Posted on 18 January 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

If you ever get the opportunity offered to install Windows 10 on your PC: don’t do it! My computer got more and more unstable until it finally decided to give in and crash completely and I had a lovely beginning of 2017 trying to recover the files I hadn’t backed up only with a small success. That’s the reason this post is a bit late because I also had to rewrite my impressions of the earlier episodes I watched.

As usual this is a list of just my impressions and impressions alone, they’re not meant to be reviews, just to put my thoughts on paper and perhaps help those who are in need of a biased overview of the latest season. I did not look at any previews or information beforehand, so these are purely my first impressions. This season is not as good as the previous autumn season, but it might contain a few keepers:

Ai Mai Mi – Surgical Friends

Before I started, a little voice in me knew that I shouldn’t bother with this, that you shouldn’t judge anime by its cover, even positively. And yet something in me kept gullibly hoping that with a title as “surgical friends”, there would at least be SOMETHING about a hospital in this. Well yeah no, this is just a school show about cute girls. The premise of this one is that it tries to be a comedy (emphasis on “tries”), and there are a bunch of weird blob-like girls that the rest of the characters have to take care of and interact with. It unfortunately is another one of those series which never seem to have had a 101 on basic storytelling so the entire episode was jumbled up from scenes that just kept jumping into each other without any proper buildup and jokes just come from nowhere. The creators are pretty much hoping that if you yell hard and fast enough, the audience won’t notice your jokes are actually terrible. No.

Akiba’s Trip The Animation

Last year I had the fortune of visiting Japan, and while there I also paid a visit to Akihabara. And look, I get it. How crazy the the area is, I can see a series that celebrates it work. It’s gonna have a ton of fanservice because hey, it’s Akiba. However, even with that, you need good characters. This show doesn’t have that. The male lead is really badly acted and not fun to watch at all and his antics really scream trying too hard to be in on the joke, like this middle aged executive producer was desperately trying to be part of the “cool kids”. Beyond that, I also don’t really think that this show was that good at really showing what Akiba is like. There are some shows here and there, but there’s nothing really abut the history of the street, why it became the way it is, and the first episode proceeds to just destroy everything around it, more in the way of a disaster movie that picks famous landmarks to destroy just because of audience familiarity (although granted, this series does score points in trying to maintain its continuity). When I realized that, then this isn’t really a show that celebrates Akihabara anymore, and this turned into one of the most pandering shows I have ever seen. Like seriously it has everything: Snarky NEET Otaku main character who is surrounded by sexy characters, Akihabara, a younger sister for the lolicon crowd, a ditzy girl, a tsundere, lots of inconsequential fighting, the main character dying, the main female reviving him with a kiss with which he suddenly has these crazy superpowers that are for some stupid reason dependent on him stripping everyone to their underwear. Pure and utter wish fulfillment. Next!

Masamune-kun no Revenge

Series like this are the reason I try to give every single series at least the chance of a first episode. This is the kind of series that I would never have given a chance otherwise, and yet this episode impressed me. It looks so much like your generic harem, and yet every time it went into just another direction from what I expected. The show loves to toy with the normal conventions of the genre, in a way that feels fresh, and every time where I found myself thinking “oh god, not again”, it proved my fears wrong by going into a different direction. Now it obviously needs to keep this for the entire series, but I dig the idea of a series about a guy who Neville Longbottomed his way through middle school and now is at the point to take revenge, and the main character succeeds in not being a Gary Stu: he has his own weaknesses and the series makes it very clear that while he thinks that his revenge will be glorious, there will be massive downsides to it. It has struck that balance so far. Now, show. Whatever you do: DO NOT DEVOLVE into a generic will they won’t they after this!

Fuuka

Dear creators of anime: for the love of god, could you please stop trying to introduce female characters by their underpants? This is getting ridiculous. With this series, I’d also like to add another thing to the list of overused tropes that should not be used anymore: the three sisters. First 3-Gatsu no Lion came with its Minami-ke clone, and now this show too: show some creativity dammit! In any case about this show, it’s not THAT bad. It’s basically your first romance show about two awkward teenagers discovering that they might have feelings for each other, and while not that interesting, the cast also isn’t that annoying. What this show did really well was portraying that awkward feeling of first love: instead of glorifying it with lots of hearts and flowers and sparkles like what most series usually do, this is ugly and weird and nobody really knows what to do; I felt awkward along with the characters. But here’s the thing: was it really worth it to make a show about this? Don’t we already have enough romance shows? Ultimately this episode was just dull, nothing really caught my attention, it just adequately went along like the lowest common denominator. If it were a school grade, it’d be a 5,5; passable, but only barely. I see no reason to continue watching, especially how this episode hinted that this is going to be a love triangle and that a locally famous idol is going to enter the ring, so this show is pointless.

Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu

Remember the previous season’s All Out? Well, they’re doing it again! Cute girls on bikes! Although this one seems to be more casual, like K-on with bikes. The lead female may not be as ditzy, but she’s getting there. Note that none of that is positive, although I do have one very big compliment for this series: the backgrounds! For some reason beyond me the creators decided to hire some really good background people, and it shows. I mean it’s no Porphy, but the lush background of the Japanese coastlines, mountains, oceans, it’s all amazing, and they actually move subtly, with a use of CG that actually feels perfectly natural for once. Apart from that, this show thankfully isn’t that bad. My main complaint really is how generic it is: this has all been done many times before, but in terms of execution, the characters are decently written and not trying too hard to be cute. There are a few bits here and there where the characters have an interesting chemistry between them, so if you’re dying for something light-hearted yet heart-warming, I think that this will actually be a good pick, provided that they do the cycling scenes better than what they did in the OP. Seriously that was bad.

Ao no Exorcist – Kyoto Fujouou-hen

Ah, Ao no Exorcist, that’s a long time ago. The premise seems rather annoying, why did I like this show again? Well, the answer to that question came in the second half of the episode: the side characters. That’s where the show got a bit down to earth again, and there you could see some very interesting character dynamics between the main character (who is the son of Satan) and his classmates. Before that though, he was pretty annoying and I related more to his twin brother for having to keep up with this brat and his antics. It’s weird to see how much I myself have changed ever since I watch this, but Rin is still the same brat he ever was. But thankfully the second half used his struggles in an interesting way compared to his powers that tend to go out of hand. But that’s also the problem: why does this show have to keep finding ways to distract from this guy’s antics? Can’t he just… be a good character right from the start? Naruto had the same problem: sure when it comes down to it he’s a good guy and all, but do you really want to watch this brat being a brat for most of the time to get there? It works for side characters because they don’t have too much airtime, but a main character?

Youjo Senki

I… um… yeah… okay, let’s start with the beginning. Remember Izetta of the previous season? Set in an alternative version of WWI Europe, but with slightly different countries and a mage lead character, folling a German-ish country on its way to victory. This show does that too. However Izetta was very well made: the common soldiers who were fighting were given a personality. Izetta had her flaws, so it really drove home that even though mages are incredibly powerful in a war setting, the common people are still incredibly important, and it’s a situation where death really sucks, yet is unavoidable. And while it took many liberties, you could still see the alpine influences. This show though, holy god. It has some MAJOR tonal differences. War! Murder! Death! Officers missing limbs! Cute girls! Really, what is this kid doing there? And don’t give me that “it’s magic”-schtick, the creators knew full well what they did. Every single soldier is ugly and gritty, and there she comes with her shiny hear and pupils looking extremely out of place. That other girl looked out of place too, but at least she wasn’t such a blatantly insulting Mary Sue for most of the episode, I hated her. Also, on a side-note: nice job on using chess pieces on a strategical war map guys! I see what you did there, that’s very advanced symbolism you have there! In any case though, what surprised me the most is how I found myself reacting to the end of the episode. Like, is she supposed to be the villain? Are we meant to hate her? Is she supposed to be this ridiculously powerful demi-god and will they use that against her in the future? Why the hell am I invested in this? Why did that finale hit me? What’s going on!?

Seiren

Oh god no! The hentai game adaptations! They’re back! I finally thought they were gone, but here Seiren comes yet again with a show featuring six girls and a generic spineless guy. Especially the OP: couldn’t they at least try to not make it so obvious there? Anyway, after 20 minutes of watching yet another horny teenager navigate through high school, I’m having a bit of trouble evaluating what this series really is going to be: will it go Clannad, pick one storyline and simply ignore the other girls, or will it spend a few episodes per girl in a wishy washy love triangle that makes no sense? It can go either way at this point, but if I had to be pressed, then I’d say that Fuuka had the better episode here between the two. The reason is that while both deal with awkward teenagers, Seiren had characters pull really weird leaps in logic that I’m still trying to puzzle out. One moment it’s trying really hard to be realistic, and then the next we have the main character staring at the main female’s butt-print after sitting on a desk. One moment it tries to show a teenager trying to find his place in life, the next there is this really weird misunderstanding about his crush and a middle aged guy. It just doesn’t fit, it’s like this uncanny valley of awkwardness that just feels so unnatural. Like a bunch of aliens pretending to be humans or something.

Urara Meirochou

Judging a book by its cover again: when this episode started, my thoughts were overall positive: it wouldn’t be my kind of series, like at all, but I could see this have appeal for the people who like series about “cute girls doing cute stuff”. It seemed to have the right ingredients, it was more colourful than usual, it had a nice selection of cute animals around, I could see it have a legitimate audience. When I started watching however, this turned into one of the worst first episodes of the season so far. Most other episodes so far were mostly just boring; this was painful. A lot can be written down to how the lead character is one of the most dim-witted characters I’ve seen in a long while. Really, to be THIS air-headed is a skill, and she just keeps going on and on. The cute animals could just as easily have been stuffed, that’s how much they actually did here, and it also has the dumbest excuse for fanservice so far, and that includes the stripping superpowers of that Akiba show. Like showing your belly in order to apologize? Really? It’s obvious what you’re doing there, there’s no need to be all cute about it. The rest of the cast basically is one giant straight man for this lead character, but even they are just completely annoying whenever they open their mouth. It’s the result of everything trying waaaay too hard to be cute. If it’s just that for the entire 20 minutes it’s obviously going to lose it’s value. Remember to balance dammit!

Spiritpact

A Chinese show with a Japanese dub, Korean OP, English title and ED. Quite the international production here, and it shows. This series looks incredibly cheap, but at the same time this show is not bound by the cliches that plague modern Japanese productions. I’m not against that though. The big disadvantage of modern productions is that they put budget over everything, and you hardly ever see the series that try to creatively use their limited budget to do really good things anymore. This is a fine attempt: the acting is very wooden, but it actually made me laugh quite a bit. It wasn’t amazingly funny, but it was consistently sharp throughout this first episode. Due to its simplicity it could offer a lot of time to just the chemistry between the two main characters, and it works: the two work quite well together. The whole premise that when you turn into a ghost, the version of you where you were the most happy is the form you take. I like that! It has a lot of potential for interesting stories. But yeah, the creators need to do something about the wooden acting. They made the mistake to main character depend too much on his quirks: he just keeps goofing off and off to the point where it gets annoying. But in that way I see this series as more something for the future: this is the product of an emerging industry that’s still trying to find itself next to its gigantic cousin. This is valuable experience into the right direction. With the right people, who knows what they’ll make next?

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Yes! When it comes to “cute girls doing cute stuff”-series, this definitely was the way to do it right. I genuinely enjoyed this episode, rather than trying to find silver linings here and there like what I usually do. The key here is that for once, I felt like I was watching characters with actual life breathed into them. The entire series is set up with the basis of wanting to get to know each other more, which is such an important detail which often is just delegated to one of the side-issues even though it literally makes or breaks characters. It’s a bit like a character study in that way. I mean normally I’d cringe about a show that has half-monster-half-girls, but here they created a whole believable setting around it: they’re all just living alongside regular people, and you run into them once in a while. They receive their own government benefits, and apart from that they’re just regular people with a few quirks here and there. This show has a ton of post-discrimination themes which also were very interesting to watch, and yet it remains fun and light-hearted. The characters really play well off each other, great chemistry. My only complaint so far is the complaint I seem to have for most things nowadays: did you have to make it sexual? But yeah, here it actually does fit in a coming-of-age theme. It’s not the annoying kind of fanservice thankfully, but did you have to make one of the teachers a succubus? Out of all the legendary creatures and monsters you could have picked…

Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

Ah, I remember the good old days of game adaptations. They were either incredibly good, with interesting premises, twists and a lot of creative freedoms, or incredibly bad, the kind that gets so bad that it’s hilarious. This is more than 10 years ago at this point. After a while though, things just started to get generic, rather than anything else. The golden age is unfortunately over. Here comes Chain Chronicle, and with this series I’m seeing a new development: they take the generic format, but try to do the best they can with it. The result is a generic storyline (remember, one of the difficult things of animating a game is that it’s impossible to take the quicksave feature along with you!), but with well acted characters, it really tries its best to seem epic, and not skimp on any of the characters of the huge cast. It actually kills off characters with character-designs, and it also spends a bit of time on what the war means to the regular peasants just living their lives. It doesn’t take any risks but it just wants to tell its story. While I’m not happy with how save it is, it is a step into the right direction. It will stand as a foundation for the series of the future, who can build further upon the execution of this series, but actually do something interesting with it!

Idol Jihen

Idol Jihen is the product of oversaturation. It happens when there’s just too many people wanting to do the same thing. The obvious ways to do it have been done, the parodies and subversions are also out of everyone’s system, every single normal angle has been already explored, so what now? That’s the point where you get to the stupid stuff, and that’s why this joke of a series got made. In an attempt to one-up the stupid idol shows that already exist, it brought idols to a place they totally do not belong and we now have idols in parliament. This first episode still had the chance to turn this into a parody, but it played things completely straight, so that’s also off the table. If you want idols to pwn politicians you also need to be more over the top. Because there has already been a series in which idols fight aliens with music, it’s just not special anymore, it’s just another day in the life of an idol. Also, dear translators: “Idol Dietwomen”?! Couldn’t you really come up with something catchier? Idoliticians! There, it’s not that hard!

Nyanko Days

Crazy Cat Lady: The Anime! Really, this is just silly. The episodes are just two minutes long so even for a short episode series this was nothing. But really, I’m glad. Unlike the onslaught of series that we were bombarded with during the past Autumn season, this one actually isn’t bad. It’s just a girl and her cats who in her mind are like chibi cat blob imaginary friends. It’s nothing more than that, but for what it is, it’s cute. This would have been a welcome change back then!

elDLIVE

And another series that I would not have given a chance if I didn’t give every series a chance. This show looks terrible on paper: it’s the same old show of a normal kid with hidden superpowers meeting up with some sort of organization, this time with aliens, and the kid himself is of the wimpy variant. Pointless fanservice here, annoying characters there. I really thought that I would find this mediocre at best, and yet I really enjoyed this episode. The build up was a bit long, but things came together surprisingly well at the end, and I think the reason for that is the supporting cast: this series has a really big collection of colourful characters to work with, and they do their job of “support” incredibly well. They really bring home the message of “aliens are fun!”, even though they sometimes make some weird leaps in logic, do things that don’t make any sense, not to mention that the whole back-story behind this series is pretty stupid. But I guess I found that okay because of what an enjoyable bunch they are. The main character is also not that bad. I guess he’s one for the schizophrenics out there, sort of. At the end of the episode he did demonstrate that he can think on his own, despite being a kid. The question of course is if the creators can keep this up. I can see this very easily fizz out after such an episode, so the creators have the challenge of keeping this show fresh. Show us the wonders of the world you have in mind!

Little Witch Academia

Aaah, so they managed to make a TV-series out of this. This is an excellent way to get the more artsy series off the ground, Kyousogiga did the same: first make a bunch of pilots, then a bit more, until you have enough to actually get your full length off the ground. It’s a great way to ensure creative freedom, because after all, if it’s not enough like the original pilot, then people will be disappointed and the execs are smart enough that that’s not the best idea. As a note: I have not seen any of the previous versions of Little Witch Academia, so I do not know how redundant this episode was. I also have yet to finish any series produced by Trigger. I mean, I definitely see the potential in them, but I still haven’t found a series of theirs to actually “grab” me. Little Witch Academia could be the one. With its grounds in the Young Animator Training Project, it is a really good marriage between the old and the new. The old generation has made sure that this was a solid production, with solid direction, and a ton of tricks to make it more engaging: this show for example really knows how to use scarcity. Everything is a challenge in this series, and the characters are portrayed in such a way that you feel the struggles along with them. The new can be seen in all of its ideas and energy. This really feels like a passion project that everyone involved wants to make work. Plus, you can really see that these people grew up with Harry Potter. This episode featured tons of small details that paid homage to it. Of course it’s not like this is a bad fanfic of course, it really has its own story to tell that has nothing to do with its British cousin, and that’s how a homage should be done: little hints here and there, without ripping off.

Gabriel DropOut

One thing I haven’t seen in these first episodes yet is character development. Granted, it is hard to pull this off within just the first 20 minutes of your series, but it has been done before. Enter Gabriel DropOut, who actually does it by having its main character pull a complete 180 in terms of her personality. Normally I’d congratulate a series for that, but unfortunately that is about the only positive thing I can say about this series. The rest… is bland. It’s another installment of the “cute girls doing cute stuff”-genre, and this is about middle school hi-jinks of a bunch of angels and devils who have to live in the human world, with the twist that the angels are horrible people and the devils are actually quite innocent. Yeah, it’s another series that turned a half-minute joke into an entire series, and this episode didn’t really do anything interesting with it. It mostly was just predictable set-ups for jokes that ultimately just weren’t funny. It never really got really bad. Just one big meh.

Shiruran – Nibun no Ichi

Shiruran: 2 minutes of Shinsengumi chibis trying desperately to look cool! Yeah, it’s not good. This series makes the mistake of thinking that making characters yell and overact is enough to make it “funny” and “quirky”. Characters get mad for no reason, characters behave like assholes for no reason. I know you only have 2 minutes but that is no reason to forego basic storytelling rules dammit!

ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

This series definitely has the best OP and ED of the season so far. Inspired, artistic, fun to watch. That also is an insult to the rest of the shows this so far though, because until now every other OP and ED has been bloody generic. And really, this show in general is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Regardless of whether this series is going to be any good or not, this is the type of anime that we need more of: it creates its own world, setting and themes, makes a point of going into its own direction rather than what is popular at the moment, and it does so with a cast of varied and colourful characters. Future creators: use the philosophy behind this series and build further upon it! SCREW THE GENERIC! *ahem* About this episode, do not expect anything amazing or exciting here. What you can expect though, is very good build-up. This episode did a fine job of alluding that something big is going to happen, while at the same time introducing the world, its rules, the position of the main character, why he’s important, what he’s like, the people he has to work with – both his subordinates and his superiors. This was building the foundations. I enjoyed it a lot, it’s interesting and mysterious, and the creators also avoided an entire episode of introduction by still having some things happen. Plus, at a certain point it was just fun watching the characters play off each other, or just themselves, or the heaps of food that they manage to wolf down in these 20 minutes. Seriously the amount of consumables in this show is astounding!

Hand Shakers

Oooh, GoHands is trying something new again! More please! Again, even if the story of this series turns out to be absolute bollocks, this is the type of series we need more of. Here we actually see creators taking a risk! Compared to all of the generic moe or bishie shows about nothing we have each season, I’d much, much rather have many series like this. They may not always work. They may crash and burn spectacularly, but this kind of ambition is what anime is made for, instead of the way too safe crap that has flooded the market for many years now. I’m not denying that Hand Shakers won’t turn out to be a bit of a bummer in the end because honestly, storytelling has always been one of GoHands’ troubled areas, but I actually liked this episode a lot so far. I mean for starters the animation was incredible. There was so much movement everywhere! And while the use of CG is obvious, they did it in a way I have never seen before, and they also did it in a way where it gets hard to actually pinpoint which parts are done in CG and which are traditionally animated. The music also is the best soundtrack of the season so far, which makes this a real orgasm for the senses. The story is a standard “boy meets girl”-story, but I like it so far. It’s got a main theme of hand holding, which is actually really cute when just about every other series seems to think that the only way to flirt with a girl is to stare at her underpants and grab her by the boob. It also uses this vague type of storytelling, where a lot of stuff is just implied, we’re just expected to assume some convenient plot devices and a lot of time is spent on showing, instead of telling. But yeah, Gohands… have you found enough actually decent writers in the meantime? Let’s avoid people stupid enough to mistake a fighter jet for a crow, mmmkay?

Kemono Friends

Look, I am a completionist. I really try to give every series the benefit of at least one episode, and with every show I at least try to complete their first episode. Even the bad ones, and the really bad ones. Even that show with that annoying fox girl, I finished its episode in its entirety. Kemono Friends though, is the one that broke me. Right from the start, every fiber in my being started screaming to turn it off. There would be no way I would manage a full 20 minutes of this thing, everything just rubbed me the wrong way. It’s another “cute girls doing cute things”-series, but to make matters worse EVERYTHING is in this horribly awkward CG thing and trying to watch the characters emote is actually exhausting. They all move so incredibly awkward and jilted, and the voice acting is absolutely horrid! The worst of the season. The main actress just keeps yelling and yelling, even when she’s supposed to be mellow. Combine that with how everyone in CG has these really awkward botox faces… make it stop! Turn it off! No more pain!

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

After retiring and being tired of being summoned all the time to wish people back to life, the dragon from Dragonball Z found himself a new calling in life: being the maid of an office worker in Tokyo! Oh Japan…. Also props to the OP. Finally we’re getting some creativity again in that area. Kobayashi’s maid dragon is a sitcom where the gimmick is dragons that transform into dim-witted people, like pets really, and all of the antics that come with it. As a comedy, it did its job here: it made me laugh quite a bit, and I’d at least recommend the first episode for people looking for a quick laugh. However at the same time, this is a pattern I’ve seen many times before: after a while all the dragon jokes got a bit one-sided: there’s only so much death and destruction after things get boring, and they still need to fill eleven or twelve episodes with this. Good comedies fill this with a wide variety of characters, good and engaging main characters, a bit of variety, but that was all just too basic here. Even though the next episodes will introduce new characters, I can already predict that episode 1 will be the best episode of the series, or at least one of the best, surrounded by a lot of duds. All the signs are there, unfortunately.

One Room

This is just a fucking dating sim! How thinly veiled can you be!? Heck, it’s even worse because in a dating sim you have to press space every once in a while to get to the next dialogue, even that is done for you in this way. What do you hope to achieve with girls that act as wooden as they do here? I mean at least dating sims are excused because they don’t have the budget to really animate everything, so they have to get by with just a few pictures and dialogue. What the heck are you doing emulating that style?! Also, I’m not sure whether the camera is supposed to be the guy she’s talking to, because it keeps shifting positions. One moment we are looking into the girl’s eyes as if she’s talking to a mime, but the next show we’re focusing directly at her butt. At the very least pick one option!

Piace – Watashi no Italian

Another mini-series and – gasp! It’s not bad! The ratio of bad shows thankfully is much lower than last season with its onslaught of terrible short episode series. And it’s not like this is really good or something, but it’s enjoyable enough not to get on my nerves. It’s a cute story about a girl who starts to work at an Italian restaurant, and while she is an airhead the rest of the cast is actually strong enough to make it work. They play well off each other, and what also helps is that the creators actually read a bit into Italian cooking. If you want quick slice of life then this is actually a pretty decent choice.

ChaoS;Child

I was never one of the people who hated the Chaos;Head anime. For what it was, it had its moments. I liked how it actually portrayed a NEET as a mentally unstable shut-in, compared to how they usually get glorified (ever since NHK ni Youkoso finished this topic kept returning every now and then) It wasn’t great or anything, but I enjoyed it and I don’t regret watching it, I had many more problems with Robotics;Notes and Occult;Nine. Nevertheless, Chaos;Child doesn’t make a very good case for it by starting with a very bad recap of the entire series before it goes on with its own story, but when it gets going it has its moments. It’s trying to be less edgy and more edgy at the same time, it seems. The container seems to have made ways fr just another high school club, but on the other hand it really tries to kill people in creative ways here. And by god did a lot of people die in these 50 minutes. I suspect that part of the target audience was people who just laugh at horror movies, because while I do laud creativity, some of these murders were just completely ridiculous in how they were carried out, like they got a 14-year-old to describe them or something. Also while usual horror series build up for the gore scenes, especially in its first episode, there was nothing of the sort here. It jumped right into the gore and death without really seeming to care about its atmosphere. It’s an interesting approach, and at this moment I cannot say yet whether it’s going to work or not. There are no big red flags yet, so that’s good, although I will say that the acting in this series isn’t that good. Character animation is a bit awkward and cheap, and isn’t really that good at emoting. But hey, Chaos;Head was the same so points for consistency I guess.

Marginal#4 – Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang

Giving Marginal 4 a fair chance was really difficult due to the utterly abysmal CG performance scene with terrible singing and dancing, but I survived. But even if that scene would not have been there, I don’t think I would have been impressed by this show, because it really is scraping the bottom of the barrel here. On top of being yet another idol show, halfway through the episode it took a break from the idol stuff to focus on high school hijinks. The only thing that set this apart is that the four characters were slightly more ditzy and feminine than what you usually get with these kinds of series. It’s pure fanservice. I’m also surprised that the award for most annoying dialogue of the season doesn’t go to a “cute girls doing cute stuff”-series, but instead to this “cute boys doing cute stuff”-thing. Seriously especially that red-haired kid just would not stop yapping! Next!

Kuzu no Honkai

“Okay, Noitamina! The final new show this season! Hit me with your best shot! Make it count! No, don’t start at a high school, you’re not the timeslot for that! Oh, okay, this does seem more solid than usual. Oh. What? WHAT?! WHAT!?! No! The abysmal incest trend has finally died, don’t you dare and bring it back, Noitamina!” – Like seriously, even if you wanted to take a serious look at incest, we have Koi Kaze for that. The only other reason I can think of that would warrant that is that while Koi Kaze was told from the male perspective, Kuzu no Honkai is from the female perspective. Okay, fair enough; fine in theory. But there is one very important detail it misses here: realistically incest can only happen if brother and sister didn’t grow up together, otherwise healthy brother and sister relationships develop the Westermark Effect, in order to prevent inbreeding and stuff. Koi Kaze makes it a point that both grew up in totally different circumstances. Kuzu no Honkai’s characters had a perfectly normal childhood. And I’m not saying that in extremely rare circumstances it couldn’t happen, but that takes me back to that incredibly annoying period in anime where it was more likely for a brother and sister to have the hots for each other than not. Any kind of shock value you want to have with this kind of twist is completely lost at this point if you want to do it this way. And this is a real shame, because aside from that little detail, this is an incredibly honest series about romance. And I really mean exceptionally honest. I know very few other shows that are this willing to get down and dirty, to deal with all the terrible feelings that come with unrequited love. Obviously all taboos are in, even the subtle ones (I mean, when was the last time anime portrayed main characters in an actual relationship that was actually realistic? I can name Fune wo Amu, but apart from that? And Fune wo Amu’s was like the complete opposite of the relationship in this series). So why the incest? This show could have worked just as well if they weren’t related dammit!

So, that’s the season. A little tl;dr summary:
Maybe: Masamune-kun no Revenge, Youjo Senki, Spirit Pact, Ao no Exorcist, Hand Shakers, Chaos;Child, Kuzu no Honkai, Piace, elDLIVE.
Good: Demi-chan wa Kataritai, Little Witch Academia, ACCA
Great: Uhmm… Classicaloid from last season? I may want to go and marathon that Shouwa series’ first season quite quickly…

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

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2

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

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

Potential: 80%

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

Potential: 70%

 

Chaos;Child

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

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

Potential: 20%

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

Potential: 20%

 

Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang

Short Synopsis:

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

Potential: 0%

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

Potential: 0%

 

Scum’s Wish

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

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

Potential: 50%

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

Potential: 70%

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

Onihei

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

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

Potential: 60%

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

Potential: 80%

 

Gabriel DropOut

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

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

Potential: 20%

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

Potential: 20%

 

ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

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

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

Potential: 50%

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

Potential: 60%

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

Hand Shakers

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

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

Potential: 0%

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

Potential: 0%

 

Kemono Friends

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

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

Potential: 0%

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

Potential: 10%

 

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

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

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

Potential: 10%

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

Potential: 20%

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

Little Witch Academia

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

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

Potential: 95%

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

Potential: 80%

 

Idol Jihen

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

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

Potential: 0%

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

Potential: 0%

 

elDLIVE

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

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

Potential: 10%

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

Potential: 10%

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

Spiritpact

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

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

Potential: 0%

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

Potential: 0%

 

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

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

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

Potential: 70%

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

Potential: 70%

 

Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

Short Synopsis: Fantasy war stuff, I guess?

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

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

Potential: 20%

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

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2

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

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

Potential: 95%

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

Potential: 95%

 

Seiren

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

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

Potential: 40%

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

Potential: 60%

 

Urara Meirochou

Short Synopsis:

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

Potential: 30%

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

Potential: 50%

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

Youjo Senki

 

Short Synopsis: A little girl named Tanya Degurechaff fights for the German Empire in World War One as the most dangerous sorcerer of the imperial army. However, she is actually one of Japan’s most elite salarymen, who prioritizes efficiency and her own career over anything else, that was reborn as a little girl after angering a mysterious being who calls himself God.

A decent start to one of the shows I am looking forward to this season. Animation wise this show is looking great as those war scenes really are just how I thought they would be. THey need a lot to keep up this level of quality though but I hope they can. However if there’s one thing that has suffered here it’s the female character designs. They differ quite heavily from the more realistic male soldiers and I can’t help but find them a little off putting so far. Tanya is fine but her subordinate just looks off at time. Doesn’t help that she has gotten a serious downgrade from she novel design. If you look it up the two don’t even look like the same person. However I don’t really get the decision to jump to chapter 3 of the novel right from the start. I am hoping that this was a flash forward and they plan to go back to the start. What is really needed here is Tanya’s inner monologue which paints an entirely different picture of her character. I do believe it was the intent to make this more an outside view of her so that people would be misguided by her character. Her voice is also strange to me as I often thought she would have a more intimidating tone but this voice could add to the more comedic aspects of this series. Overall this is a strong start but it hasn’t really shown what it can do yet.

Potential: 80%

HelghastKillzone: World War One seems to be in vogue with the release of Battlefield 1 and the Izetta: The Last Witch featuring some vintage hardware military in the Blitzkrieg phase of World War Two. Youjo Senki looks to become the show that Izetta promised but never delivered on with its good animation, depressing color palette and utter savagery that is Tanya Degurechaff. She is less of your standard magical anime girl and more like the calculating mind of Lelouch Lamperouge that has no qualms about loping heads off or incinerating entire groups with her superior magical levels. Speaking of magic, it is far more prevalent in Youjo Senki’s world and makes for an interesting conflict where entries armies clash using a mixture of traditional firepower alongside with fantasy powers.   

I don’t have any real gripes with the opening episode even though the story is being told in a different order. The fundmental objective of any opening episode is to hook the viewer into its world and Saga of Tanya the Evil fulfilled those goals for people like me who are unfamiliar with the source material.There are complaints about the drastic changes in the character design of Viktoriya Serebryakov and I actually don’t mind her anime dopy look because it matches her overly cheerful personality and airheadedness as opposed to the generic look in the manga. So  long as this show keeps its focus on Tanya ripping and tearing through her enemies with ruthless efficiency backed up by sound tactical decision making,  I can see this become one of the highlights in this sparse winter season.

Potential: 85%

 

Schoolgirl Strikers – Animation Channel

Short Synopsis: A bunch of schoolgirls fight monsters.

I have a firm belief that when this show finishes airing, no one will remember it. It is that kind of utterly forgettable show, not good enough to be watchable yet not bad enough to be entertaining. In a word it’s blah. Just a soulless show trying to cash in on current trends. Either way the monster in this show are ridiculously unthreatening to the point where I actually wonder if they mean any real harm. The only ones to stop them are schoolgirls with various fetish outfits. You gotta feel sorry for the team that decided the best battle attire would be bikini swimsuits. I found the school life elements don’t really mesh well with the whole battling supernatural beings as after an introductory battle we transition to a normal school day where it isn’t even mentioned. I originally thought that this was how they became Schoolgirl strikers but nope. Straight out of nowhere to interrupt the search for school mysteries our girls get messaged and blam. Sudden sci-fi complex and exposition about how the school is gathering girls to fight off monsters for…some reason. The girls themselves honestly feel like tropes ripped from other shows. Not really characters, more just quirks. It does warm my heart to see even a low priority show like this can have pretty decent battle animation but that could be because they replace the backgrounds with CGI to compensate. Anyway, this isn’t worth watching.

Potential: 0%

Mario: After watching this first episode, one thing that baffled me was whose perspective we’re supposed to follow here? In the beginning the red hair girl served as our main with her silly antics, but as soon as the long black hair appeared she was dropped like a falling apple. To make that issues more glaring these two girls don’t have any chemistry together at all. That same main girl who lose her memories is also something that we see way too often. I like the O’bli creatures aspect of the show but I don’t care much about those schoolgirl strikers at all. The story actually hinders to get darker later on. There’s never a good sign when those girls don’t really know what they’re fighting against or even why they fight. This show is more like a magical girl show in disguise (as strikers) and I expect this one to be a mildly effort at best.

Potential: 20%

 

Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu

Short Synopsis: A girl learns to ride a bike and goes to school.

You know what’s the problem with moe? It depends on making characters dumber in order to make them more “pure” and spur protective instincts because they can’t look after themselves. Hence why the female cast of any Key work tend to act more like eight year olds rather than genuine teenagers. But there’s a point where stupidity stops being endearing and just makes a character look bad. This girl crossed that point as she takes out a bicycle, tries to ride it and then realised that you have to pedal bikes in order to make them move forward. I mean wow, that’s just a level of stupidity that makes me think this girl isn’t ready for high school. In this show it’s clear that the effort went into the backgrounds as while the character designs are rough, the backgrounds are beautifully slush and vibrant. The story so far is like attending the first day of japanese high school and it certainly is as dreadfully boring as I imagined it. Other than that we just have a girl making friends which is been there done that to death. Look you want cute girls riding bikes then watch Long riders or even Bakuon if motorbikes suffice. This just isn’t worth it.

Potential: 0%

Mario: On my personal notes, I had been to Kamakura myself and it was a beautiful place; therefore I’m extremely glad I have a chance to see the settings again in anime. The show does justice to many attractions that made that town famous (the great Buddha statue, the ocean road, Mt Fuji from afar) but unfortunately that’s the end of my praise for this show. First off, the show goes completely overboard with the cherry blossoms to the point of irritating. The main girl is eccentric and carefree, but not in a good way. The plot is way underdeveloped, like how the show reveals that Hiromi was riding a kiddie bike with training wheels (that explained why she has no idea how to ride a bicycle), but isn’t that bike her old bike? Where does it from then? Why do all good, special things tend to happen only in class B? How can she appear fine without scratch after falling down so may time? The story so far is as generic as it gets and even compare to Long Rider last season this show is an inferior one. You don’t need to waste time on this.

Potential: 10%

Posted on 8 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

AKIBA’ S TRIP: THE ANIMATION

Short Synopsis: A boy and girl fight off possessed humans by stripping them of their clothes.

Honestly I expected this to be a lot worse but it could turn out decently watchable if the rest of the episodes match this then this could turn out to be a good series. I am quite skeptical on that however as it would require them to keep up this level of animation. The art and character designs are somewhat crude but I think this could be like the new Pokemon series where the artstyle was changed to allow for much more fluid animation. For the fight scenes here are actually pretty well animated and it does warm my heart that even lower budget studios can have some pretty good fight animation. The designs and general mannerisms of the characters do feel somewhat studio trigger like but with far more Otaku and Akiba pandering. Which has me worrying that instead of having more fight scenes they instead just run around buying figurines and worshiping Otaku culture. So far for a show about stripping people this looks alright but I would say there are likely better shows to watch this season.

Potential: 30%

 

Mario: And with this the new season has begun. Akiba’s trip’s not only the first series aired this Winter season, it’s also representing the very first new anime material of 2017. I think it’s very fitting that the Akiba’s Trip is a very typical anime product, set in the epicentre of otaku and anime madness: Akihabara. The show itself is terrible, full of fan-service (the very premise of stripping the enemies) and completely campy; the characters fall comfortably under your usual cliche types but Akiba’s Strip knows how to push those elements up with its shameless execution so yeah basically if you had a good time with this first episode chances are you gonna enjoy the rest of the show. Special kudos for the good use of many amusing scores here and there (I spotted Girls Just Wanna to Have Fun-inspired score in one instance). There will be more girls tripping; there will be more otaku-babbling and the show will get dull fast later on but hey, what’s wrong with dumb fun?

Potential: 20%

 

Fuuka

Short Synopsis: a boy, while twitting, crashes into a girl so she breaks his phone. Later, they meet up at school and go for a date.

You know as I get older I find that romantic comedy cliches become less endearing and more insidious. Take this for example, a girl crashes into the protagonist, in the crash she accidently shows him her panties and because he accidentally see her panties she breaks his phone and slaps him across  his face. In no way was that the protagonists fault and this girl is clearly out of line. If a girl did that to me I would punch her in the gut and tell her to pay for my phone. Doesn’t matter if she’s cute or a girl, that shits not on. Anyway this is a normal romantic comedy so far and it does gain a music element later. Though honestly that music part is mainly like Nana where it’s only there to heighten the drama rather than actually be about music. Protagonist is a bland plank who’s got girls after him left right and center. If you happen to know the author Seo Kouji and his works Suzuka and Kimi no Iru Machi then you might know what you are in for here. Fun fact the movie Half and Half that these characters go to see in this episode is a manga by him also. So the general rundown is this, this show is fanservice, stupid drama and apparently rage inducing plot twists.(Personally I wasn’t invested enough to be affected. Unlike Mario down there.) I won’t be watching the show but I might be keeping up with the reddit episode discussions because man, those things are gonna be entertaining.

Potential: 10%

 

Mario: I’m normally not a writer who give impression based on their previous works, but let me tell you my personal experience with this mangaka Kouji Seo. I had fallen victim for his works Suzuka and A Town Where You Live and I was raged over the latter especially (because it hadn’t finished by the time I read it yet). The guy made me stay invested to the characters and then breaking my emotions apart by his characters’ kneejerk, stupid, dumb decisions to make the romance more doomed and unbearable. Now I know his trick so I won’t fall very easily this time. That said, his introduction always be an ordinary rom-com set up before break everything up with melodrama and Fuuka takes up that trend. There’s a chemistry between Fuuka and the male lead but apart from that everything falls flat. All their encounters are your textbook rom-com, Yuu is a boring male lead and the sisters don’t do much except making everything feel even more awkward. If you’re into heartbreaking romance or if you enjoy the couple’s chemistry then Fuuka is for you, for me though I will jump off this train fast because I don’t think I can handle what awaiting me ahead.

Potential: 10%

 

Masamune-kun no Revenge

Short Synopsis: A boy seeks revenge on the girl who broke his heart.

Well for starters I should mention that the manga of this anime will be ending soon and from my information the anime intends to adapt the full manga. Which is good as there are not many harems which have conclusive endings. Admittedly calling this show a harem is somewhat questionable though it does qualify as there are at least four girls into the protagonist. Anyway I forgot how brutal Aki was in the beginning as here she did essentially ruin the rest of a boys high school life, by revealing personal information after an unjustified investigation and all because he asked her out. Sort of loses it’s comedy when you look at the context. Anyway this remains as relatively mediocre as I remember. If you don’t mind something being generic it does make for some watchable entertainment. There are tropes what with the male friend who looks like a girl and the loli mom. Threw me through a loop seeing the maid had blond hair, I always seen her as a redhead in the manga. For those watching this show more for the revenge aspect I say it doesn’t really pay off. This is a romantic comedy so you will be watching it for one of those two and not Aki getting some much needed just desserts. A decent watch while waiting for other shows but not something you should go out of your way to watch.

Potential: 40%

 

Mario: Admittedly, revenge story always intrigued me because it’s so damn entertaining to follow every step of the plan till the final showdown, and in that vein the show actually piques my interest throughout. The main casts are decidedly unlikable: jerk and bitch respectively but these traits are just their fronts for now so they will be more approachable soon (or so I hope), but the rest of the cast is unfortunately so uninteresting and full of cliché: loli mom (Why?), plain little sister, plain female friends, one-note school servant. The art is actually nice to look at for a high school comedy and I didn’t expect her secret to be that “out of the box” so I enjoy the ride so far. I will give if another episode to see how his revenge plan going to turn out. Revenge after all is the dish best served when it’s cold.

Potential: 35%

Posted on 14 October 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Please, don’t congratulate me on being back. It’s a pattern you see everywhere: an old blogger/writer returns after a long absence, gleefully announces a comeback, makes a few posts, only to disappear again. I want my return to be sustainable. In the past two years I’ve been bugged by a really annoying writer’s block, and I have not finished a single series, and I finally want to be able to sit something through entirely again. I’ve tried a few things here and there, but nothing worked so far, but this season I really will try to actively follow it again, starting with first impressions of every single series that newly came out (ignoring any past shows, because otherwise I’ll never get rid of my backlog). Oh, and please don’t worry about me. At this moment in real life, I’m at a better place than what I’ve ever been. Really busy as well, but not too busy to not have time to write.

I do want to thank everyone, in particular Aidan, K-off and Mario, for keeping the site alive after so long. I really couldn’t have hoped for anything better. You are all amazing, and I am sorry for not responding to anything.

So here it goes, in approximate order of air-date. I have not looked at any promotional material or reviews in advance, so these impressions are completely blind:

(more…)

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
I cant help but feel theres some cultural aspect I am missing to the Rakugo rant scene. Makes me sad.
Lenlo
Rakugo, continues to be great and gets another time skip. Im always surprised by how engrossing it is just listening to these people talk.
Lenlo
Makes me sad, just like Berserk. Got an entire shelf dedicated to it but its just so slow. stupid boat.
Lenlo
Vagabond was phenomenal, but its been on hiatus for years now hasnt it
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
Total users: 40

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