaps to look forward to.
Potential: 65%

Lenlo’s review:
Let’s cut right to the chase here, its Fruits Basket. Most of you should already know what you are getting into. It’s been almost 20 years since the original afterall. That it’s getting a remake after so long, and is already a successful established series, tells you all you need to know. For myself, my only experience is with the English dubs, and so beyond this first episode I am going to be waiting for those myself. Can never get enough Laura Bailey. For those who don’t know what’s up, Fruits Basket is one of the landmark rom-coms of the late-90’s/early-00’s. As someone who largely despises the genre, it is one of the only series in it I look back on fondly. It’s filled with tropes and stereotypes abound, though an argument could be made that Fruits Basket helped establish them. I have often wondered, because of this, if that fondness was just nostalgia. Well this first episode made me realize it wasn’t, at least not totally. There is a mystery established behind all of the romance and jokes that pushes the story forward, so it doesn’t have to rely purely on the romance. I will still have to wait and see how much I have changed since my youth, but I feel comfortable saying I will enjoy this one.
Potential: 50%

Posted on 15 January 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Grimms Notes The Animation

Short Synopsis: A group of adventurers transform into fairy tale characters to do battle against an evil Little Red Riding Hood.

Aidan’s review:
What happens when your characters are so unremarkable that even the quirks you give to difference them make them only more trite?
What happens when your story depends on the legacy of other greater stories in order to carry it?
What happens when you write a plot twist that has no real clues yet one of the characters realizes the truth regardless? And even that cannot make your story interesting?
What happens when your animation is so bare and routine that nothing truly makes it stand out?
What happens when all of your world building is done by characters stating what should be blindingly obvious to them for the sake of the audience?
What happens when your anime is so forgettable that you can’t remember the characters names or even half the plot upon finishing an episode?
Well I don’t know what happens when this is the case. Sorry, what was I supposed to be watching again?
Potential: 0%

Wooper’s review:
Let’s examine what makes Grimms Notes one of the most forward-thinking debuts of the winter season. To start, the characters are a mix of Japanese tropes and fairy tale icons that should appeal to fans of uncomplicated heroes. Their banter is unlikely to surprise or offend anyone, which is an admirable goal in 2019. Their designs look like they were created after doing a Google search for “how to draw anime characters,” and taking heavy inspiration from the least distinctive results. This is an inclusive move, as it ensures that viewers with poor eyesight won’t be missing much of the fun. The overarching story isn’t clear yet, but it seems that our adventurers will be fighting against corrupted fairy tale protagonists each week, and trying to revive a thingamajig by defeating all the whatchamacallits. Leaving things so open-ended was a wise decision, since establishing the groundwork for a gripping story might be too demanding of the audience’s attention. If you’re going to work in the entertainment industry in this modern age, you have to keep your demographic’s reduced attention span in mind. Finally, the animation and background art are inconsistent, which indicates a lack of toxic perfectionism on the director’s part. A healthy work environment is key in the current year! In conclusion, Grimms Notes’ commitment to mediocrity makes it one of the most refreshing shows of the season.
Potential: 0%

 

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale

Short Synopsis: There are idols who are mermaids…or Mermaids who are idols…or…look you don’t care.

Aidan’s review:
Hold the phone, how does someone drink tea underwater. Wait how does someone drink underwater period? How can you have a shop underwater that offers drinks? Wouldn’t it just get diluted into the seawater? How do you mix tea underwater? Sorry getting off topic so on to the mermaid idols. Well this episode was…wait a second did they say that was a cake shop? How does one make underwater cake? Wouldn’t that just be soggy cake and taste disgusting? How does that even…come on, the episode. The episode. Alright see…wait underwater letters? Wouldn’t the paper be mush? Wouldn’t the ink just wash…STOP, Logic does not belong here. So anyway this episode was about…sorry I was a little too focused on the mechanics of underwater food and devices that I kinda forgot to pay attention to the plot. Had something to do with some girl being born from a pearl, some tide blowing in some mansion and some movie in the mansion which inspires them to be idols or something. I just didn’t really care all that much.
Potential: 0%

Lenlo’s review:
I’m really not sure what to say here. It’s a mermaid idol show. In terms of water people, it is inferior to Nagi no Asukara in every way, and in terms of Idol shows it seems low bar there too. Everything from the production to the VA just seems cheap and flat. Like there was no effort put into any aspect of the series. Even had I been the kind of person to enjoy Idol shows, I probably would have felt like turning this off 10 minutes in. This is a hard pass from me.
Potential: 0%

Posted on 14 January 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

Short Synopsis: Two student council members attempt to manipulate each other into confessing their love for the other.

Aidan’s review:
After the disappointment that was Grand Blue, I was fully worried that Kaguya being another quite comedy focused manga would be diluted in the transition. Thankfully to some great direction it seems this show has nailed everything that made the manga so enjoyable. I have a particular fondness for the opening which portrays Kaguya and the president’s battle for love like some James Bond spy thriller and the way the anime plays up their interactions as mind games like those between the worlds greatest detective and Kira is part of want makes things work so damn well. Coupled with the narrator hyping their misunderstandings or power plays into highly dramatic explosions make the overall idiotic nature of their dilemma all the more palatable. Provided this can keep up the fun and not let the premise grow stale then this could well be a show to keep an eye on this season.
Potential: 85%

Wooper’s review:
Non-manga reader reporting for first impressions duty. The thing that excited me most about Kaguya-sama coming into this episode wasn’t the series’ reputation, but the fact that it shared both a director and a lead writer with Rakugo Shinjuu, one of my favorite anime in recent years. I wasn’t expecting quite that level of excellence from Kaguya, but my hopes were still high, and this premiere actually met them. Shinichi Omata’s background with Shaft really shone through here, with comedic cutaways and exaggerated facial expressions heightening the ridiculousness of each segment. The idea of two hormonal geniuses trying to trick each other into making the first move is a novel one, but it’s not a golden goose all on its own – you need strong direction and editing for their monologues not to feel stupid or tedious. Just as important are the performances from the voice actors, who have to sell their characters as both prodigies and lovestruck teens. Plenty of praise will be paid to Aoi Koga’s Kaguya in the coming months, especially since she’s a relatively new VA, but everybody else pulls their weight as well. Yutaka Aoyama’s sly, almost paralyzing delivery is instantly recognizable in the narrator role, and Konomi Kohara strikes a perfect balance between likability and airheadedness, which mirrors Kaguya’s relationship with her character, Chika. If I have one complaint about the series, it’s the art style used for the furniture in the student council room, which seems to employ some strange combination of cell shading and thickened outlines that results in a highly unnatural look. One has to imagine that a lot of scenes will be set in that room, but if everything else about the show stays this good, I’ll have no reason to complain.
Potential: 80%

 

Endro!

Short Synopsis: A demon lord is sent back in time after being defeated by four heroes, and must work to sabotage their studies as their teacher.

Wooper’s review:
This was pretty cute! The animation was steady all the way through, the fantasy-inspired backgrounds had some care put into them, and the characters all have a sheen to their designs that kept me interested in how they’d look in the next scene. TV anime in general seems to have hit a point where even a solid, workmanlike production is big news, so congrats to Endro for looking like somebody cared about how it turned out. More important than its looks, though, are the series’ playful spirit and cheeky commentary on game mechanics. Not all of the humor worked for me, but there’s a streak of self-awareness running through the script that makes the on-screen text scrolls and discussion of RPG classes feel fun, rather than stupid. This season’s Shield Hero positively reeks of THIS IS JUST LIKE A VIDEO GAME-itis, but Endro functions a bit more organically. For example, it ties its main character’s wielding of a club into her obsession with heroism, which has left her classless and stuck with a suboptimal weapon; despite this setback, she cluelessly maintains that she’ll become a hero if she has a positive outlook. This is a lot more tolerable than a virtual display popping up and preventing a shield-bearing character from equipping a sword because they are a shield-bearing character, which they process with zero personality. There are a couple other jokes that earned a chuckle from me, but one of them in particular works much better if you’re not anticipating it, so I’ll cut things off here. If you like cute girl shows and game-inspired settings, consider giving Endro a shot. You might regret it, but you’re already watching seasonal anime, so how much worse can your life get?
Potential: 50%

Mario’s review:
In general, I don’t mind Endro. Watching this, I feel like it attempts to do sort of the same thing as Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. They both twist around the tropes while never really take these seriously. While Milky Holmes is more parody, this one just contents with the characters having fun time and going for an adventure all over again. It has that moe designs (even down to the cute loli devil), but so far it delivers its jokes with grace and I would say it’s a above-bar CGDCT offering of the season. The main concept seem to be the devil Maou tries her best to stop this hapless students from becoming heroes, but fall for their charms instead. I have no problem with that and if it still has that much wits (my favorite: the mage “predicts” the weather forecast) and maintains its bright settings, I’m all in to follow it.
Potential: 30%

 

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai

Short Synopsis: A crew of female pilots protect their employer from enemy fighters in a frontier setting.

Mario’s review:
The most remembered aspect viewers gonna get out of this episode is its technical aspect. There’s not much narrative to begin with since a huge chunk of this episode concentrates on the aerial combat. On that front I’m quite happy with what I saw so far. The combats are mostly well choreographed that you can mostly follow what happening on-screen (I do have some troubles recognizing the planes though), there’s a great attention to piloting details, for example it spends proper time for us to see how they do a start-up procedure. The camera angle (which sometimes adopt first person POV like in a game) and the sound designs are other stand outs. The thing that I’m a bit worried about, is that these aerial combat overwhelmed the characters so far as we don’t know much about them. In addition, the characters’ CG models might be a hit or miss. I enjoy the quick, natural dialogues in these first few scenes and I do like the cowboy settings so I hope the show can give those justice in later episodes.
Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:
This series missed my strike zone by a wide margin, since it’s all about planes. More than half of the episode is spent depicting a dogfight between 3DCG aircraft, with particular attention paid to sound design – the groaning of their metal frames as they make harsh aerial maneuvers, the pinging sound of bullets ripping through their bodies, and the sputtering of their engines come to mind. I was listening to the episode through a set of nice speakers, but unfortunately, even that level of immersion wasn’t enough to keep me interested. The decision to center the opening scene around a dude in the middle of a romantic dry spell is likely to blame for my lack of involvement, because his squad of freelance pilots is quickly wiped out in the dogfight. Getting to know the girls who are, y’know, the stars of the show might have been nice, but the only tidbit I picked up was that one of them really likes pancakes. I can admire the decision not to dump a ton of info about the show’s (seemingly alternate) universe in the first episode, but go too far in the other direction and you end up with something like this. Luckily, the closing moments of the episode seem to promise a more grounded second effort, so I might give it another try and see whether the characters make an impression in a different atmosphere (pun intended).
Potential: 40%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dimension High School

Short Synopsis: Four students and their teacher are transported into a virtual quiz show world by a talking meteorite.

Lenlo’s review:
You know, I thought when I first saw the PV for this that we would be getting a meta comedy. Sorta like Pop Team Epic was last year. Something the blends reality and anime and makes you question just what anime is. Dimension sorta does that, but not in a good way. Dimension doesn’t make me question the foundation of anime, but rather why someone thought it worth animating at all. It’s not funny, the CGI is worse than Berserk (which if you know me, means a lot), story wise there’s basically… nothing. So the only question I really have for Dimension High is this.
Potential: Is this even Anime?

Mario’s review:
Watching this show reminds me how some of the tropes we can tolerate in anime becomes unbearable when it does in live-action. For example, we seem fine with character overacting in anime but when the Teacher does it in live-action it’s grating to watch. Dimension is also one of the worst production I’ve seen this season: the live action acting is terrible all around the clock, and the full-CG animation doesn’t even attempt to be anything near passable. Then we have a plot of talking rock (in a weird CG special effect) and riddles for Christ sake and you have a full package of bad-anime-please-leave-me-alone.
Potential: bad-anime-please-leave-me-alone

Wooper’s review:
Worse acting than The Room + worse CG than Berserk 2016 = comedy of the year
Potential: AHHHHHHHH

 

Domestic na Kanojo

Short Synopsis: A hot-for-teacher teenager moves in with his crush and her younger sister (who he recently slept with) after their parents plan to get hitched.

Mario’s review:
Boy, here it finally comes. A melodrama with contrived plots to squeeze out the most dramatic juice. Anyone here who doesn’t find the whole re-marriage affair jarring? It comes out of nowhere (to the main lead himself) and it happens way too quickly. And add that we have him living under the same roof with two cute girls whose 1) he has big crush of and 2) he happens to have sex with and guess what? After 20 minutes I honestly don’t care one iota about all three main characters. Okay, while I’m most certain won’t follow this because I know the direction it’ll ultimately go, there’s still some positive aspects in this premiere. I quite like the moody, heavy-saturated room where he and the little sister sleep with in the beginning. While the exterior scenes can be plain, the interiors feel live in (as appropriate given the title of the show is Domestic Girlfriend). Second, these characters do have some extra-multidimensional level as each other seems to carry their own weight/issues in their shoulder. The comedy bits, on the other hand, totally feel awkward. But it might works for this first episode’s benefits because it has full of awkward moments, from awkward first sex to adjusting themselves to a new relationship to all these awkward confrontations. Anyone who loves soap opera or tearjearker melodrama, this is a perfect healthy dose for you.
Potential: 20%

Wooper’s review:
The premise of this series reads like an elaborate porn setup, which it probably would be if the source material didn’t run in Shounen Magazine. Everything about the story is a ripoff, right down to the main character’s chubby best friend, who exists solely to react with shock to his pal’s sex life. DomeKano doesn’t even earn points for avoiding purity-related tropes, as the protag is the same type of dope that would star in a pruder version of the same show, despite the fact that he’s lost his virginity. The teacher’s character is just a male fantasy, and her little sister is the sexually-open tsundere that you never knew you wanted until now. There’s potential for this thing to go completely off the rails, which might make for an entertaining watch. Maybe the main dude will fuck his new stepmom, too. That possibility has to be worth a few percentage points, right?
Potential: 5%

 

Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka

Short Synopsis: After defeating an evil lord, a magical girl is dragged into being a spec ops agent

Aidan’s review:
This start isn’t as bad as I was expecting but this really is a story that takes its premise far too seriously. The big thing that I can point out as pretty terrible in this episode was the soundtrack which sounds like a cheap 80s b-movie. The whole idea of Magic girls acting as spec ops after the final battle is over is somewhat an interesting idea but it is rather contradictory to try and make your magical girls badass while making reference to the more cutesy side of it. It’s a bit hard to take PTSD seriously when shes getting it from a mascot costume. The characters are fairly bland with the main being a pretty basic emo whom is so deep and tormented and blah blah blah. It’s clear that the story is going through a number of hoops to try and justify the magical girl aspect which goes for naught when the girls could just be superpowered females without any Magical girl show references and the story to be the same. At the moment I would say this might be fine for some but it has high chance of going down the drain fast. The sunbathing pair of tits at the end seems to promise that.
Potential: 0%

Lenlo’s review:
Once more into the breach of “Dark Magical Girls”, my friends. Ever since Madoka Magica everyone has been trying to ape Urobuchi, and let me tell you, Asuka does not succeed, but it doesn’t entirely fail either. Basically, Asuka is… acceptable. It completely skips the starting point of girls getting powers, and jumps right into the aftermath. From PTSD to disillusioned Magical Girls, Asuka goes for it all. If it can manage not to jump the metaphorical shark, Asuka could be perfectly fine. The big fear here is whether or not it goes a bit too crazy and turns into a trainwreck. For some people though, even that might be fine. After all, I am never one to turn down a good dose of anime suffering.
Potential: 20%

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Kimetsu no Yaiba – 7 [Muzan Kibutsuji]

Hello all, and welcome to a big week for Kimetsu no Yaiba. This is the week where I move it up from a “Competent” Shounen to a “Good/Great” Shounen. You see, Yaiba finishes up another arc, Nezuko kicks some butt and Tanjiro meets the big bad 8 episodes in. So let’s jump into it! Starting […]

Mix – 07 [Worried?]

What’s with all the A-list seiyuu in Mix? The four main characters are voiced by some of the biggest names in the industry right now: Yuki Kaji, the Uchida siblings, and Kana Hanazawa as new character Haruka. I tend to dodge a lot of the shounen and harem series that feature Mr. Kaji, and the […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 3 [Psyche] – Throwback Thursday

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One Punch Man S2 – 6 [The Uprising of the Monsters]

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Kimetsu no Yaiba – 6 [Swordsman Accompanying a Demon]

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Mix – 05/06 [You’re a Pitcher, Right?/When Spring Arrives]

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Serial Experiments Lain – 2 [Girls] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to week 2 of Serial Experiments Lain, or as I like to call it, Screw With Lenlo. This week 4 friends walk into a club with drugs and a gun. Sounds like a good time, so let’s jump in! Starting off, I really need to remember when Lain was made. I got half-way through […]

One Punch Man S2 – 5 [Martial Arts Tournament]

God damnit OPM. I thought we were past this, I thought we could get along. It was my hope, after these last two episodes, that you could make it. I was wrong. This week OPM disappoints me, and I once again get to go on a rant. Jump in if you dare. Right off the […]

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