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
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
SuperMario
Not that I'm enjoying the winter either. Why autumn always go so fast?
SuperMario
Believe me but summer here is way too much. When it's too hot and dry it starts bushfiring really badly. And it's too hot that even a big fan straight in front of you don't do you any good
Kaiser Eoghan
What is this mysterious creature known as summer you refer to? =P My country is grey as a black and white film =P
SuperMario
I'm wondering how freezing you guys have to endure right now, but the place I came today in Aussie just reached 50 degree celsius this noon. So hot I felt myself burning
Lenlo
I think the part I liked the most, was just how satisfying those mud splatter sounds were. I dont know why, but its in my head
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki 6 subs came out at 11pm PST.
Lenlo
Atleast Rakugo didnt get held up. Still amazing as ever
AidanAK47
Well I spent my time waiting for it to come out by playing and finishing To the Moon. Got to say, it takes some real skill to make a game in RPGmaker that can make you really feel something. But maybe I am just a sucker for this kind of story.
SuperMario
Hey, I would be very frustrating if Hand shakers got delayed. But I agree this delay is caused by Being X. And Scum's Wish, haizzz, this is the show we love to get pissed at. Haha
Anonymous850298
I blame Being X.
AidanAK47
Sigh, Youjo Senki 6 is delayed. Why is it always the best shows that get delayed? If an episode of hand Shakers was delayed no one would give a crap but nope. Gotta be the show you want to watch right away.
AidanAK47
@Anon, in both anime and manga I never liked that character much.
Anonymous849783
Meh, dropped Masamune-kun. Seriously why do they always have to shove in these one dimensional characters with a crush out of f* nowhere. It never made any of these shows more interesting, it's always the opposite.
Vonter
@Kaiser Eoghan - I find it weird having the teacher being so unashamedly evil. In a way I like that, but at the same time I can't relate to the notion of people like that existing IRL.
Kaiser Eoghan
As I continue to watch scums wish, it becomes an anger inducing as much as it is engrossing experience.
AidanAK47
Or the UBW movie over the TV series. You just don't do that.
AidanAK47
That's like recommending someone to watch NGE death and rebirth instead of the TV series.
Kaiser Eoghan
Meh, I just got fed up with the padding in the tv version.
AidanAK47
Jojo has the kind of entertainment that clicks with you or doesn't so I understand if you didn't get into it. Though to give it a fair chance I would recommend trying the first episodes of Battle Tendency. It starts at episode 10 of the first season, you can jump to it. If that doesn't catch you then Jojos really isn't for you.
AidanAK47
Don't listen to Kaiser. The OVA is bad.
Kaiser Eoghan
....found out where a friend had been off to lately, making a movie and he ended up actually making and finishing and I got first dibs. Had a hard time commenting on it as I know the guy personally.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Totally with you on the academy thing.
@Lenlo: If you ever try jojo again and get onto part three go for the ova instead as it trims down an overly bloated arc.
Lenlo
For JoJos, I couldnt get through the first season. It just didnt hook me
Lenlo
What I dont understand is how anything other than Mob Psycho won best animation, cause my god.
Lenlo
I think Erased lost not because of the libido, but because Yuri was "gay" and "progressive" and most important of all, recent. Yuri had just finished airing so it was stuck in everyones heads. Of course it was going to win everything
AidanAK47
Erased truly deserved to win that category and it only lost because people voted with their libido instead of their head.
AidanAK47
If there's one thing that really makes me angry about these awards it's Yuri on Ice winning most heartwarming moment for "The Kiss". Because A) It wasn't a fucking kiss and B) Even if it was that isn't heartwarming. Oh I am sure something is getting warm but it sure as hell isn't your heart.
AidanAK47
Likely the main reason Kira didn't win main villain because Jojo has grown to a episode count which makes people hesitant to pick it up. Not to mention many would lose interest by Stardust crusaders midpoint.
AidanAK47
When it comes to judging quality you have to leave it to the people who have experienced enough of the medium to truly be able to critical judge it. Pretty darn sure most who voted didn't even bother watching everything worthwhile each season and just gravitated towards whatever they were exposed to.
AidanAK47
Lets not forget someone voting multiple times and bot voting. Because yes, people really do that. As you two pointed out, a public vote was never truly going to be a accurate gauge of quality. For you are not only opening the vote to anime lovers but also newbies and those who simply haven't refined their tastes yet.
SuperMario
so they either abstained their votes (which actually was reasonable); voted for something popular or even voted based on what their kids liked the most (which was flat out unforgivable).
SuperMario
This from my own frustration mostly when it comes to awards like this. But I've been following the Academy Awards for way too long now and every now and then you heard something that really disheartened about their voting process. Like for example many of the Academy members admitted that they don't care to watch anything animated because... it's kiddy stuff
SuperMario
TL;DR: my point is I have mixed feeling about the whole Crunchyroll awards. One more thing that I noticed about the nomination is that the pool was dominated by shows from the first half of last year.
Lenlo
I dont think public voting is the way to go is the thing. Popularity contests are horrible. With popularity contests moe is going to be near the top every time, while shows like Rakugo never really have a chance. And I think there is little doubt that Rakugo was one of the best shows last season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: there is an issue with the first thou, because reviewers like us don't actually represent the whole public opinions. So it's all come down to the very reason they create an award in a 1st place (your second point). But with voting we can't really reason why the winners win the trophy, right?
Lenlo
The problem with awards like that is for them to mean anything they need 2 things. 1) A board of voters who are actual reviewers who have watched a large portion of what was on shelf that season. 2) Reasons for why each thing won its award. An award without reasons means nothing
SuperMario
Other issue about voting for these awards is that the nominating body and the voting body aren't always the same. Usually the voting body is broader and more generic in taste, so I'm not at all surprised when shows like Rakugo couldn't win. Too art-house for their liking. Well, at least it got nominated which for me is good enough.
SuperMario
That's the thing. When it comes to awards, they are more 'popularity' contest than actual quality, since people tend to vote for the safer choice (the one that are both popular and mildly critical success), YOI fits the bill here.
Lenlo
Those awards were not the best and little more then a popularity contest imo.
SuperMario
Actually with that line-up I had no problems with YOI taking the top spot
SuperMario
I actually forgot about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards so I came to check the winner. Guess which show won AOTY huh? Alright, at least it wasn't Kabaneri or Jokers Game
Kaiser Eoghan
But the best one was Mask of Phantasm.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And return of the joker also.
Kaiser Eoghan
It has aged admittedly very poorly, but I always got a great kick out of that old 1994 spiderman cartoon.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think its fair to use the term K-anime or C-anime for the Korean and Chinese influenced stuff, or maybe just anime would be just as appropriate. If some Argentinian guy can write/draw a manga for a Japanese manga magazine (big comic superior thats the magazines name) and have it actually be called a manga, it should be the same for China/Korea.
Lenlo
Mhmm. Marvel had the movies, but DC had the animated series
AidanAK47
Man, I loved the villains of Batman Beyond. Inque and Shriek had such interesting powers. The DC animated shows tended to be the one that didn't treat you like a kid while watching.
Lenlo
Well, they released a trailer for Samurai Jack S5, so its coming. Batman Beyond I also enjoyed
AidanAK47
Ah Samurai Jack. Wonder how that Adult swim revival is going? Batman the Animated Series as well didn't need Batman to crack off jokes every minute to be great.
Lenlo
Agreed. Samurai Jack was one of my favorite cartoons for that very reason. It ran the gamut of genres, each episode being something different.
Also I used Nichijou cause it was the first to come to my mind as a "Kids Show", though Love-Ru works as well
AidanAK47
One thing I think Cartoons could do to move away from the stigma of being for kids is having more genres than Comedy and Action adventure. Or at least stop putting comedy in everything.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Every fanbase has it's fanatics. There are idiots everywhere.
@Lenlo, I thought this might come up though I was expecting more of "placing Berserk and To Love-Ru in the same category" thing. Honestly I don't have a rebuttal for that. What is an isn't anime is really a matter of what anime is to you.
Lenlo
Now Aidan, you say putting Berserk and Scoopy doo in the same category is wrong, but what about Berserk and say.. Nichijou? A similar problem comes up and I think thats more to do with Berserk being a pretty major outlier (And I love it for being so. Have all the original Dark Horse volumes on my shelf)
Lenlo
Really though, reading Reddit arguments about it is so much fun.
Lenlo
I do think that recently, a number of shows have been trying to move cartoon, and animation in general in the west, away from meaning "For Kids".
Lenlo
Im not sure sure about that Anon, look at the Steven Universe and MLP fanbases.
Anonymous840067
Aidan, that isn't true... Anime has a 'special' name because it's fan base is a lot more fanatical than the cartoon fan base.
AidanAK47
Though I think the whole "Its not for kids" is the main push. Looking at my anime collection the majority is rated 15 with a few 12s. It's like the way you have Young Adult and mature, Comic books and graphic novels, or Visual novels and Eroge. They are essentially the same thing but appeal to different audiences.
AidanAK47
Though I think what really pushes this argument is that the term anime at least has a badge of honor. You don't see people demanding a show to be called a cartoon.
Total users: 22

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