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

Grimms Notes The Animation

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

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

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

 

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale

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

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

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

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

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

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

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

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

 

Endro!

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

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

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

 

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai

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

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

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

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dimension High School

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

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

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

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

 

Domestic na Kanojo

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

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

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

 

Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka

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

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

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

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

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

Short Synopsis: An unsociable mystery novelist adopts a cat, which takes better care of him than he does of it.

Aidan’s review:
I stick to my original assessment from the preview that this series is cute. Not the brand of cute that moe show try to peddle by making teenager girls act like five year olds. Instead the kind that warms the soul. Admittedly the first half of this episode from the humans standpoint was less interesting than the viewpoint from the cat but once it switched things got significantly better. This show manages a nice balancing act between being silly and cute with some small emotional gut punches thrown in. Animation and adaption both seem to be quite solid so no problems on that front. It makes for likely the best “healing” show from the season and might make for a good show to brighten things up after watching something more dark and intense, like Promised Neverland. If you are a cat lover it’s certainly a show to stir the soul and should prove for an enjoyable watch.
Potential: 70%

Wooper’s review:
Do you like cats? If so, you’ll probably dig this series; if not, you’re significantly less likely to enjoy it. There’s not much more to Hizaue (the portmanteau used by the official website) than that. The story is certain to incorporate a healing aspect, given the tragic backstories of both the human and feline main characters, and there are other people hanging about for the author to grumpily converse with, but the show is mostly about the relationship between a man and his cat. This episode had a neat POV-based gimmick, telling a simple story from the human’s eyes in the first half, then replaying the same events with the cat as the narrator. There was some reused footage during the latter segment, but not as much as I expected, which was nice. Despite that pleasant surprise, the visuals were plain, with much of their charm coming from stylized stills with thick outlines and exaggerated facial expressions. Still, the cat is cute, which is the most important element of a series like this. I’m in for at least another episode.
Potential: 50%

Mario’s review:
It’s a story about an exclusive writer and the cat and how they begin a relationship together. Well, I’m not at all kidding about what I just said because the show went there. It’s fluffy, but it’s the right kind of fluffy because these two characters are an unlikely duo. The writer’s negative patterns can get on the nerve from time to time, but his interaction with this cat is awesome. What makes this show “special”, is that during the last half it tells the story in the cat’s eye of view (with narration to boot) and that when we get a full picture of two individuals who try to understand each other. This one is a keeper.
Potential: 40%

 

5-Toubun no Hanayome

Short Synopsis: A boy is hired to teach a family of quintuplet girls.

Aidan’s review:
It’s fine. As far as anime goes this is a decent watch. As far as harem anime go this is above average as it makes much more of an effort besides putting some tits on a screen. What makes the concept work is that our protagonist is someone with an ego and bounces nicely the the varied personalities of the five girls. A snarker like Sakuto from bunny girl but a bit more on the savage and blunt side as he quite literally does not care what anyone has to think. Unfortunately the animation is lesser tier with the series itself not looking too impressive but at least being passable. The comedy of the manga has also suffered immense adaption decay making some of the witter lines fail to land an impact. I say for what it is this is a good show for those looking for something of an in between show that doesn’t really require much of a mental commitment. PS: Miku is still best girl. My Logic is undeniable.
Potential: 40%

Mario’s review:
It’s one of those cases where you don’t judge book by the premise. The concept of a boy and 5 harem girls might allure you to a basic eroge game, but so far it sells its concept with flying colors. The biggest strength of it is that the jokes keep coming at you, mostly based on how each girl bounces off with the main guy, producing endless snappy interactions and they all spark different chemistry to our male lead. The production is on the weak side and I heard the anime so far doesn’t translate quite well all the jokes from its manga source. I do feel the main guy needs to work more to be more than just a self-insert faceless lead, and we can all guess how this story is going to span out, but if it keeps this level of strong chemistry between its cast (and pray that the production value don’t drop significantly), we’ll have for ourselves a comedy of the season here.
Potential: 50%

 

Circlet Princess

Short Synopsis: A gamer girl enters the world of virtual Esports.

Mario’s review:
Surprise. Surprise. Circlet Princess is a sport show. Well, it introduces a new battle game as sport and it runs all the templates that we’ve seen before in other, better anime. A protagonist who has no idea about the sport who accidentally gets sucked in the game, but somehow she learns all the skills necessary like Mozart learns about music. A story about some students who try to revive a lost club which happens to be that same sport? A sport where these girls wear super sexy armor and a story where it starts right in the middle of random battle and feature many out-of-nowhere fanservice. It’s a textbook story and the characters never raise above their own established tropes. I give it points for some nice action sequences and the scene where girl adjusting her panty (it was really well animated).
Potential: 10%

Wooper’s review:
Watching this show seems to have altered my brain chemistry. Where once I possessed some tolerance for terrible anime, there is now an aversion so strong that I physically can’t sit through a full-length episode. If you’re going to attempt to view this trash, I recommend doubling or tripling the playback speed, as suffering for the full 24 minutes might be hazardous to your mental health. Circlet Princess was so bad that, starting next season, I’m not going to do first impressions for shows that don’t immediately interest me, just to avoid having another experience like this. There wasn’t a single second I didn’t hate, from the holographic arrows that literally pointed the protagonist in the direction of the plot, to the still images laced throughout a combat sequence that was supposed to be intense and fun. The female characters look like they were designed by a newly pubescent boy, and their implausible dialogue is aimed directly at the show’s audience. By the time the mid-episode timeskip rolled around, I was on the verge of giving up, but I pressed on, and my perseverance was rewarded with… nothing. Seriously, why spend time watching, thinking about, or writing about shows like this? Out of some compulsive need to sample every series from every season? That’s a waste of time. I don’t need to be an industry expert to understand that most of the talent is concentrated on a handful of projects each quarter, and everybody else gets the scraps. On balance, though, it’s not the amount of lousy anime getting produced that has me so pissed – it’s the fact that this one failed even to amuse me.
Potential: 0%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Revisions

Short Synopsis: A school is transported to a dangerous world and a group of friends must fight off robotic monsters.

Aidan’s review:
Well an impression of this show may be needless as you can watch the show in it’s entirely due to all 12 episodes being out on Netflix. No dub as of yet though. Now as stated before this is a show from the mind that brought us Code Geass and in a way you can see his style in the episode. The animation is full CGI but they at least seem to have realised that limiting the frames per second does not make it look like seamless 2D. The CGI isn’t what I would consider on the same level as Houseki and can be a bit too distracting at times but you can get used to it. The story itself has a good setup as well with a main protagonist with a big hero complex and a group of friends who are distinct enough to potentially become good characters. The only character I found rather off would be Milo, the futuristic cyber stripperarmour lady who’s so textbook that she might as well say “Come with me if you want to live.” The setting looks like it could lead to something interesting but I kept getting this feeling that this story could very easily take a nosedive considering who’s behind it. But so far I consider this at least a good start but maybe wait for people to watch the remaining episodes and get word online before giving it a shot.
Potential: 60%

Mario’s review:
My very first impression of this show is that I can never get used to this clunky CG model. It reminds me of Ajin few years ago which was the main reason why I dropped it. As for the story itself, at least in this first episode it fares much better. Yep, the main lead has a hero complex (and his tendency annoys the hell lot from his friends) but there’s a solid reasons behind that. The 5-member cast has some solid chemistry and the flashback has some neat moments here and there. It’s also neat to see how despite the main guy prepares everything for this very day, when the moment comes he’s freezed out of scare. What I’m not too sure is the present where it evolves into some sorts of mecha battles between the good guys vs bad guys, which is a road well trodden at this point. Surprisingly to say the characters’ chemistry, and not the sci fi settings or “saving the world” premise, is what I’m interested in. I will give it some more chance.
Potential: 30%

 

Meiji Tokyo Renka

Short Synopsis: A girl who can see ghosts is transported to the past to flirt with pretty boys

Aidan’s review:
You know when it comes to writing child trauma, maybe it’s best when the trauma makes sense? I mean this girl is ostracized cause she decided to openly talk to her little spirit friends at her own birthday party. So I am sitting here wondering how the goddamn parents neglected to tell her not to talk to her imaginary friends in front of her real ones. Also how is it that this girl never noticed that no one could see them before her fifth birthday? Well realism this series certainly isn’t going for but if it was the poor animation would break it in an instant. But the soundtrack is also just sickeningly saccharine and well our protagonist is an indistinct piece of wood. And yes, the pretty boy harem are disturbing violating her personal space. The first one introduced has barely known her for a minute before he’s feeling up her legs under the pretense of “Checking for wounds” Oh and our main girl has amnesia because of course she does. For Otome protagonists always have convenient amnesia for one reason or another. Honestly this Otome anime has the same problems as any otome anime, cheaply made, a self insert protagonist, a cast of stock pretty boys and a plot that only serves as a vehicle to interact with said pretty boys. Unless you have a fondness for these kinds of shows, I would give it a pass.
Potential: 0%

Lenlo’s review:
Ah, the obligatory hot-boy harem show of the season. Meiji is definitely not the most inspired of the genre, that’s for sure. From the the amnesia to the spurned from childhood for a ridiculous reason, this show is nothing but cliches. Granted some people like those cliches, and in that respect, Meiji serves it purposes well enough. Personally, I detest this genre, which makes me a particularly poor individual to do a first impressions on it. But I am the best you got! Suffice to say, if you like Male Harem shows, Meiji isn’t bad. However if that isn’t your fare, it’s best to stay away. Just like every other harem out there.
Potential: 5%

 

Girly Air Force

Short Synopsis: A teenage boy is rescued and kissed by an attractive female pilot, then gets the sudden, inexplicable urge to join the JASDF.

Aidan’s review:
Better call me a plane cause my mind was in auto-pilot for this one. It’s not as if I had high expectations from an anime called Girly Air Force but I wasn’t quite prepared for how inexplicable bored it made me. I quite literally fell asleep after the episode due to just having no interest whatsoever. It’s clear that the writer can’t write worth a damn with the story being so rote and cliche along with a slight undercurrent of racism. I mean the enemies a enemy group called the Xi who seem to have turned China into a hellscape where people are escaping the great and peaceful Nippon! The writer has jets pointless fight the super planes just to show how cannon fodder reguler planes are and why we need waifu power planes. Painted in shocking pink because why the hell not. But a bit of advice, if you wish to keep you super plane a secret maybe don’t just stroll it around town when it’s the most noticeable colour possible. I facepalmed when our blander than oatmeal protagonist just so happened to catch sight of the plane while he was busy moaning over that plane that saved him in the past. Plot contrivance is just all over the place with this one and whenever the author tries to inject drama he does it in the most predictable way possible. Random emotional hissy fit in the middle of an argument complete with exposition over why they be sad. On top of this the dogfight music sounds like something from a rave. Trite, predictable and boring would be the perfect one sentence review for this one.
Potential: 0%

Wooper’s review:
This is one of the worst anime I’ve ever seen. Usually, when a series is remarkably bad, I can shit on it and derive some amount of pleasure from the act, but Girly Air Force’s production feels like a cry for help. In my mind, this premiere is already a lock for Worst First Episode of 2019. Here are some things that I hated about it. The chaos at the start of the story attempts to depict the alien antagonists as threatening, but the hastily-sketched looks of confusion on their victims’ faces render the whole scene ineffective. The bedheaded main character’s obsession with the JSDF appears to spring from a kiss he shared with the female pilot who saves the day, despite the fact that they had never met before. The CG planes move through the air like they weigh as much as kites, and the interior backgrounds are lazy templates. The tension between potato-kun and his childhood friend is awful, with his petulant rejection of her concern reading like an allegory for the author’s frustration with his own mother. But the worst part has to be the minutes-long technical explanation of what recharges the magical red plane from the start of the episode. Spoilers: it’s the MC’s dick.
Potential: 0%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Yakusoku no Neverland

Short Synopsis: As an old friend leaves, two kids begin to realize the truth about their orphanage.

Aidan’s review:
Well this knocked it right out of the park. Clearly the best first episode of the season so far with a banger of an opening and a ending episode hook sure to nab anyone checking this out. The episode itself does a good job of laying out the characters and their particular gimmicks as well as alluding to small details and having are rather unnerving atmosphere. You know that something isn’t right here but you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what. Also props for not resorting to narration to explain what the setting was and instead showing enough for the viewer to figure things out by themselves. I originally pinned Boogiepop as my contender for season winner but sadly due to direction that ended up going wrong. This one the other hand is getting the care and attention it deserves so I can at least say that if you are not watching this in this season, you probably should be.
Potential: 90%

Lenlo’s review:
You know, I was really worried that I had ruined this series for myself by reading up on the manga. I can say now that even with the foreknowledge of what will happen, Neverland will hit its mark. It did a fantastic job of slowly ratcheting up the unease throughout the episode. Starting with children joking about eating each other. Games of tag and strategy. A creepy fence, to no one sending back their letters until a little girl gets walked out under a haunting tune. Slowly but surely Neverland ticked the dial forward scene by scene to really nail the ending, and nail that it did. The animation, camera angles and haunting yet hopeful vocals all blended perfectly, on to smash cut mid song. Fantastic. As Aidan said, Neverland did a great job laying out the setting and characters without a word of exposition, even managing to layout the central conflict and how it is mental rather than physical. As far as I am concerned, Neverland is a must watch of the season, of which I can only count 2 others.
Potential: 95%

 

Kemurikusa

Short Synopsis: A group of red-haired girls search for water and fight robotic bugs on a ruined island in the middle of nowhere.

Mario’s review:
This is basically a spiritual successor of Kemono Friends, in a season where the actual Kemono Friends sequel also airs. A near-apocalyptic settings where our cast fighting against Bugs? Check. A human appeared out of nowhere who doesn’t know why he got there? Check. Cute anthropomorphic/ non human designs? Check? Abandoned bus? Check. On that vein I’m mildly curious on how this one will go. I regard the settings in Kemono Friends where it hints that they might live within a dead world its greatest strength, so I’m more than happy to see this one further explores on that theme. The characters are hit-or-miss at the moment. I don’t mind the main cast (even the quadruplets), but the moment that human boy hits the screen everything goes for more cliche path. Of course he will become some needed brain in the group, right? It doesn’t help either that the dialogue is’t that great. The visual remains dark and grim so far, and the CG aesthetic could take some time to get used to. At the end of the day I don’t mind these shortcomings. Despite its inconsistency in both characters and story, it could offer something interesting and different than what we normally get these days.
Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:
Kemurikusa is a mess. Its story is unclear, its would-be cute characters come off as stilted instead, and its CG visuals are incompetent. There’s a moment early in this episode where a character dips her hand into a pool of water, and it looks more like it’s phasing through a cement floor. The cast’s modeled walk cycles clash terribly with their dull, blue-gray environment, and the action scenes are handicapped by their limited range of motion. What else could you expect, though, given the look of director Tatsuki’s previous work? I’m in no mood to explain his past success by overpraising this new series, but there are a couple things about it that you might like: a watery N64-era soundtrack with a mysterious vibe, clone quadruplets in maid outfits, the sense of being totally lost as an audience member. That last one is where I struggled most with this premiere, because while I’m not a fan of needless exposition, I also need a reason to come back each week, and a story that seems to be set nowhere in particular isn’t going to provide that for me. Kemono Friends was a smash hit in Japan, but I have my doubts about Kemurikusa’s viability, especially since there’s no lovestruck penguin to provide a bunch of free publicity this time around.
Potential: 10%

 

Kakegurui xx

Short Synopsis: By the magic of Gambling God, heirs from powerful gambling families all attend this high school to fight against our main character.

Mario’s review:
This new season of Kakegurui starts off on a strong note. Its production is noticeably more polished than ever (the OP is a visual highlight, for example), and it successfully establishes the cores of Kakegurui in this premiere. The game they play this week, for example, ups its stake to an insane level. But saying that, embracing its core isn’t necessary brings out all its good aspects. There’s often the case the whoever challenges our lead girl has some sorts of “cheat” and the moments they spell out their advantages it loses all the thrills for me. Secondly, it has a totally useless recap (with the song from first season’s OP so at least there was something I can still enjoy) that in no way the new audience would understand anything except for “stuffs happened in the past”. It also introduces a whole new set of opponents that pretty much set what this second season will be about. I’m not sure if I will follow this second season, given I’m not that fond with the first, but this episode’s production is something I need to give praise for.
Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:
Hey, it’s more Kakegurui. This episode had more lens flare and color filters than ever, thanks to the jarring music video/recap they inserted midway through the proceedings. And check out the simulated shaky cam movement during the latter portion of the guillotine game, which feels about as natural as the show’s premise. Kakegurui packs in plenty of detail where it counts, but these production techniques really snapped my strings during this episode. These gripes are personal, though; if you’ve already seen the first season, you should know whether it’s worth the trip to your favorite torrent site to get the sequel. If not, this episode actually works as a decent jumping-off point. Gambling Chicks isn’t much more complicated than, “Insane girl out-gambles student council every week,” and the closing scene spoon-feeds us the names and appearances of all Yumeko’s future opponents. I don’t feel as though Kakegurui’s simple format lives up to the ‘psychological’ tag it often receives, but if you’re down with the show’s concept, you’ll probably have a good time.
Potential: 50%

Posted on 9 January 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dororo

Short Synopsis: The cursed child of a Samurai Lord must hunt down the demons to whom he was sacrificed to in order to reclaim his body and confront his father.

Lenlo’s review:
Alright Dororo, I am in. This is the first of the season that I am legitimately excited about. The episode sets up the world, the story, the characters and none of is simplistic. We have the demons/ghouls that it appears our lead must fight, slowly earning back parts of their body and ruining their father Daigo’s wish. We have Daigo himself who will no doubt hunt down our lead now that his wish is in peril and he learns his son is alive. And finally we have the cursed child who fights blind, deaf and with no real limbs, and a charismatic thief kid. Honestly I loved every second of it and was sad to see it end. The story is rich, thanks no doubt to Tezuka, and the animation is crisp and stylish, thanks to MAPPA. It also helps that Dororo, because it originates as a 1960’s manga, just feels different than everything else coming out. It is a story from a different era of the medium, with none of the modern trappings, written by one of the greats. Bring me more Dororo!
Potential: 95%

Mario’s review:
It’s a pretty solid start for Dororo. As expected from the source material of the great Osamu Tezuka, this first episode already provides some moral complexity to its world. This premiere serves more as a prologue to a story to come but it does extremely well of setting up the conflict and introduces the main characters in play. We have some memorable characters, and the main duo in particular could serve as an interesting leads to follow. Visually, it looks stylish with memorable character designs and some striking shots. This could prove to be the breakout hit of the season.
Potential: 70%

 

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

Short Synopsis: A college-aged woman becomes smitten with a fifth grade girl and bribes her with sweets so she’ll model different outfits for her.

Wooper’s review:
Doga Kobo is on a roll with these pedo-baiting comedies. Uzamaid went off the air just two weeks ago, and Watashi ni Tenshi has already arrived to fill the void. To be fair (if fairness is even required when talking about a show like this), Doga Kobo’s usual cutesy production works in Wataten’s favor, with softened backgrounds and an emphasis on character movement to keep things visually interesting. These elements might also create an innocent atmosphere that lessens the strangeness of the show’s premise, depending on who you ask. Since this is my review, I’m going to assume you’re asking me, to which I’ll answer, “No they fucking don’t.” No amount of conflicted internal monologuing about the “funny, squirmy feeling” in your chest can make me like your perverted character, especially not when she’s characterized with such an insultingly dumb mix of tropes: totally kawaii with no friends, baker extraordinaire, closeted cosplay geek. This is practically a Hallmark movie for lolicons. Not only does she fall in love with her little sister’s friend at first sight, but the weird level of attachment between the sisters themselves could only be considered subtle by Japanese standards. Both the series’ key visual and the ED promise more elementary school girls for the MC to creep on, so if you love this sort of anime, you’d better get down on your knees and thank Satan for the bounty you’re about to receive.
Potential: 5%

Mario’s review:
Do you find any of this funny?? Just right after UzaMaid we have another show about older woman who has strange obsessions to primary school kid. It has a nice, soft art styles and some nice animated overreactions, but apart from those it leaves the bad taste in the mouth. This older girl acts exactly like a creepy otaku who is even shyer than her 6-year-old little sister and the source of humor comes mostly from how awkwardly this little-Reina-chan behaves. It tries hard for being cute both with her several attempts of “get close” to this poor girl, and for this young girl and her love for sweets. If you find these two elements funny the you’re gonna be fine with this show, others might steer away.
Potential: 0%

 

Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan

Short Synopsis: The private life of a 24-year-old woman, Ekoda-chan.

Mario’s review:
So we have 4-minute length of actual episode and the rest is a interview footage from the director and Ekoda-chan seiyuu. For that I believe it should be considered as actual part for this anime adaptation. It was frankly a joyous 4-minute short I’ve seen in recent memories with a lead that has so much “naked” personality and mature but realistic humor. The fun here is how she sees the world and people around her, at the same times feel a bit insecure about her love life and this episode nails it with its visual and its “rhythm”. The bigger chunk of this episode is about the interview with the crew involved including the director and the Voice Actress and by that we can see how their own views on Ekoda-chan, some of their personality and especially their chemistry together. It was a whole lot fun to watch, and although I would love for more actual animated content in the episode, I will definitely tune in to watch this every week.
Potential: “feel like New York”

Wooper’s review:
As Mario mentioned above, this is a short series with a lengthy real-life conversation stapled to the end. As Ekoda-chan is set to have a different director and voice actor for each episode, this could be a treat for fans of specific seiyuu or the creative process at large. Neither of those labels applies to me, though, so I bailed halfway through the real life segment. The anime itself was much more interesting, centering on a 24 year old hostess “looking for love and a better life,” in her own words. Her job is suffocating, her boyfriend is a wet blanket, and her friends are getting paired off left and right, but Ekoda-chan seems more interested in life’s mundanities than she is worried about its troubles. She’s too busy wrestling with her favorite dog, trapping house-invading lizards, and running over a horde of crabs in her family’s truck to succumb to despair over the state of her existence. I expect that her quirkiness will be peeled back in future episodes to reveal a much more neurotic young woman, but due to the revolving door of directors, there’s no way to know that for certain. This one, at least, has some snappiness to it thanks to Akitarou Daichi, whose past experience with short comedies like Sexy Commando Gaiden and Gag Manga Biyori served him well here. One episode isn’t enough to judge whether this series will be any good, but the atypical format and unique main character have me on board for now.
Potential: ???

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

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

Short Synopsis: A college student is transported to another world, where he must train to defend a medieval kingdom with nothing but an enchanted shield.

Lenlo’s Review:
For the required Isekai of the season, it’s surprisingly not a terrible fare. Shield Hero surprised me by taking the general premise where the Isekai Hero starts OP and above everyone else and throws it out the window. I like that our hero has to work from the bottom, with the potential for power in the sword, but clear deficiencies in combat and being behind everyone else in terms of gear, money and respect. He basically has to be a tank. So long as Shield Hero doesn’t try to turn him into some combat badass and keeps him in the support role, the unflappable tank who only sets up the win for other characters, I think I could really enjoy this. To address the Animal Girl in the room though, I am not inherently against the slavery aspect. The hero is already at the bottom rung of society, so he can no doubt relate and connect to the slaves. That’s basically what he is with these “Waves”. So I think the slavery aspect could make for some interesting character relationships. What bothers me is that the first/main companion/slave is an animal girl that will no doubt eventually fall for him, ala Stockholm Syndrome. I think that is an icky, creepy relationship to focus and build on and I really hope Shield Hero has more restraint than that. We will have to wait and see. Finally, visually, Shield Hero isn’t anything special. There is some smooth motion when fighting the balloon monsters, but we have yet to reach any kind of set piece. So I would call it average in this department so far. Regardless, it has my interest enough that I am gonna keep up with it for at least a few more weeks.
Potential: 45%

Mario’s review:
Why do these isekai anime love game mechanics so much? Everytime these game mechanics spelled out, they basically lost me. “Status options” on the screen; level up? For most of Tate double-length premiere it runs as a typical isekai, and that’s exactly the point because up to half-an-hour mark the show reveals its hands. It’s a good thing that our protagonist hits rock bottom and we see how he eventually becomes cynical. Has to gain the power, respect and even companion himself without any “cheat” is always a welcome. What worries me however is the end. Not necessary about the “slavery’ aspect, but more that it’s still self-fulfilling in the end: he still gets a comrade who happens to be bloody hot (demi) girl. So what makes or breaks a show is how well it makes him suffer because the more he goes through some real drama the more earned his efforts will be. Visually it doesn’t impress me but knowing this is from Kinema Citrus I have my full trust. I’m also worried that characters can fall into common tropes since aside from our titular characters, the others are quite stock characters. Considered that was the point before the “twist”, we will have to see how well-developed of this new girl in the next episode.
Potential: 30%

 

Ueno-san wa Bukiyou

Short Synopsis: A genius schoolgirl attempts to attract her clubmate’s interest via lewd inventions and situations.

Lenlo’s Review:
The only short I have really finished to completion was last season’s Honda-san. And even then, I found myself not all that enthused by it at the end. That puts Ueno-san already at a disadvantage, because I find it visually and thematically inferior to Honda-san in every way. The topic of a middle-schooler trying to get a boys attention is dull, the dialogue is dull, the visuals are washed out. At least Honda-san had an interesting style, it generated colorful and engaging screens, even if they didn’t move much. Ueno-san though is just… dull. I keep saying that word, but it’s the best way to describe it. It took me 30 minutes to finish a 10 minute short because I had to force myself through it. Suffice to say, this is a hard pass for me.
Potential: 0%

Wooper’s review:
I’m a fan of half-length anime comedies, but given how cheaply produced and one-note they tend to be, what counts the most is often their subject matter. In Ueno-san’s case, we’re dealing with a girl who wants a boy to notice her, but can’t think of a way to attract his attention apart from using him as a guinea pig in her perverted science experiments. This isn’t a bad premise in isolation, but the series is so invested in the shy, unable-to-confess -dere trope that it dominates the proceedings. Ueno-san’s inability to tell her crush that she likes him doesn’t offer any commentary on young love beyond, “It’s hard to admit that you like somebody.” Her red twintails and white-pupiled eyes make for an attention-grabbing design (the one redeeming feature of this episode), and if the ED is any indication, plenty more girls will be introduced in the coming weeks. If that’s your bag, Ueno-san might be worth 11 minutes every week, but based on this premiere, it isn’t worth mine.
Potential: 10%

 

Pastel Memories

Short Synopsis: Four girls working in a manga cafe try to find a collection of lost manga.

Lenlo’s Review:
Pastel Memories managed to successfully draw me in, get me interested, and then lose me completely all within the same episode. I was all for the fluffy concept of bringing back Otaku culture one series at a time. Scouring a dead series or genre to bring it back, because it meant something special to someone. That is an interesting, episodic concept to me and gives them a lot of freedom to play around with. They could animate different or present each story differently, in the style of the manga or series they are hunting down that week. But then at the end they randomly become magical girls fighting some virus? And this virus is no doubt responsible for the death of Otaku culture no doubt I am sure. It’s like a completely different show and it confuses the shit out of me. Not to mention that this supposedly failing cafe run by children somehow has enough revenue to not only support 10 employees, but to have them running around looking for manga all day. Pastel Memories had the base for a fun, wholesome, episodic series about Otaku culture and proceeded to completely ignore it for the lowest common denominator magical girl tripe. Color me surprised with a healthy dose of pastel, cause I am done and not coming back.
Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:
It’s another anime set in Akihabara that aims squarely on the otaku culture. While I can safely say that I’m not within the target audience, the very concept of reviving a lost culture is an interesting one for me. So the part where the team searches for the full collection of the manga works well enough for me. Sadly though, I’m never sold on the setting itself. The cast works in an otaku cafe where they hardly have any customer, but I counted like 10 people working there. There isn’t a clear time set (how many years since it loses its fandom?), and I find it strange that these manga stores don’t have some sort of network before. But the most head-scratching part comes down at the end, where supposedly the girls have to go the another dimension to destroy virus? Where the heck does that part come from? It feels like another show entirely. It’s jarring no matter how you look at it.
Potential: 10%

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

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019)

Short Synopsis: A teenage boy meets his crush’s costumed alter ego, Boogiepop, as rumors about disappearing girls spread through their high school.

Lenlo’s Review:

Ah, a new year, new season, time for a new first impressions post. What’s this, a mystery thriller about an urban legend and an angel of death? Why I would love to! A full explanation on what the Boogiepop is from an unreliable narrator? A split personality that appears in women, and then proceeds to murder or kill the thing murdering other young women? Social gossip? Well sure, sounds good I- wait, what’s happening? This is a lot of talking and not much really happening. Why does this entire episode suddenly feel more like a standalone than a series introduction? What is even happening anymore? Suffice to say, Boogiepop intrigued me at the start and then, over the course of 25 minutes, proceeded to completely lose my interest. It raised a bunch of questions, answered them unsatisfactorily and then basically shoved off. Its like Boogiepop thinks throwing you straight in the deep end of psychological disorders, myths and legends, and murder is a good way to start a show. I like it enough to give it another chance with the next episode or two, but as is, my interest in the series is lower than it has been since it was announced. Here’s hoping that’s just first episode blues for a notoriously hard genre to pull off though.

Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:

I never got into the original Boogiepop adaptation, which first aired 19 years ago. Based on the first few episodes, my impressions were that it was gloomily lit, oppressively moody, and quite difficult to follow. For fans of the 2000s series who loved that challenging atmosphere, the fear surrounding this newer version must be that it will become too accessible. Those fears can be put to rest, however, since this first episode was an understated, non-linear collection of conversations that promised no easy answers. Though the premiere offers an explanation for who or what Boogiepop is, it’s not a complete one – in fact, it seems downright misleading. There are quick cuts to bits of murderous violence at several points throughout the episode, which echo the gossip swirling throughout the school where the episode plays out. The desired mood here is clearly unease, and the show does a few things to achieve it: hiring Kensuke Ushio to compose a droning electronic score, setting many of its scenes during the late afternoon to give its characters an odd glow, etc. Some of these efforts are hamstrung, though, by jerky animation, instances of muddy dialogue, and character designs (immediately recognizable as Parasyte knockoffs) that don’t seem to fit the series’ mystery-laden mood. Word on the street is that the second episode (which is already available online) is an improvement, so seek it out if you’re interested. As for me, after just one go, I’d say the series has my interest, but not my enthusiasm.

Potential: 50%

Aidan’s review:

Boogiepop started this season with a double episode premiere and as you likely seen from my preview, I walked into this one with great expectations. The first episode was slow, the animation of was surprisingly underwhelming(I don’t understand why it was decided to make extras faceless.) but at least it was fairly accurate to what I read from the novel and considered the double episode premiere to be a good move considering how the story works as a slow burn. Then I walked into episode two and just what in the holy hell happened here? What was supposed to happen was that we would see events from the new protagonist but instead it appears they opted for a different method for showing the rest of this story. Which is by chopping up the rest of the novel and rearranging in a manner to make it as confusing as possible. Truly I am flabbergasted. I don’t see the artistic expression of making your narrative harder to follow and in many ways it kills the story as characters are no on screen long enough to grow attached to, the story leaps back and forward in time with no abaddon and it’s hard to become invested when you are too busy figuring out just what the hell is going on. The focus should have been on showing the inner thoughts of the characters through animation, not on this ridiculous editing for the sake of…whatever they are trying to accomplish. I am hoping that this was a one episode thing or that once a new arc starts that they come to their senses and realise this is idiocy. And maybe I can see that beautiful animation that the first PV showcased appear.

Potential: 30%

 

Egao no Daika

Short Synopsis: A 12 year old princess ascends to the throne of a prosperous country, not knowing that it’s at war with the neighboring Empire.

Lenlo’s Review:

Ah, the lolibait of the season. This time with a princess idol who battles in robot mecha chess. I’ll be perfectly honest, I have no idea what I just watched. Egao no Daika is trying to do… everything really. Mystery plot over this “incident” and her parents, romance between her and her bodyguard, action with giant mecha battles. It’s all over the place. That said, the mecha battle itself actually… wasn’t terrible. If you can ignore all of the context around everything that happens in this show and just enjoy the mecha battles, you may have fun with it. If not though, just skip it. Egao no Daika’s author just shoved every trope they could find into one story, so I am sure you can find something you like better elsewhere in the season.

Potential: 5%

Wooper’s review:

Why is a 12 year old princess entrusted with the fate of an entire country just because her parents died?
Why does her first address to the nation look like an idol concert, complete with glow sticks and ridiculous crowd reactions?
Why are all the outfits and hairstyles so needlessly elaborate (and therefore difficult to animate)?
Why are there twin characters whose last name is literally “Vanquish”?
Why does one of them oppose the princess’ rule on the grounds of her naiveté, only to be charmed by that same trait fifteen seconds later?
Why do two high-ranking, ostensibly well-informed members of the government suddenly explain their country’s history to each other, complete with a holographic display that looks like a video game menu screen?
Why was there a need to refer to a futuristic-looking game with a green 6×5 board and pushpin-looking pieces as “chess”?
Why doesn’t the princess have anything better to do than to watch her bodyguard engage in a CG simulated mech battle with the Vanquish twins?
Why does she suddenly become a strategic genius midway through the battle, despite having lost horribly to her advisor at “chess” (and then questioning whether strategic thinking was “really something she needed”) just thirty minutes earlier?
Why are anime characters still vowing to “protect her smile” in 2019?
Why did I watch this show?

Potential: Why?

 

W’z

Short Synopsis:  A middle-school boy moonlighted as DJ in the virtual world and attracts fair share of enemies who are Hand Shakers

Lenlo’s Review:

I just got tricked into watching a sequel to Hand Shakers. What the hell.

I won’t even say watch this if you liked Hand Shakers, because no one liked Hand Shakers.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:

So this is indeed a sequel of HandShakers. It features the new cast so you don’t need any prior knowledge to watch it. Although the question remains: why bother watching it? As you might aware HandShakers is a rare anime that fails in arguably every single department (it fails so hard that it belongs to so-bad-it’s-good camp, but that’s another matter), and so far with W’z it doesn’t look like they’re gonna change. It has the exact same aesthetic as the screen in bathed in bluey filter. Characters look the same and they never talk like real human. We haven’t gotten into the fights yet so I’m not commenting on the CG battles yet, but the CG background characters stick out like a sore thumb. Even the main plot now is nonsensical. The only way you can enjoy this show is to set your expectation to be as low as HandShakers.

Potential: high chance of becoming the worst anime of 2019 by a landslide

Aidan’s review:

Honestly this is truly impressive. GoHands, never have I seen a studio so utterly full of confidence in their own style…and so utterly oblivious to their own failings. Try searching for my old impression of a series called K that they made before. Everything I said there applies here. They are repeating, every single failing. The pointless starting fight scene, the crap CGI, the BL baiting, the utter overuse of filters and lighting that washes out the screen along with characters so stock they still got the wrapping paper on. At this point a studio would learn, if they didn’t then they would at least learn after making one of the worst anime trainwrecks in Hand Shakers. But not only have they learned nothing…they made a sequel to Hand Shakers. What should be a complete black mark on their history and they made a bloody sequel to it. I don’t understand. Do they not want to be successful? Do they not want to make money? Are they under some mistaken impression of being animation visionaries? Because under all the scum of this series it does feel like there is genuine effort being put in but it’s all for naught when the package is an utter disaster such as this.

Potential: When are you declaring bankruptcy GoHands?

Posted on 13 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san

Short Synopsis: A skeletal bookstore employee fields requests from perplexed parents and foreign fujoshi.

Lenlo’s Review:

This was the most amusing power point presentation I have seen all year. Sure, you could probably dig into the symbolism of a character’s head and how it connects to their personality or world view as the show goes on. You could talk about the stereotypes of the guests and how Japanese society views them. Instead, I am just going to leave you with one simple fact. This single 10 minute short had me chuckling almost the entire time. Honda-San is grounded absurdism and you know what? I love it. The delivery, the pacing, the power-point levels of animation. I have no idea why it resonates with me so, maybe because I worked retail for a year, but I love the story of this poor decayed book-store clerk.

Potential: This is my crack

Wooper’s review:

This is a half-length comedy about a skeleton named Honda who works at a bookstore. His co-workers include (in order of appearance): a guy with a bag over his face, a man with a cartoon rabbit’s head, somebody wearing what I assume is a stylized Daft Punk helmet, a woman wearing a helm from a medieval suit of armor, a character named “Mr. Sales,” and a girl wearing a Noh mask. There are many more to come, if the ED is anything to go by. Honda is the only one whose strangeness extends below the neck, however. Sometimes his jaw falls off when a customer surprises him with a strange request. Though he gets nervous around the store’s gaijin clientele, he still does his best to assist them however he can. Please support him by watching Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san.

Potential: Worth a chuckle or two

 

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai

Short Synopsis: A girl wins a light novel contest with an incest story, and decides to use her brother as a public proxy.

Aidan’s review:

To contrast Wooper’s post below I have decided to only remark on the positives of this series in order to give a fair objective view of this anime. Well to begin the animation and character designs are…terrible..but ah the story, right the story is very…well…um….Alright you see this is clearly satire commenting on the nature of this incest fad with light novels. Sort of like a manga I knew called Oniichan Control which was about a brother who loved his sister but it turned out the sister was putting up a little sister front and is actually a psychopathic yandere grooming him to like her. Thus being a subversion on the arcitype and this show decides to shake things up by…playing it straight and sincere..alright so it’s not satire but it’s obviously a parody based on that one joke in the criticism of the main character’s work…even though the rest of the episode actually seems to be parading the LN state of being overrun with incest. (Screws eyes shut) Okay then this is actually postmodern experimental commentary on the nature of anime and incest which focuses on the preparation of archetypes to appeal to a mass demographic which demands the safe and familiar over creativity ingenuity or quality writing. It shows this by making use of exaggerated tropes pushed to the limit of absurdity like big titted women whose breasts are having seizures based on that jiggling, loita managers and obsessed brocon sisters. Thus all this trashy lazy setup is a metaphysical commentary criticising the appeal of familiar norms with conceptual taboo which in turn leads to the degeneration of mass media pandering towards teenage fantasy sexual desires and this is because….well it’s because…that’s all because….

(Sighs and stares blankly)
….this anime is shit.

Potential: Light Novels were a mistake

Wooper’s review:

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai opens with a series of 13 close-ups on little sisters who appear to have been ripped from 2000s visual novels, all of whom address their older brother using different cutesy honorifics. Once they’ve finished, they all cry out in unison, “I love you, big brother!” This turns out to have been the main character’s dream, but even after he wakes up, Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai doubles down on the otaku baiting. For your viewing pleasure, the series features:

  • a perfect little sister who does all the housework,
  • a flat-chested loli co-worker who’s actually of legal age,
  • panty shots,
  • fantasy scenes where the main character imagines his imouto in provocative poses,
  • censored nipples which will be uncovered for the Blu-ray version,
  • a curvaceous editor who relentlessly flatters the MC and volunteers her boobs for groping at any time,
  • tons of dialogue discussing the wonders of light novels,
  • a big-breasted illustrator who nearly orgasms when her appearance is complimented,

and the list goes on. All of this is just gravy, however, compared to the fact that our hero’s little sister is totally in love with him. We witness that love in the form of excerpts from her light novel, entitled “This is the Tale of a Little Sister Who Loves Her Brother Too Much to Cope.” She also rolls around on her bed while scheming up ways to become his girlfriend and shrieking with glee. Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai covers all of this with a veneer of plausibility by making its lead character totally relatable. For example: he can’t imagine that his lil’ sis (who has just confessed to writing a story where the female lead loves being petted by her older brother) secretly lusts after him, because that would be totally weird! Am I right, fellow normal guys? Plus, he gets tongue-tied whenever sexy women grab his hands and use them to massage their chests. What a common situation in which to find oneself as a typical high schooler! Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai is the perfect gateway to the wonderful world of incest anime, because it keeps it [100 emoji] with the audience. We’re not elitist snobs who need fancy animation or a well-crafted soundtrack in our animes. All we need are older brothers and younger sisters who love each other more than anything in the world. That, and some tig ol’ bitties.

Potential: Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made

 

Conception

Short Synopsis: A highschool boy and a pregnant girl are transported to another world and must screw in order to save it.

Aidan’s review:

Wow. I mean when I heard about the whole aspect of making babies to save the world I was under the impression that the process actually didn’t involve sex. As a matter of fact in the games that appears to be the case as the ritual is not really elaborated on but obviously heavily implied to be sex. In the second game it appears they just place their energy inside some urn or something. Not here. Here they remove all ambiguity and go full on sex. Honestly I find myself both disgusted and somewhat impressed at the complete lack of shame in this. I mean I suppose it’s nice to see a protagonist with a sex drive and them just tossing aside the harem hijinks to just have them boink. But this has to be the trashiest Isekai I have ever seen, the animation is bare bones and the anime itself decides to do worldbuilding by literally linking a website. This is a story that gives no fucks at all besides it’s tituar concept of becoming a hero by banging girls. It knows how dumb this all is and it doesn’t care cause hey, it’s a game where you bang chicks to gain RPG powerups. Dare I say it, I may even play the game on steam due to morbid curiosity. The anime on the other hand…well I think they would have been better off just making hentai instead of this.

Potential: What am I doing with my life?

Lenlo’s Review:

An isekai of a harem game. Guess i’ve seen it all now. I’m done, I’m retiring. This show killed me. I don’t even wanna bother writing up a full paragraph, just read Aidans instead. God damnit.

Potential: Can I be done yet?

Mario’s review:

And I originally thought this season was already bad enough with rapes and loli sexual assault, now here’s the premise that can’t be topped: pregnating a harem team, one of them is your cousin. Yuck. If there is one praise I have for this show, it is that I admire it for its shamelessness. The opening sequence pretty much strips out all the pretense and gives you what this show is about (half of it anyway), a vintages of silhouetted naked girls. The other half is your cliche isekai world that the show doesn’t even bother to build it properly. Everything is fanservice to your teeth. We have girls already lining up to him to have sex (they literally say that), we have creepy mascot who trying to help our boy by molesting a girl for him, we have him tied up in chain with only underwear by a busty doctor. Even with the actual sex scene, there’s an overlong moment where the guy clumsily takes of the girl’s strap. It’s so badly framed that at one point it becomes unintentionally hilarious. Look, by now you know what you’re getting into so if this is your thing then go right ahead.

Potential: Anime again brings me down.

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