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

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

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

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

Potential: 30%

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

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

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

Potential: 50%

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R

Short Synopsis: A small time idol becomes a magical girl

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

Potential: 0%

Ajin

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

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

Potential: 85%

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

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

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

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

Potential: 90%

 

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

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

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

Potential: 55%

 

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

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

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

Potential: 0%

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

Dimension W

Short Synopsis: A man is hired to reclaim illegal power sources and runs into a female Android.

I guess this proves that style and animation can breath life into manga. I previously wasn’t all that enthralled with the manga but seeing it in motion really gives it a better feel and the anime is adding to the source material. There’s a lot of style here and if there are those of you getting reminded of darker than black that would be because the mangaka of this work provided the character designs for that very show. We have some really impressive animation here, especially with that opening. Shortcuts were taken in the episode but the series still looked very good. Through there are some off putting block colour effects sometimes. The story holds quite a lot of potential and the nature of the power source known as Coils reminds me a lot of Giant Robo’s Shizuma Drive. Our main protagonist is a lot like Mugen from Samurai Champloo and his new robot sidekick has her own quirks. If they keep up with this presentation we could be looking at a very memorable title.

Potential: 75%

 

Dagashi Kashi

Short Synopsis: A girl must convince a boy to take over for a sweets shop owner.

In terms of enjoyability I would put this near ServentXService or your normal comedy. It’s unique enough to not be predictable and the characters are fun. Being a comedy show it really is something that relies on the jokes, I can say while it didn’t make me laugh, it was at least still a pleasant watch that I didn’t find myself bored. I won’t be singing it any high praises but it’s a lot better than most comedies I have come across. There are still elements that find all too often in comedies like a romance that is doomed to go nowhere and in general the series will just be this and nothing more. But while they did do the old cliché of the lucky Pervert, it’s at least fresh that they had the girl react differently from “KYA!” Another character did fill in for the unjustified beating but it’s nice to see a girl so openly unashamed of her body. Or just too caught up in her own dramatics to notice. It’s a fun watch.

Potential: 60%

 

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation

Short Synopsis: A student council President wants a boy to start playing an MMO.

This was a little better than I expected but I must ask one thing. If you were given the task of adapting a sci-fi space epic MMO into an anime, why would you set it in a school setting in modern day? That’s like making an anime out of the Fallout series and making it about people playing the game Fallout. Also school is terrible, I don’t know why anime is so infatuated with it. I was truly glad to leave it and move all memories associated with it to the recycle bin of my brain. Not because of any hard time or anything(My school life was utterly mundane) but because it was dreadfully boring and a period of my life when I was a complete imbecile. Ah, sorry, the impression, yes. Well leaving aside the complete madness of ditching an opportunity to make a Sci-fi adventure anime, this is decently done. It’s sort of interesting from the front of someone first getting into MMOs though his reasons for doing so are strange. The student council, naturally a important governing body instead of there real life counterpart, gives this kid a mission to start playing this MMO to…research his experiences? Personally it looks more like the council President wanted a raiding buddy and came up with some excuse to recruit someone. The creators certainly are taking creative liberties with the games as the level of player interaction is beyond a normal MMO. I am not sure if combat is representative of the product either as I don’t see health bars or attack numbers anywhere. For what it is, it certainly could have been a lot worse but it still remains a potential idea squandered to appeal to a mass audience…and college was a lot better than school.

Potential: 30%

Posted on 11 January 2016 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Schwarzesmarken

Short Synopsis: A dystopian society Germany fights a desperate struggle against an alien threat.

To get the obvious question out of the way first. No, you do not need to watch Muv Luv Total eclipse to get this anime and you don’t need to play the original Visual novel trilogy. This is basically a stand alone spin off story separate from both mentioned. The only connection being that they take place in the same universe. As a start I say this was good though nothing truly impressive. My previous worries that this might leave people who are not familiar with the Muv Luv universe seem to so far be unfounded as we are given a quick intro into the state of things and immediately thrown into the action. Of course people may still have complaints such as “Why did they send out a soldier suffering from PTSD?” but we can’t really address things like that without giving too much exposition. The setting does indeed have barrells of potential though the CGI is particularly lacking. On the mecha it’s fine but on the organic monstrosities such as BETA it really sticks out like a sore thumb. A big thing in how this adaption turns out will really depend on how they handle the darker elements. This episode tip toed on overplaying them but I like how they cut down the main character’s backstory and it really is beneficial to not view his internal monologue. They need to be careful and downplay the drama on these grim dark elements as if they overdramatise them it could end up too overblown to take seriously. If you felt the main character was particularly annoying for being irritable all the time then be thankful that you didn’t have to read his thoughts too. Because they certainly don’t make him any more likable. If anything this adaption has made me aware of just how unbearably positive Katia is. Admittedly her role is mainly to highlight just how harsh this country is but it can be rather painful to see her being utterly naive. For lack of a better way to put it, she seems like an overly moe anime character in a setting clearly not suited for it. So with that said, the action is good, the characters look to have potential for growth and the setting is brimming with grim consequences.

Potential: 65%

 

Koukaku no Pandora

Short Synopsis: A cyborg girl helps fight out of control robots with the power of yuri

From the Mangaka behind Ghost in the Shell we have an anime about lesbian robot girls. Now your eyes might have lit up with excitement upon hearing this is from the maker of Ghost in the shell but let me put things into perspective. This the Mangaka who brought us the Ghost in the shell manga, not the famous anime movie or Stand alone complex series. For you see the manga of Ghost in the shell and the anime of Ghost in the shell are as different as night and day. The anime had a focus on the political and psychological aspects of the story were as the manga was more an action manga with some comedy and fanservice thrown in. For this show it looks like we got less action and far more comedy and fanservice. I have long said that I am not a fan of comedy but I think even those that go for anime comedies will find the slapstick of this episode humorless. Seeing as comedy is at the forefront that means this episode didn’t quite do anything for me and I find the fanservice to be a bit extreme. Basically in order to activate her powers for battle she must stick her fingers in the crotch area of another female robot. Classy. Action seemed decent for what little of it there is. I will give it a tiny bit of potential as the robotics side of things is interesting and chances are this would be enjoyable to a certain audience.

Potential: 5%

 

Luck & Logic

Short Synopsis: A boy once again decides to fight off world invaders with a mysterious girl

There must be a better way of giving the viewer information without resorting to exposition. In other cases it’s the source material that’s at fault for this but by being an original anime you should have no reason to resort to the laziest method of conveying information. We have a visual medium to work with here, make use of it. On that note if you call this system Logic then how would you separate the term from linguistic logic? Wouldn’t the similar terms get confused? Also do we really have to refer to the attacking monster as a “Foreigner”? Enemy, invader, Kaiju, threat…there are plenty of words for this already. There’s no need to invent a dictionary of terms when there are words suitable already. Not much to say on this one. I feel there’s effort behind this and while it is cheesy, it is watchably average.There’s CGI in the battle scenes which is of varying degrees of quality, from passable to terrible. Protagonist is fairly bland but seems to be the most experienced fighter of the cast which is a change. Though his sister is a rather irritating creature with her insistence for him to remain “Villager A” If you want some mindless entertainment this could do the trick.

Potential: 20%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu

Short Synopsis: A girl wants a guy to make a visual novel with her.

From the writer of the Majikoi visual novel we have a story about making visual novels. That may cause some of you to shy away due to Majikoi’s anime adaption but as someone who has read the VN, the anime and visual novel are completely different. Still Majikoi is no masterpiece. One thing this show has going for it is its cast of characters. It’s nice that the main protagonist actually has character and he’s offset by pretty interesting supporting cast. I particularly liked the misappropriately titled “Bitch queen” who acted as a wise love guru though a phone call. There are those making comparisons to SNAFU but I feel that this anime will be a lot less serious due to the majikoi author being behind the writing. It’s certainly watchable and the cast makes it rather enjoyable so far. Also the anime referenced Sharin no Kuni which happens to be one of my favourite visual novels of all time. So for that I bumped up the potential score. I know that’s not professional but I don’t care. Props for the G-senjou no Maou reference too.

Potential: 65%

 

Bubuki Buranki

Short Synopsis: A kid attempts to find something connected to his past while being hunted.

Well that was certainly a surprise. The first ten minutes of this show were not what I expected in a good way. It acted as a good setup for the series and leaves me wanting to know more. The CGI is liked the best integration of 2D and 3D elements I have seen in awhile. While still not perfect this could be a step in integrating CGI into anime without it being jarring. On bad points, characterisation is a bit on the weak side. Especially with our main character who is the kind of whiny wuss we often see in these positions. The second half of the episode isn’t as strong as the first but I see potential in this. There are definite hints of hidden agenda’s and the villain looks quite interesting. A very strong start to what could be quite an interesting series.

Potential: 75%

 

Divine Gate

Short Synopsis: A teenager is all mopey because he has superpowers and a school wishes to scout him.

“Pitter, patter, the rain starts to drop. While the water may fill up the hole on the road, it will never fill up the hole of one’s heart.” Oh god, when your episode opens with poetic nonsense such as this it truly gets you ready for the events to come. It’s pretty clear this was written by someone who never quite outgrew the chuunibyou stage of his life and decided to use this anime to spread his complete genius. The result is just insipid when clunky exposition given by a psychopath randomly out of nowhere, a protagonist that thinks acting completely emo is an interesting character trait and bringing along an utterly ridiculous tragic backstory to boot, and of course that despite this attempting to wax philosophical metaphors it’s still knee deep in many of the tropes plaguing the genre. There’s a school setting because of course there is and the characters powers are boring to boot. Red guy uses fire, blue guy uses water and I am firmly willing to bet that the green girl has powers relating to plants. My interest ebbed away with every minute and I can be fairly certain on this. This will not be anything worthwhile.

Potential: 0%

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

Active Raid: Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hakkei

Short Synopsis: A police force uses robot suits to catch criminals.

It really is quite funny how little I care about this show. We have the director of Code Geass as chief director and yet all this show inspires from me is apathy. For you see Active raid belongs to one of the categories us critics hate. It’s not good enough to warrant praise and not bad enough to warrant hate. In other words, it’s mediocre. The humor of the series is pretty terrible and the main character has a completely predictable character arc. She starting off as this cocky, uptight, by the book policewoman who gradually going to learn that working in the field isn’t as simple as she thinks and how important it is to take it easy on the job. Chances are she will be given a choice to effectively betray the team and sides with them either after or before making the choice. The characters are all eccentric besides our straight laced protagonist and yet not really interesting. The concept is hardly new, with police making use of high tech technology to catch criminals. All and all it just lacks something to truly to catch the viewer’s attention. The action isn’t noteworthy, the comedy isn’t funny and the plot doesn’t hold any surprises. It’s just forgettable.

Potential: 0%

 

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

Short Synopsis: A mangaka with the power to travel back in time finds himself facing an evil from his past.

Well we have the first contender for anime of the season. That was certainly a great first episode but I do have concerns. The pacing went fast by the second half and in terms of the manga this covered the entire first volume. The director has also stated that he intends to portray the original manga ending. There are currently 7 volumes to this manga and we have 11 episodes left. This is not good. The pacing didn’t kill this episode but if they continue like this I believe we may experience a adaption train wreck of the likes of Tokyo Ghoul. Due to the slow paced nature of the series this move might actually turn out beneficial but this director has his hands full fitting in that much content into such a small time frame without it feeling rushed. Still the first episode shows great promise. A good protagonist, a strong supporting cast and a fascinating plotline. Execution has so far been marvellous and the quicker pace did give a great cliffhanger to the episode.

Potential: 85%

 

Norn9 – Norn+Nonet

Short Synopsis: A girl boards a ship full of pretty boys

Why oh why does the protagonist of these things always have to be a bland dull nobody? I know the purpose of it is so you can transplant your face on to them but in practice I have found that never actually works. So we have a girl with a personality so bland that she could be replaced with a marionette and I am not sure if anyone would notice. As usual, companying the plank we call a girl is the pretty boy whose clinginess is on a very worrisome level. For one on first time meeting he saved her from falling into water by tying her up in vines. That fair enough but he didn’t untie her until someone saw him about to carry her into the ship. Less romantic and more like forced kidnapping. After that the guy practically stalks her at every turn. But my usual problems aside, why is this not engaging me? Well the story itself isn’t really all the interesting with the setting being on a ship that picks up people randomly to deliver to some place. The story is trying its damnedest to be atmospheric and surreal but I find myself disenchanted. We had some rather clunky exposition and it’s not exactly clear on the time frame. For the ship looks fairly futuristic but based on the flashes of memory from our protagonist, she’s from a Showa era setting. There isn’t much to our characters either as the few that made an impression seem rather one dimensional. One moment near the end that I found killed my suspension of disbelief was when our protagonist fell off a tree and fell hard into stone. She then rolled off and fell another 15 stories into water. Yet despite that she was perfectly fine, completely unscathed. So even if there is a threat on this ship based on that last scene, I doubt this terminator of a girl will have any trouble.

Potential: 0%

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

Musaigen no Phantom World

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist hunts phantoms as part of a school club.

This show started off with some examples to point out how unreliable the human brain is with optical illusions and made to point that our view of the world would be drastically altered if our brains were messed with in some way. And points out that if such a change to the brain occurs maybe we might see and feel…annoying tiny flying pixie girls. You know something is wrong when a show’s first lines are ultimately flawed logic. Yes, our vision of the world could be altered if our perception is messed with, but outside stimulus is still required to perceive something. Unless of course it was something intangible like ghosts but this series already breaks that rule by having one of these illusions pull open someone’s eyes. Of course you could make an argument for delusion or madness but I digress. So a lab is attacked which unleashes a virus on the world that allows people to perceive youkai and fictional beings. It also gives teenagers superpowers because…science. And naturally this virus has no negative side effects in the slightest despite messing with the most delicate organ in the human body. This may in fact be KyoAni’s lowest point and yes, I am taking into account the moe drivel and Free. At least those had some shrivel of creativity. One particular moment that really put the nail in the coffin was a point where the protagonist was about to do the cliched accidental pervert but realised that he was about to do the cliche. He very nearly subverted it but then then ended up doing the cliche anyway. Pointing out the cliche does not excuse the cliche. We have plenty of fanservice, particularly with the big breasted ponytail girl who apparently has the power to harness elements by feeling herself up. That isn’t the only dislikable factor as we have Ruru, a flying little mascot character who’s only purpose is poor comedy and to display the power to annoy. Everything else is just so run of the mill that it’s painful. It has very good animation and with the phantoms they seems to be trying to add in hijinks but the end result is just so cookie cutter.

Potential: 0%

 

Prince of Stride – Alternative

Short Synopsis: A girl helps restart a school club for free-running.

I refuse to call it Stride. To stride is to walk with big steps, in that regard it would make more sense to call it sprint. Let’s not beat around the bush and call it what it is, free running. Free running with a relay race aspect  With that out of the way I got to applaud the Madhouse animators. One of the hardest things in animation is a run cycle and here we have an entire animation dedicated primarily to just that. In that regards the running animation in this is marvellous. Though sadly that may be its only shining point. This show goes through the checklist of sports anime tropes. People who have an interest in a sport find club about to be disbanded and interest dying out. Revitalises the club by showing everyone how awesome it is and gathers a team of weirdos who each have their own approach to the sport. It’s pretty standard stuff. It’s not bad by any means but you do have to take into account that besides the running, you aren’t getting anything new here. The comedy is also pretty terrible. There’s also that thing where they try to make the sport as visually impressive as possible by exaggerating it to make it more interesting. But that’s more of a personal gripe, and not a Solid one considering an anime I really love, Hajime no Ippo, does the exact same thing. Lastly there’s the ever annoying trope of Otome games, the really bland female protagonist who gets all the boys. Pretty much a male harem protagonist gender swapped. So it’s fairly watchable and could make for a good in between watch anime.

Potential: 60%

 

Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru

Short Synopsis: A tomboy joins the brass band club and encounters a strange mystery.

Well my first impression of this turned out to be different to what I thought. But I like it when a show I didn’t expect much from presents something I could be interested in. What we have here seems to be a mix of Hyouka and a music anime. Now I can’t say I liked Hyouka because I find that the mundane mysteries it presented wasn’t interesting when nothing was at stake. Haruchika has a similar problem in that the mystery when solved doesn’t make much logical sense when you think of it from a human standpoint. It pretty much boils down to someone sending an innocent message by breaking into a school in the middle of the night and presenting it in the most cryptic and ominous way possible. That said the connection it had to music was interesting and it gave us a look into Haruta’s deductive capabilities. Our two leads seem interesting enough and the band aspect is done in a way that isn’t tiresome. Ultimately an enjoyable first episode but the thing I really liked was the development of the last scene. I will be vague so as to not spoil but it’s nice to see this particular thing shown in a way that isn’t overblown or in your face.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 12 October 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Subete ga F ni Naru

Short Synopsis: A group of people decide to visit an enigmatic genius girl living on a isolated island.

It’s a little odd to give this episode such high potential when on examination not a lot happened in it. In fact, nothing really happened in it. It was just a series of conversations between our main characters. Still for the duration of this episode I was completely spellbound. Our characters all seem quite interesting as Souhei seems like a man you would never get bored talking to, Shiki comes across as otherworldly and mysterious and Moe has a distinctive observation skills that will no doubt come to play later. Though Moe’s rather obvious attempts to catch the romantic  attention of Souhei are a little detrimental to the atmosphere but she does have good chemistry with him. This looks to be perfect for the style of mystery coming as with just ordinary conversation they can grab your full attention easily. CGI cars excluded the animation looks great and this really looks to be a return to form for a noitamina block of fuji Tv which looked to be going for shows with a more teen demographic instead of mature shows such as this. Admittedly some of the dialogue bushes on being pretentious but this show does present itself as being truly adult in nature. Once the plot really gets moving I think this show could become a great piece of entertainment and food for those like their anime with some sophistication.

Potential: 90%

 

Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid

Short Synopsis: A girl is kidnapped and sent to an island where girls use other girls as weapons by “turning them on”

This was a fascinating watch for me in ways unintended of it’s design. For you see as Valkyrie drive attempted to catch my attention with action and fanservice so blatant that you would wonder why they simply didn’t just go all the way and make it a hentai, I was concerning myself with questions about its setting. For example who decided that the best way of transporting girls to this island would be to jet them though a force field on some kind of rocket vehicle that is destroyed on impact and leaves the girls drifting unconscious in the water? Isn’t that a massive waste of funds to have to destroy one of these likely expensive vehicles every time they want to send a girl to the island? Wouldn’t most of the girls drown before being beached on the shore? Are girls send in pairs of weapon and wielder and who decides which is which? Who was the idiot that decided the weapons need to be activated through sexual foreplay? Why is it that only women can activate these weapons? Meanwhile as I think these questions, Valkyrie drive responds with a “Who cares about that, instead look at these boobies!” to which I reply “I haven’t seen mammaries that grotesque since Clotho from God of War 2.” There really is something wrong with the proportions of these girls that makes them visually alien. This is an experience, to watch a show that’s trying it’s darnedest to erotically entice and yet fail to get the slightest reaction from me. It’s like I am playing Bayonetta all over again, except without the great gameplay. As for story it’s basically along the lines of what you would expect but I really do need to make a point that they are pushing for the fanservice on this one. At one point they brought in a opponent who had a BDSM slave for a weapon and I really didn’t want it to go there but it unfortunately did. One of our main characters is a silent protagonist which outside of RPGs really is an off putting to see in animation. This girl can talk but in situations where talking would help greatly she stays silent. I guess if you want something for other purposes this might be your thing but frankly there are better alternatives. Not recommended.

Potential: 0%

 

Garo: Guren no Tsuki

Short Synopsis: A armoured man fights horrific spirits that possess people.

Somethings not selling me of this. Maybe it’s the similarity to Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis as the artstyle of the characters are alike and it is the same studio or maybe it’s because this turned out to be a lot less seinien than I expected. In fact you know what this reminded me of? A Tokusatsu show sure enough the live action Garo tv show is indeed a Tokusatsu show. I can’t say much for Tokusatsu shows as I simply don’t have enough experience with them to form a concrete opinion but I believe I went into this show with the wrong expectations. Which could explain why I wasn’t too impressed with the show. The setting is nice but the feel of the story just feels half baked and far too simplistic. One particular thing I noted was that in the beginning the heroes only jumped in after the monsters had devoured all the people and the villain of the episode mainly became a villain because he was mocked but by one of the female heroes which really doesn’t make me want to root for them. The heroes as well don’t have much in lines of personality. I fear this show may become too formulaic and just doesn’t mesh well with me on a personal level. My recommendation is to just watch the episode yourself and decide if you would like to continue with it or not as I find this may be a case of a show just not being to my taste.

Potential: 30%

Posted on 11 October 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Hidan No Aria AA

Short Synopsis: A fangirl wants to be a sidekick to a Detective who does no Detectiving

That was one of the most stupid things I have seen in quite some time. I took me a while to remember just how illogical the setting of Hidan no Aria is. Armoured detectives who don’t do anything related to be being an actual detective, bullet proof sailor uniforms that leave the lower body unprotected, a school dedicated to teaching kids in firearms and using them as a swat team…every aspect of this makes one wonder just how the writer couldn’t see how utterly dumb everything is. You could say it’s intentionally not taking itself seriously but the story presents itself with far too much sincerity. The animators and artists are clearly not putting there A game into this, nor should they. For anyone should have been able to tell that this was just a bankrupt concept. Actually it’s worse than that, it’s a spinoff to a bankrupt concept. Yes, this series isn’t a genuine sequel but rather a spinoff of the likes of the Railgun series is to the Index series. The male lead of the first season is barely present while the focus shifts to Aria and the Aria fangirl who is to be our main lead. Ultimatly a bad move as if there was anyone in the previous show who was at least somewhat interesting, it was the male lead but now all we have to carry the show is a Shana knockoff and a fangirl with a voice and personality that could annoy Buddha. The action scenes present some of the most mind boggling scenarios ranging from Aria dispelling electricity by controlling vibration to make it travel down a cable and vaporize a steel pillar(This isn’t how electricity works.), to a boat chase through a town river that is solved by a sniper shooting a crane on the boat, said crane swinging to the side and ripping off a railing, swinging back with railing and somehow Aria uses this to swing through a window to the Bridge of the ship and manages to perfectly balance herself needlessly between the ships wheel and a radio device. This is just laughably ridiculous and the fact that this show expects me to take this Rie Kugimiya tsundere seriously as some badass professional is just too much. Whatever here that isn’t silly is dull and uninteresting. This is hardly a surprise but this show is not recommended at all. Even you you want to watch something bad, it’s not worth it.

Potential: 0%

 

Ore ga Ojousama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken

Short Synopsis: An average boy is kidnaped and forced to go to a school for rich girls in order to teach them about the everyday world.

I fear Sliver link are making the same mistake that Mangalobe made with “The world god only knows” adaption. Namely adapting almost everything decently but messing up the most crucial aspect, comedy. I know this is based on a light novel but the manga had a certain punch to it. The jokes hit hard and fast which benefited the screwball nature of the situation. But the animes pace is slow with the jokes being too drawn out and lacking impact. With the main feature taken out the rest was a rather mediocre experience which doesn’t look like it’s going to improve. It’s very clear that this got the short end of the stick when it comes to budget, the character designs have gotten a fierce downgrade. One particular causality is the main protagonist whose design makes his character seem much more generic than he actually is. The show feels watered down and I felt slightly disappointed as a result. The lacking budget really hurts the show and you can truly see compromise in it’s presentation. I don’t really think I can recommend this quite as much as I did before because while the end result will likely be a little better than a no effort harem, it won’t quite be as enjoyable as it could have been.

Potential: 15%

 

Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai

Short Synopsis: An elite inquisitor gets demoted into a squad of misfits tasked with preventing crimes related to magic.

Better than the manga but ultimately a very mediocre experience. The soundtrack is odd with some techno styled synthesizers. The action and animation are pretty decent and it’s seems that this was one of the shows Sliver link decided deserved a better budget than the above Shomin Sample. A pity as this show is fairly trope heavy and while not terrible like Hidan no Aria, lacks anything to make it stand out. The characters so far have dull designs and don’t have much in interesting character traits. The sniper girl Usagi in particular is far too annoying with her being used mainly for fanservice, having an irritating voice and spending most of the episode shouting at other people. There’s the old standard tropes as well like the accidental boob grope and the walking in while someone’s changing trope. It’s something that I think some could enjoy if this kinds of light novel plots are your thing but having experienced dozens of these kinds of stories I found myself getting very bored halfway through the episode. From off hand accounts I have heard that the light novels get better later but right now It just doesn’t have that factor to make me want to keep watching it.

Potential: 10%

Posted on 10 October 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

JK-Meshi!

jkmeshi

Short Synopsis: Three girls banter and teach you how to make Japanese snack food.

As a comedy anime this show is laughably bad and clearly produced on a minimal budget. The characters do not move and the CGI is some of the ugliest I’ve seen. The writing might be even worse…but how is the recipe? Well I gave this one a try and can honestly say that miso soup with fried tomatoes and sesame seeds is delicious. Can I recommend this anime? Absolutely not. But if you’re interested in Japanese cooking you should skip the tv show and check out the recipes.

Potential: 0% (but worth checking out the recipes)

 

Hackadoll

hackadolllone

Short Synopsis: Inept, moefied, androids cause mayhem in their laughable attempts at assisting humans.

So apparently this show is an ad for a Japanese news app, which is ironic, because this is frankly some of the best animation I’ve ever seen in a TV short like this. Of course Trigger are known for front-loading their work, both in terms of animation budget and writing quality, so I’m guardedly optimistic about this show. But the first episode was a lot of fun, both visually and comedically. I will definitely be following this.

Potential: 75%

Komori-san can’t decline 

komori-san

Short Synopsis: A school girl is unable to refuse requests and develops special skills as a result.

I found this show to be lacking in both humor and taste. Which is a shame because I love the art style and the voice actors seem to really be trying. But the comedy is just not very funny and what makes this show truly repellent is the overdone breasts fanservice that borders on fetish material. Maybe someone else will like this style of show but I found it dreadful.

Potential: 15%

Hakone-Chan 

Hakone-chan

Short Synopsis: A shrine deity revives in the form of a child.

This is a pretty bland narrative about a shrine deity and a boy who is of course in unrequited love with the girl of his dreams. But I like how direct the narrative is and how capriciously Hakone-chan behaves. This is nothing ground-breaking but for the most part well-executed. But of course the creators have to go and throw in a stupid fanservice joke, which doesn’t bode well for the future but I think I will keep watching.

Potential: 45%

Magical Somera-Chan 

Somera-Chan

Short Synopsis: Somera and her sister endure random acts of violence.

This is a screwball comedy, which I usually like, but I guess this just isn’t my thing. The animation and voice acting are great and I can’t point to anything specifically that I found problematic about the writing but this just didn’t make me laugh. The again, unlike some of these other comedy shorts, I definitely think this show will have a following. It’s just so bizarre that I think some people are bound to love it.

Potential: 35%

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 04

Well it seems like I have to eat my words as Yakumo is quite the ladies man. Which is odd when he clearly doesn’t have any interest in interacting with women. Yakumo has a fruitful love life despite his apathy towards love in general. Yakumo and Sukeroku’s relationship has certainly gotten more easygoing as the […]

Schwarzesmarken – 04

This episode starts with a groan as we meet a new member of the cast, that being Theodor’s sister who on first sight hugs with with the ever so traditional “Onii-chan!” The sister does bring some good developments to the table, namely the machination the Stasi has in store for her, but I really wish […]

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – 04

There certainly is a layer of dread from this episodes beginning as we see happy events unfold. Things are looking up, history is changing, Kayo is finally getting out of an abusive relationship with her mother and finding happiness. But much like Satou is feeling, there is a unease at these developments. Things are going […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 03

From the looks of things this series will be focusing primarily on the past of Yakumo as the stylish opening seems to place emphasis on the characters of the flashback. Rakugo is surprisingly abset this week as World War II causes Yakumo to be left behind as his Teacher and Sukeroku go out to entertain […]

Schwarzesmarken – 03

Schwarzesmarken remains a strange specimen of an anime, while still not excelling it is clear it has the potential to. So why is it not a great anime? Well it’s beating the same point as my last post but I do think characterisation is key here. In this episode we had two characters introduced whose […]

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – 03

When it comes to matters of time travel, it’s always a wonder to consider just what rules it follows. Time travel, much like alternate realities is one of the biggest can of worms to open when writing a story. Mainly because it demands the viewer keeps in mind a series of characters,settings and event which […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 02

So we enter a flashback on how the master became the man he is as well as how he met Hatsuda. It’s interesting to see the man who always seemed to be in control be a person of much more vulnerable status. As a child we see the aspects that he will ebody in the […]

Schwarzesmarken – 02

Two episodes in and I certainly can feel that Schwarzesmarken is missing something to truly make it work. The setting has no problems and what’s presented is interesting but for some reason this isn’t as engaging as it should be. One could blame the art which had some spotty parts during this episode or the […]

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – 02

While this adaption isn’t quite staying true to the source, it’s still managing to present a compelling tale. In that regard I am glad as I would like to see this tale be given the treatment it deserves. Presentation remains great and I rather like how events in the past are show in a widescreen […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]