Posted on 16 April 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Sansha Sanyou

Short Synopsis:  A awkward former rich girl makes friends for the first time.

For the love of god someone turn down the brightness! Either my computers screen settings malfunctioned for a moment or this anime is so bright it could burn a hole through my retina’s. That literally glaring issue aside this is a decent show for those who are fans of the cute girls genre thing. I mainly details how a rich girl whose family become poor managed to make friends with two odd girls after a strange encounter during lunch. So the first episode was mainly of her attempting to keep a haughty attitude while being extra self conscious to try and not scare off her newfound friends. Even I with a heart of stone and a dark mind found her efforts to be friendly rather endearing. So in the grounds of giving you that feeling of needing to protect something it gets a passing grade. The comedy on the other hand doesn’t do anything for me. I would look more to flying witch if you were looking for something to make you feel fluffy inside but if you need another show to fill the gap then this should suffice.

Potential: 40%

 

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge

Short Synopsis: There’s a guy called Tanaka and he’s really lazy.

There are two comedy animes this season which are centered around a single joke. The first is Sakamoto desu ga and the second is this. Sakamoto’s joke is that Sakamoto is perfection incarnate. Tanaka-kuns joke is that Tanaka is very lazy. However Sakamoto is quite entertaining when Tanaka is just dull and boring. Why is that? Well the first aspect is that if you are building a series around a joke that you should make sure the joke is funny. In this case the joke is in the title and that joke is really more of a statement than a joke. Tanaka is very lazy, so what of it? Sakamoto made it’s joke work because of it’s ridiclous nature and the fact that the series is not corely about Sakamoto, but rather who Sakamoto effects though his actions. Tanaka is about Tanaka and there is nothing to him other than being lazy. Tanaka needs to be carryed everywhere…because he’s lazy. Tanaka is concerned with his position when he’s falling asleep…because he’s lazy. Tanaka wants to build up muscle so his legs and arms don’t fall asleep…because he’s lazy. This entire episode was refriming Tanaka was indeed lazy and that’s not a joke. KyoAni’s Chuunibyou show had a character just like this called Kumin and even she had more to her than Tanaka. This is a half hour of a comedian standing on stage talking about the weather. You sit waiting for the joke that never comes.

Potential: 0%

 

Kuromukuro

Short Synopsis:   Giant Robot aliens invade. So it’s up to a naked guy and some bland teenage girl to save the day.

You know, I am tired of animes that start the series with a random battle between two unknown factions. I mean truly what is the point of that? Without context on who is fighting, why they are fighting or whats at stake this fights tension can be replicated by me watching Rock em, Sock em robots. Of course I don’t want an exposition dump layered on top as other anime usually do but truly I don’t see the need of jumping to this moment in time to watch two robots duke it out. Perhaps this was to ensure the mecha fans that this series does indeed have mecha before launching into a tremendously boring school life segment were a girl attempts to return a phone her mother left behind at a parent teacher conference. I will say that this isn’t a bad show but a rather uninspired one. As one of the first anime to be exclusively simulcast on Netfllix, you could have made a better choice. Honestly, Crunchyroll, Funimation and the rest of you anime companies, hows about hiring someone who knows anime to decide what gets licenced or not. Maybe then you could have nabbed the obvious goldmine that is One Punch Man before Viz got it.(Heard you were dubbing OPM last month so you better do a great job on that) Back on topic, Kuromukuro has trouble so far balancing out it’s mecha and slice of life segments. The mecha CGI is also fairly underwhelming and the plot so far is straightforward of the genre. I am getting reminded of Rinne no Lagrange which held many of the same problems. Though in this case our main female character is lacking any real defining points besides mother issues and I fear that the male protagonist’s character arc will mainly be a fish out of water story. As I said in my preview, what will make this worthwhile or not is the ratio of mecha and school life. If the school life is going to be at the forefront here this this should make for an excellent sleeping pill from sheer boredom.

Potential: 30%

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

Sakamoto desu ga

Short Synopsis: Some boys attempt to bully a Student called Sakamoto, who is the perfect superhuman.

In essence, perfection is boring. Saitama from One Punch Man truly showed how unfulfilling it is to achieve perfection. However what if someone’s perfection is to such a ridiculous degree that they can do literally anything? Enter Sakamoto, the man who can sit on air, fly mary poppins style in tornados to save a bird and have a fight with a bee using a compass while working on math problems. Sakamoto is a man who can out Jojo the Jojo and has earned the nickname Swagamoto by the end of the first episode. I do think that this anime has lost some of the impact of the manga though the main reasons for that could be due to the music or that I am seeing these jokes for a second time. Still this can be an immensely entertaining show if it’s the kind of slapstick humor you like. This episode was more or less skits that involved guys trying to bully Sakamoto out of jealousy and getting frustrated as he turned each of their pranks into a way to make him look good. Each skit was separated with this odd interlude with three guys playing with a volleyball with the same repeating animation. It was rather odd addition to the series but somewhat amusing. On that last skit, you may think those kids were being silly overreacting to that bee in the classroom but people that was a Japanese hornet bee. Those things are about the size of your thumb, kill 40 people a year and are absolutely goddamn terrifying. Which makes Sakamoto’s battle with it all the more impressive. Godspeed, you magnificent bastard.

Potential: 80%

 

Haifuri

Short Synopsis: Cute girls playing battleship.

Well we have had cute girls being soldiers, cute girls in tanks, cute girls being battleships and now we have cute girls on battleships. Now all we need is cute girls in the luftwaffe and we got all the parts for a full military Moe army. I spent the majority of this episode dutifully bored out of my skull as I see two children bring out a trope as old as pokemon and declare themselves to become blue mermaids. Those being this world’s equivalent to the navy. For you see this world takes place when the earth has been flooded by rising seas and this has somehow inexplicably lead to it suddenly becoming every little girl’s dream to sail the seas on a battleship. Meanwhile I assume all the men decided to become doctors and farmers and whatnot offscreen because the Navy is suddenly female only. The moment you question the premise is the moment it falls apart so let’s just as the cheap excuse to ride the tailwinds of Kantai collection and move on. Now I would be writing this off pretty fast and intended to up until the second half where the plot has come into play. And yes, there is a plot. I was surprised too. For you see it seems the instructor of their class didn’t put an idiot as captian because she believed in her but rather so she could lead them out to a secluded area of sea and push them into attacking her boat so she can declare them traitors. So now we have a bunch of cute girls on a battleship called the Hasekaze who need to fight off their own navy and hopefully clear their name. I admit that upon watching this I wasn’t expecting a less gritty rendition of Battleship Potemkin featuring cute girls being cute. I am curious on just how they plan to approach this as I doubt we will be getting death and murder in the counterattack. A nice little underdog story about these girls trumping over a full navy with dwindling supplies and ingenuity would make for an interesting tale. However based on what I seen in the first half I doubt they can make it work.(I concede that the rice cooker joke was pretty funny) It’s got more substance than other cute girl shows airing this season so I suppose this would be the best option if you are looking to see it.

Potential: 40%

 

Flying Witch

Short Synopsis:  A young witch moves to a quiet town to live with her cousins.

This is the kind of show where you make a cup of tea, sit down and just watch as all your worries melt away. Flying witch really benefits from being animated because now it just feels fluffy and warm. It’s very much like the Aria series which was a slice of life coming of age story that was so relaxing that it could put you to sleep if you try to marathon it. Not joke on that, it’s a great show but the atmosphere can have you drifting off if you try watching too many episodes in a row. This has that exact same feel. It’s harmless, light and puts a silly grin on your face. There’s no big plot developments and it’s more or less in tune with the less eventful episodes of Natsume Yuujinchou or Kiki’s delivery service. There are some nice moments of comedy with the mains lack of direction and the characters are so far pretty likeable. Sometimes you just need a show like this which can fill you with that soft serenity that’s slowly whittled away by the daily humdrum. Or you know…you can play a videogame where you blow zombies heads off with a shotgun. Whatever floats your boat.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 10 April 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kiznaiver

Short Synopsis: A mysterious girl Kidnaps six strange characters and makes it that they share pain between all of them in an experiment to find a solution to world conflict.

My first thought when watching this was that this was fairly mellow for a trigger series. The likely explanation behind that is because the director who gives it’s shows it quickfire humor and energy is busy animating a ten minute anime series called Space Patrol Luluco in this season. Not to say there isn’t any distinct “trigger” in this show as a moment where the mascots wheel a character through a hospital with disco balls would heartly disagree. I am really liking the opening as with watching a lot of standard opening animations season after season it’s nice to see someone try something difference. Kiznaivers Opening is mesmerising though could make people potentially dizzy. My potential rating would be higher if only I was aware of just where this story was going with this concept. My closest guess would be a kind of story like Kokoro Connect which involved a group of kids linked together by a supernatural affliction and the drama that came with it. If that’s the case then I am fully on board as I felt that Kokoro never truly did the excellent concept justice. I am also happy to see that Trigger looks to have gathered funds from it’s previous projects because there is very little penny pinching with this animes animation. In fact I will even say this, Kabaneri may have the best art of the season but I think Kiznaiver has the best animation. There is a definite feel of passion in the movement and the characters feel truly alive. Not only that, while they are not truly original(In fact a number of them may remind you of previous Trigger works) they are all pretty likeable and distinct. I am interested to see where this goes and seeing as Kiznaiver won the straw poll in my season preview it looks like I will be letting you know just how this turns out.

Potential: 85%

 

Bungou Stray Dogs

Short Synopsis: A group of supernatural detectives named after famous authors try to track down a tiger chasing after an abandoned Orphan.   

Even animated my impression of this story still remains the same. Perhaps it’s the resemblance to Blood Blockade battlefront that causes me to not get engaged in this or it could be just a lack of interest. I give this a middling mark as I think there could be those who could find this interesting but it just doesn’t appeal to me. There was a significantly large amount of comedy involved than I remember and one or two jokes got a smile but the rest didn’t really hit me. The twist at the end of the episode does open up possibilities for the rest of the show but the characters feel like they are trying too hard to be comedic. Especially Dasai with his jokey obsession with suicide which I find is rather disrespectful to the author. How much actual detective work in this show looks to be minimal as it’s seems to be more along the lines of meaningless term for a supernatural task force. We only know of three characters so far and I mainly just know their comedic quirks rather than personalities. This is a show I have difficulty making a judgement call on so I think the best way to see if this is for you is to just check it out yourself. It has it’s interesting aspects but it just doesn’t do anything for me.

Potential: 50%

 

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

Short Synopsis: Our MC tries to build a new weapon in a world where people build huge walls to hide from the Titans…um I mean Kabaneri.

It’s rather redundant to say just where the inspiration for this show came from and it screams it with it’s every phore. Now by all means I am not against making use of a similar idea; if you can take a concept and turn it’s themes to present a new perspective then there is no shame in making use of a popular property as a base for your own story. However if you are going to do that then you should make use that the changes you make to the idea to differentiate it are there to make it more interesting and not more derivative. Sadly I think that Kabaneri has taken the latter route in it’s execution. The switch from Western to eastern culture for the setting is quite interesting but switching titans for zombies is just a bad move. Titans were interesting because they presented a new challenge to taking them down that made it more dynamic and exciting. Now they are just zombies which are essentially so overdone to an massive degree. Zombies are the standard now. Couldn’t we have gone for something more interesting like say ghosts or centaurs or something? So there is a heavy amount of borrowing from another source and what it has added in to replace it is significantly more cliche. However there is merit to this one. For one the artwork is very pretty with character designs invoking the style of 80s to 90s OVAs. Not the bland style of Endride but the more Ninja scrollish approach. Also like Ninja scroll we have plenty of gore. Uncensored for your viewing pleasure. Sawano is doing the OST though so far it’s far too reminiscent of his previous work. The biggest problem here is the writer who hasn’t written anything good after Code Geass. The story already has logical plotholes. For example, why did they get the first train to stop before pulling down the drawbridge yet lower the drawbridge for the second straight away? Why does the main character have a device that looks to be for the primary use of choking someone? What’s the point of building walls to keep out creatures that look like they can climb things without trouble? As well as a lot of people acting really dumb just to make the protagonist look better. I don’t have much faith in this writer and I think the plot holes are only going to get worse from this point on. However perhaps we can look past that and just enjoy the pretty visuals.

Potential: 60%

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

Anne Happy

Short Synopsis:   A group of girls are placed in a class for the unlucky

I feel like I watched lucky Star with a slight variation on the main characters. Can’t really say much about this one. The comedy relies on how these girls end up in unfortunate situations due to their own characteristics. Super Genkai girl keeps getting into trouble while trying to help animals, Sick glasses girl keeps getting injured and is self deprecating and the most normal girl of the group is in love with a construction sign mascot. The problem is that I have seen this before. Somewhere or somehow I have seen these elements before and it leaves me quite unamused. This isn’t bad but more…pointless? I mean there are much better comedy alternatives and better “Cute girls doing cute things” alternatives. I see no reason to recommend this show at all.

Potential: 0%

 

Bakuon!!

Short Synopsis: Cute girls love motorcycles the anime.

If we are going to go with the tired concept of mentality regressive girls hanging out in a club then at least we can stick some motorcycle trivia on to it. I can’t say this one is breaking any anime conventions but being about a girl who’s getting into motorcycles at least gives it a new tropic to work with. Our main however seems like she has a fairly low IQ with her riding her bike to school while making motorcycle noises with her mouth. Accompanying her we have a overzealous motorcycle euteusinest, a older girl who never speaks or takes off her helmet and a girl with a taste in horrible motorcycles. It’s mildly watchable I guess and if you are into this kind of show I believe this will give you your fix better than Anne Happy. While this kind of show isn’t for me at least the slutty inner motorcycle voice that instructs the main got me to smile.

Potential:30%

 

Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta

Short Synopsis: Guess what? There are women on the internet. I know, shocking.

I am not amused. So our main protagonist happens to find out that the people he parties up with in a online game are all female and this so called in game wife happens to be a single, beautiful big breasted girl who’s all over him. You know I am not against wish fulfillment anime, after all a lot of entertainment I do enjoy is essentially wish fulfilment. But can we not have it as thinly veiled as it’s presented here? Look, I can certainly relate to wishing to find a girl who happens to share your interests and happens to be a looker but let’s have some realistic standards here. Besides this so called perfect girl would annoy the holy hell out of me be it in real live or in a game. I mean just think of her clinging to you like this while talking in this high voice that could grate cheese into fine powder and you will find that some things work better in theory than in practice. We have a harem incoming as our twin Tail tsundere(Pointed out by the characters onscreen to be an anime cliche but again doesn’t mean you are subverting it by drawing attention to how lazy your characterization is.) is already attached to our main. The student council president is clearly a work in progress and spoiler warning but that guy who the MC was humiliated by confessing to while thinking she was a girl was actually his young female teacher. Ain’t that convenient? I found this to be rather cringe worthy and quite insipid. As the anime showed highly animated versions of the characters talking within the game I couldn’t help but wonder just how this was really happening. For we see scenes of them displaying and reacting to each other in game but when we zoom out back to real life we see the game has the graphical fidelity of Runescape. So technically those scenes displayed ingame are straight up impossible with that interface. Either way this is not funny nor worth your time. Give it a pass.

Potential: 0%

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

Joker Game

Short Synopsis: In the beginning of WWII a group of spartan trained spies attempt to catch an American spy hiding in the country.   

Marvelous. Maybe it’s the lack of teenagers, maybe it’s the uncommon setting, or just maybe it’s because the spy leader is remarkably similar to Houzuki from the visual novel Sharin No Kuni but I loved this episode. Our protagonist is a straight laced Japanese Nationalist which makes him the perfect viewpoint for this story. As while we aren’t the type to die for the glory of Japan, our mains straight laced morals act as a good venue to highlight the nature of a spies work. For we aren’t dealing with the guns and glory James Bond style of spy but instead the true nature of a spy. Deception and stealth are the name of the game with combat being the last resort. This opening episode sets that up perfectly as we have our team of spies introduce our main to the “Joker Game”. On the surface a normal game of poker but on a deeper level a game of sabotage and deceit as players try to out cheat other players through bribery and hand signals. Having thus be viewed from an individual whose doctrine is set in honor gives us a clear picture on the nature of a spy. A spy resorts to any means necessary to complete the mission, no matter how dishonorable it would be to the masses. The atmosphere of this episode had a level of style that immediately caught my attention from the opening. However what’s obviously going to be a rather controversial matter is with the setting. As we all know, Japan wasn’t exactly playing with the good guys in this war so how that is shown here might cause some outrage if not handled delicately. However if this episode is an example of what is to come then I am very much looking forward to how this turns out.

Potential: 95%

 

Twin Star Exorcists(Sousei no Onmyouji)

Short Synopsis:  A boy becomes an exorcist again to save a strange female exorcist.

SIgh…oh Studio Pierrot. First let me say that this first episode wasn’t bad per say and I am more in despair over how the rest of this series will likely turn out. I have read the manga of this and I can say it’s pretty good. Nothing revolutionary but a fun read. Now the first chapter or two of this series is admittedly not all that impressive as it plays by the numbers up until the main defining aspect of this series. (Namely about how it has been foreseen that these two are destined to get married and give birth to an exorcist who will save humanity) This first episode does cover the events of the first chapter but rather loosely. There are lots of small little unnecessary changes such as adding additional scenes and omitting some jokes. One casualty is that in the manga when Rokudu jumped into the water to save Benio; she had already swam to the shore and saved herself. Then she needed to jump back in to save him because he didn’t know how to swim. Considering how the humor was handled here though I think it would be less amusing. Jokes that were in the episode that made me smile in the manga left me stone faced here. It’s hard to pin down but there is something off about the presentation here. Of course that could be because the animation is fairly lackluster and considering it’s Studio Pierrot that’s really to be expected. The soundtrack is quite disappointing as the music featured in the PV looks to be the opening theme and the episodes music really isn’t noteworthy. Most of my gripes with this episode are surely minor as it did a decent job despite the needless changes. There is terrible news that comes with this however for you see I have heard word that this anime will have four cours. Now that’s pretty rare for an anime to have four cour’s and would be a cause for celebration…if the manga didn’t only have enough material for about an cour and a half. Filler ahoy! We already have an anime original character who has only been heard yet already annoys me. Looks like we have another Naruto adaption on our hands people; if you remember; the first part of Naruto was 220 episodes long and more than half of that was filler. But who knows? Perhaps they can pull through and present us with an original adaptation with it’s own merits such as the original Fullmetal Alchemist. I highly doubt it but hey they haven’t screwed up yet. Yep, not yet but sadly eventually.

Potential: 30%

 

Macross Delta

Short Synopsis: Saving the world with Mecha and JPOP idol tomfoolery.  

Um….hah? I am rather perplexed as to how to react to this one. I was um…new? Our story revolves around a stowaway girl who wishes to join a group called Walkyurie which is some kind of Galaxy counter terrorism organisation mixed with a JPOP idol group. Their main job is to stop cases of a virus called VARS which is a strange disease which causes people to have tons of engorged veins on their skin and start causing destruction through…suicide bombings…and mass shootings…and the attack in this episode is in a middle eastern named planet…subtle guys. Real subtle. My ventures into the Macross franchise haven’t been many(Those being Plus, Zero and Frontier.) but I think the series has moved very far away from what Macross is supposed to be. Them Idols throwing around magic shields and such while singing JPOP were a bit too reminiscent of Symphogear and completely ridiculous. But I suppose that’s the big issue here. I am supposed to take this seriously or laugh and just roll with it? Based on the presentation I can’t really tell because it goes from serious mecha battles to magical girl idols with the same level of sincerity. One of the idols fires a laser that turns into a bunch holographic back up dancers. Our main protagonist has a method of fighting that makes his robot look like it’s dancing. Our main heroine has this weird design were one of her strands of hair ends in a heart which glows. Is that some weird growth or is she some kind of alien hybrid? Or is it there just for no reason? I mean really, just what am I to make of this? I guess there were parts I liked…maybe? Mecha seems decent and even some of the JPOP is catchy despite being cheesy. I was getting reminded of Frontier and that wasn’t too bad a show. But for the most part I just don’t know how to react to this.

Potential: 40%

Posted on 6 April 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

Short Synopsis: A boy is summoned to another world where he finds himself reliving the same day over and over again.

Wow. ANN is not pleased with this one. I normally don’t check out their first episode preview because well I have to watch all these shows anyway regardless of how bad they are. But I heard they blasted this one pretty hard. It’s on these kinds of shows that make me glad that I go out of my way to check the source material because I could very well be doing the same thing if I didn’t. Not to say this double length feature episode was bad but despite subverting cliches it also adhears to cliches as well. Our protagonist is well aware of the other world genre and is thinking that now he is in one that he will be getting some sort of special superpower. Technically he did but it’s far from desirable. It is true that addressing a cliche is not subverting a cliche if you still use said cliche. In this case the main thought he would encounter a cute girl. He did but said cute girl ignores him and runs off to leave him to get beaten up. But then another girl shows up and helps him. As I said, in some ways it subverts and in others it sticks to the standard. Can’t say I am fond of our heroine as she does seem a stereotype and remains so for as far as I have read into this story. However I do think this story is still worthwhile because you can claim it’s following the standard but if the standard involved seeing the protagonist dying horribly over and over again then I would think much better of the genre. Our self proclaimed hikikomori Subaru may be a guy with decent strength but he isn’t going to be gaining godly power like much of our usual other world protagonists. I like the guy as well because at least he’s a step above the standard. Sure his comments about this being an other world story at the beginning are annoying and quite frankly he should have noticed that his was in a time loop by the second run but the man has the drive to learn. I wasn’t too fond of the first episode and in that I think it was a wise decision for white fox to make this a double feature. So far they are doing a great job with adapting the source, in particular I like how they handled the beginning with intercutting scenes of his first death with his time before entering the world. I am not going to make any promises of this being great(For one I believe caricature characterisation is a big weakness in the source) but I think some critics will start changing their tune as the series continues. Besides, I hear the author is a Sadist and if that’s the case…(smirk)

Potential: 90%

 

Hundred

Short Synopsis: A clearly mentally unstable girl challenges a boy to a fight…just..screw it. I don’t care anymore

Can I please have the brain cells that died while watching this episode back? I mean good god just how utterly insipid is this. I am insulted, purely insulted at the outright lack of effort. Truly just how stupid do you think I am, show? Do you honestly believe that I think that girl crossdressing as a boy is a genuine boy? A boy who wears ribbons, has a ponytail and enacts a level of physical contact that would have any normal guy reeling back and asking just what the hell is wrong with you? Oh sure us guys give each other lap pillows all the time. And oh no it just gets worse. A student council president that can expel students? Just…what?! Why? How? Isn’t that just asking to be abused? Not a clingy incest imouto! For the love of god leave some cliches to go die! Also every big boobed girls first appearance is first her chest and then it pans up to show their face. Sort of like the show is saying “Hey look at these breasts! Aren’t they massive!…Oh yeah she has a face too.” So I could go into detail about what this show isn’t worth your time…but really why should I bother. Look if this show isn’t going to put a modicum of effort into presenting a story then truly why should I even try to critic it. Instead I think I will just ask questions. What’s up with main protagonists and fire flashbacks? Is there some kind of pyromaniac who transcends dimensions just to set fire to any place in a flashback? Why was there a minutes worth of some pretty impressive animation for what amounts to our protagonist talking with two other students? Do people not confuse the Monster Savage with the actual term for a Savage? Isn’t there better alternatives to fighting them than using crystals? Biological warfare for example? Isn’t it really inconvenient to have a school on a boat? I mean yeah, Savages are about but I think that Kids that get sea sickness would be screwed at this school. Why is that council president idiot trying to expel two students for being late to a opening ceremony while giving some silly tripe about teamwork when later a clip of her fighting shows she doesn’t work in a team at all?! Just…just…GAH! Hell with it! What’s the point of complaining? It’s crap, it’s lazy, stupid and probably going to get a second season. This just goes to show that for every good Light Novel, there will be a hundred “Hundred”’s.

Potential: 0%

 

Seisen Cerberus

Short Synopsis: A boy seeks out artifacts that were used to seal a dangerous dragon in ancient past.  

After Hundred, I was far removed of patience so perhaps this might not be a fair assessment. But regardless of how I feel currently I think my opinion on this would be the same. I feel pretty indifferent to it. The writing certainly isn’t notable. “He’s holding that sword with one hand. He must be a real master of the blade” Or maybe he’s just strong? Doesn’t really speak for his skills as a swordsman. The artstyle is not all that appealing and I can’t say the music made an impact. What I am seeing here is checking the boxes for a typical show of this mediocre caliber. However what really kills it is the feeling of the dialogue. Every word that comes out of a person’s mouth feels staged, like they pulled it out a recommended selection of lines that would be appropriate for the scene. It’s all just so artificial and this show should be convincing me to feel something for it’s story. It could be fun for some but I think the majority will find no reason to continue.

Potential: 20%

Posted on 5 April 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Boku no Hero Academia

Short Synopsis: A boy with no superpowers wishes to be become a hero.

For the most part I need to reiterate what I said in my said in my season preview about this show. There is nothing particular wrong with it as it does make at least a pretty decent Shounen. If I had to fault it for anything I would say it’s uninspired. There are a lot of aspects which reflect other shounen series and it feels to me like it’s following a formula. But what bugs me the most is that it goes for the less interesting story when it had a potentially greater story in it’s beginning. Midoriya is powerless and despite his desire to be a hero he has no realistic means of achieving it. What comes to pass in the next episode is that he is given a means to obtain a quirk(Aka power) but to me that undermines the lesson of the start. It would have been a far more powerful and interesting story if Midoriya had to make use of his intelligence and cunning to make a name for himself as a hero without a quirk. Which would make him an inspiration for all the quirkless. But instead we have him reinforce the class division and make it that he can only succeed by obtaining a quirk. Still if you can push aside that thought then this can be a decent shounen to watch as we do have some impressive animation on display and a decent hook. (Try not to compare it to One Punch Man. It only comes off worse for it.) It will be a fun little show to watch in between series.

Potential: 60%

 

Endride

Short Synopsis: A boy who loves crystals is dragged to an alternate world.

Well that certainly was something so bland it could be classified as a cheap 90s OVA that was made in the present. There is something about this that just has an aura of cheapness in it’s conception. The protagonist is run of the mill besides his fixation on crystals, the artwork is utterly generic and the setting screams that it is a cheap knockoff of other done to death settings. Even the animation is utterly lackluster as the fight scenes in this episode were determined to show anything other than the fight itself. Watch in awe during a fight as you see a boy with a strained look on his face while weapons clang in the background. The weapons as well just look bad with the main villains weapon resembling a safety pin with a spear stuck to one end. I would be exaggerating if I called this terrible but in truth it is something worse. This is forgettable. This is the kind of anime that is lost to the ages to never be remembered. It isn’t good enough to be recalled nor bad enough to be hated. It’s just…bland.

Potential: 0%

 

Kuma Miko

Short Synopsis: A girl wishes to go to school in the city but is stopped by her guardian who happens to be a talking bear.

This is pretty fun. It’s an enjoyable comedy with some good jokes and decent comedic timing. The chemistry between Natsu the bear and the miko is smooth and makes the nature of the screwball comedy work well. The artwork is bright and pops out while the character designs are easy on the eyes. Natsu’s transitions from bearlike to nonthreatening is nicely done. I liked the reference to Jaws in the beginning and the folktale that happened to sound like a bizarre hentai doujin. Though I must repeat that this likely isn’t going to impress you if you are looking for a laugh out loud comedy. I smiled but I find the show decently enjoyable at best. This isn’t something I see being top of the season.

Potential: 60%

Posted on 4 April 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Ace Attorney(Gyakuten Saiban)

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is a lawyer that says “Objection!!”

Its as I feared. For you see in video game adaptions you have to rip out a core part of the experience and pray that another aspect has enough strength to hold it’s own. In this case it clearly cannot do that as all tension was ripped from the situation. This is admittedly the tutorial case for the game and watching the anime it’s clear that an anime only watcher could notice that. The dialogue that clearly made reference to game mechanics and the visual text boxes that are clearly there for the fans of the games. In the games the tension of the case was there because it was you who was looking over the court record and finding inconsistencies in the witnesses statement. When you cut out that aspect it just feels like Phoenix(Calling him Naruhodo just feels weird to me) is pulling the answers out of nowhere with little effort. This could be remedied in future episodes as we follow him investigating the case but it won’t fix the problems in presentation. This entire episode just felt off. The beginnings pacing was too fast, the music felt inappropriate and terrible, art is passable at best and something wasn’t right about the animation. To me this feels like it wasn’t a top priority project for A-1 pictures and something about it just makes it seem lazy. But perhaps the fault simply is that Ace Attorney can’t transition to anime because it’s game format was an important part of it’s charm.

Potential: 30%

 

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Diamond is Unbreakable

Short Synopsis: Once again a new Jojo must face a Bizarre enemy

The first thing you will notice is the art style which is very evocative of the Bronze age of comic books. It takes some getting used to but it is a rather interesting style despite the strange use of colour. It seems I will be able to enjoy this series without watching the rest of stardust crusaders as we seem to be on a brand new storyline. My only question being just why is Jotaru’s cap fused with his skull? Did something happen or is that just a weird design choice? Either way this is looking to be a return to form for Jojo as our new protagonist has a much more interesting power and personality. His way of snapping when someone makes fun of his hair is quite amusing and the weird method he has of fighting opens up a whole new layer of possibilities with future encounters. The presentation is very old school and has a certain charm to it. If you seen Jojo you know what to expect here and I can say it’s still delivers on that. Whether it can keep up the steam depends on how this Arc turns out.

Potential: 70%

 

Mayoiga

Short Synopsis: A group of crazies are on a bus trip to a secret village to start their lives over.

While it hasn’t been confirmed, it looks to be certain this is a horror anime. For this episode has ominous vibes throughout and I like that. There is a lot of potential here in the eerie atmosphere and a huge cast full of mentally unstable characters each with their own problems. Of course because it’s such a huge cast there are a number of stereotypes present. A rapper, a chuunibyou, a delinquent, smart glasses guy…the anime spends five minutes just having each one introduce themselves. There are a few interesting one such as a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder and a girl wearing a hoodie who looks to know more about this than the others. I would complain that this is far too huge a cast for a twelve episode series but there are heavy hints that a lot of these people will be killed off. I am fairly interested in what is to come but I am also worried as horror such as this requires a subtle hand. Subtlety is not Okadas strong point. I like the foreshadowing this episode had but a lot of up was in your face. Such as two songs that happened to have grim lyrics and some pretty big signs that these people are already dead and this is some kind of purgatory. Okada is going to need to restrain herself and not up the melodrama to cartoonishly exaggerated degrees for this horror to be good. Still I wouldn’t mind a nice anime slasher flick myself either. There’s a lot to like here but I need to see just what Okada is going to do with this setup and characters. I hope she pulls through on this because anime horror is sorely needed by the medium.

Potential: 80%

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

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

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

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

Potential: 30%

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

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

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

Potential: 50%

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R

Short Synopsis: A small time idol becomes a magical girl

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

Potential: 0%

Ajin

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

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

Potential: 85%

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

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

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

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

Potential: 90%

 

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

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

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

Potential: 55%

 

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

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

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

Potential: 0%

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  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 05:08 AM)
    @Kaiser As Tom Lehrer said, “always predict the worst, and you’ll be hailed as a prophet.” Not putting that movie down or anything, but the 70s was a period of time when it was rather easy to pick on the middle east in the middle of the OPEC embargo.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:22 AM)
    Loosely related but damn, I remember when Network called out (though briefly) America’s relation with the saudi’s.
    Brave 70s movie.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:20 AM)
    They pretty much own a chunk of our economy, we can’t afford that shizz right now. Granted their own economy ain’t hot enough to pull their investments, but oil countries stay afloat as long as they have oil.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:17 AM)
    Saudi Arabia was involved you say? Nonsense! Only 9 of 12 perpetrators were Saudi, and you know only the other three matter.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:01 AM)
    @Kaiser Oh yeah, I have a huge problem with how Saudi Arabia’s been skirting around those issues and making backdoor connections they knew they couldn’t uphold. Lucrative deals dating back to FDR, the Gulf War, and now they’re fighting some bullshit proxy war in Syria with their money.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:49 AM)
    @K-off: I see the Saudi’s are pretending they weren’t in on 9/11.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:47 AM)
    @K-off: On a funnier side of politics though, Gerry Adams got in trouble for shitweeting about Django Unchained, trying to compare black oppression to Irish being oppressed, also people went apeshit because he jokingly said nigger.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:44 AM)
    @Kaiser and then there’s Turkey, which wants in on the EU really badly but can’t seem to behave itself when it comes to oh-so-stable caucusus region.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:39 AM)
    Though Britain leaving the EU is a curious thing…as Northern Ireland would have to go along with that…
    …I would be then in a country that is partially in the EU.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:38 AM)
    @Bam Granted, hitler thought that his modern weaponry would be enough of a force multiplier to do what Napoleon couldn’t do with horses.

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