Posted by AidanAK47 on 20 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

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 pacing which is rather haphazard. Though what’s likely the issue is the lack of likable characters. Theodor has the problem of constantly looking and acting like someone spat in his soup. Tragic past or not, it’s a little hard to sympathise when most of the time he’s clicking his tongue in irritation. Katia is hopelessly optimistic and has the situational awareness of a bear cub in a snake pit. Call me sadistic if you will but there’s a certain satisfaction to be had in seeing Katia get a good beating after spouting that drivel about humanity working together for the greater good. The ideal is admirable but unrealistic, even Alan Moore’s Watchmen made the assumption that if provided with a common enemy Humanity would band together. One of the particular things I like about this series is that it tosses that idea to the dogs. For while it is undeniably stupid, if mankind was faced with an undefeatable enemy ready to burn the world to the ground, you can bet that people behind the scenes would be working to lay claim over the ashes.

So our two main characters are polar opposites, one being a nihilistic blowhard with anger management issues and the other a tone clashing overall happy girl with little idea of the state of her surroundings. They create some interesting dilemmas but lack likeable traits. The rest of the cast is unfortunately too underdeveloped but captain Irisdina holds potential. Though I doubt she truly shot her brother in cold blood to clear her name. The most likely outcome was that her brother gave his life willingly to help clear hers. A pity as I would like it if her loyal and proper demeanor was the result of her trying to redeem herself after committing such a Heinous act. Besides the BETA  for an antagonist we also have the Stasi, a branch of the military playing the role of thought police. Normally I am against such a one dimensional villain but the Stasi do a damn good job of being completely hateable. Beatrix and Axmann look to use the war with BETA as a means of setting up a 1984 level of Totalitarian control and they certainly are making things difficult.

From promising reinforcements only to sit in the hanger drinking tea while the people they left died on the battlefield to sending two units on a suicide mission just to kill off someone they see as a potential spy. The Stasi are basically the greatest threat to our main characters, mainly because unlike BETA they hold a position that allows them to kill our characters any time they wish and make sure they can’t do anything about it. Still I don’t find them quite as hateable as I probably should, maybe because the Stasi aren’t making any excuses to what they are doing. They know full well what they are doing and anyone who gets in the way must be removed. So strangely I don’t dislike them, though part of that might be because I find Beatrix to be quite attractive. She does seem like a woman who would give you a damn good time or kill you in the process. I am hoping that we get some likeable characters on the field as that would improve this show immensely. After all it would be a shame to waste such a magnificent setting as this. One so detailed that two east Germans on YouTube have made it a point to list the details and historical relevance. Sadly though it’s taken down due to a copyright strike at the moment. If it gets reuploaded and you are interested try looking for “How German is it? – Schwarzesmarken”

Posted by AidanAK47 on 19 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

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 format with black bars on the top and bottom. It gives a feeling like Satou is likely experiencing, that we are seeing these events but we aren’t quite there. We are like the opening shows, a person in a cinema, a observer. Though considering that Satou has control over his previous self it might be more accurate to consider him a person with a game controller. But there are points when he and his younger self sync together as shown by certain lines which his older and younger voice actors say simultaneously. This episode mainly dealt with Satou getting closer to a troubled girl with a abusive mother as she seems to be the next victim to be targeted by the serial killer who will eventually kill his mother. Things are moving slow for now but I like the small details such as Satou attempting to recall the details of the past. What’s more is that one of Satou’s clever friends seems to know something’s up and looks to be trying to off offhandedly help Satou in his goal. The big question to consider is that someone in this flashback is the killer Satou is searching for so who can it be. Our killer in the future has red eyes, glasses and is male so if someone in the past is responsible it would likely be an adult.

If there was something that I truly have a problem with, it would be the soundtrack. It doesn’t take long to notice that our music composer here is Yuki Kajura and my issues with her remain. If you haven’t read anything I wrote about her before then let me give you the cliffs notes. I believe Yuki is a very talented music composer that unfortunately chains herself by sticking to one style and one style alone. When putting her on a anime soundtrack the question becomes whether the anime can adapt to Yuki’s style as opposed to Yuki adapting to the style best for the anime. That’s just not a good way to go about making soundtracks. There are people who claim all of Yuki’s music sounds the same and there is some small weight to that claim. I wouldn’t blame anyone for getting huge reminders of Fate/Zero’s soundtrack with the final minutes of the episode. In fact I even suspect that Yuki has lifted melody lines from that soundtrack for this, and this wouldn’t be the first time she’s done that. At the moment I feel she’s doing an adequate job but if she starts shoving dramatic choirs into this then I don’t think the glove will fit. Regardless I hope they continue to make this work as well as it’s going and hopefully don’t run into pacing issues.

Posted by AidanAK47 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 by AidanAK47 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 by AidanAK47 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 by AidanAK47 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 by AidanAK47 on 11 January 2016 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 by AidanAK47 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 by AidanAK47 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 by AidanAK47 on 6 January 2016 with categories: Manga Experiment

Seeing as it’s taking a while for the new season to start up, I thought I might try something new. Like my Manga recommendation corner or video game reviews, don’t expect these to come up often. What we have here is a simple post to highlight some manga that have just started and seem interesting. I say this now, there is no guarantee that any of these will prove to be fantastic but out of what’s presented so far its given me reason to continue reading. I don’t even promise these will be good, merely intriguing.

Gleipnir

Shuichi Kagaya isn’t human. He has an unnatural sense of smell, and can transform into an incredibly powerful beast… of sorts. He does all he can to avoid standing out and being discovered, but no good deed goes unpunished, and his decision to use his power to save a girl spells the end for his quiet life.

Currently at four chapters. The setup of boy meets girl and other elements are rather typical but there are interesting aspects to this. For one the main characters power transforms him into a strange mascot character. Another is the lead female is has a fairly flawed personality as she seems to be blackmailing him into playing her bodyguard. It’s rather refreshing to see a heroine with genuine bad traits and not just bad traits made to look like good ones. It also looks like she will play a much more active role by making use of the mains power. It’s a strong start so far and while the lead male’s personality is a bit too timid and pathetic, the character have enough to differentiate them from the standard stereotypes. Fanservice is also the usual demon to bear here. The story is hitting some same beats but has potential to go somewhere. Keeping an eye on this one.

 

Hatsukoi Zombie

 

According to his childhood friend, Tarou Kurume is not interested in love. One day Tarou is struck on his head by a ball rendering him unconscious. When he wakes up, there’s a girl floating above him.
What has happened to Tarou? Who is this mysterious girl? Find out in this one of a kind romantic comedy series!

Two chapters so far and this one could turn out to turn bad in its next chapters. The zombie in the title isn’t quite what you would think. It mainly refers to the main leads power to see guys mental image of their first love. I am curious as to what the plot of this series will do with the concept. There’s also a good twist at the end of the first chapter with the leads first childhood love transferring into the class and it turns out that…he’s a guy. I was waiting for the old reveal of him being a girl cross dressing but it honestly seems like he is truly a guy. The power is interesting though is surely getting used for fanservice and the main lead seems different from your average Highschool Student. Whether this turns out worthwhile or not depends on what the main plot will be as right now I am having difficulty seeing just where this is going.

 

Kyokou Suiri

 

Meet the cute, smug, cane-wielding 17-year old Iwanaga Kotoko as she aggresively tries to woo the older Sakuragawa Kurou and act as a mediator/problem-solver for the supernatural world.

Currently four chapters with about 80 page length which is fairly chunky by manga standards That synopsis doesn’t really do it justice. The lead male is at least different in that he doesn’t react to woman like one reacts to being sprayed with pesticide. In fact the main joke for the comedy often involves the lead female trying to come on to him and failing miserably. Not because of him being oblivious, he’s fully aware of how she feels, but simply because she’s not his type. I like this girl because unlike most female leads who ditter around waiting for the target of their affections to notice how they feel, she outright spells it out for him at their first meeting. The main story involves them facing supernatural beings with her Natsume book of friends style legion of Youkai minions and the lead males strange body constitution. Its the character interactions that really make this for me as the lead female feels fresh with her overwhelming confidence matched with childish romantic sensibilities toped off witht he fact that she has a false leg and a false eye. And our lead male protagonist breaks conventions by being someone who had a previous romantic relationship. The banter between the two is quite entertaining and newest character introduced looks to be being her own dynamic to the group.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Feb 9. 2016 08:31 PM)
    Alright, if I can just catch up with Gundam orphans then I can finally post this summery.
    Also RWBY has gotten quite good lately.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Feb 9. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @wicked, that’s the surprising thing. I still think the reason its getting a anime adaption is simply because of the premise and I bet the anime is going to play up the fanservice. It is pretty standard sports manga despite how utterly ridiculous the sport is.I mean that exam which featured girls swinging their asses in figure 8s…and not one person pointed out how strange it was.
  • wicked
    (Tuesday, Feb 9. 2016 06:31 AM)
    @Aidan Gotta hand it to Keijo though, it takes that fighting with tits and ass thing crazy serious.
    It’s straight up a friendship, effort, victory shounen fighting manga otherwise
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Feb 8. 2016 01:45 PM)
    Keijo is getting an anime adaption huh…well its a manga about girls pushing each other off floating platforms using just their ass and boobs. Of course it’s getting an anime adaption.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Feb 8. 2016 01:41 PM)
    @CloudedAnime, Normally I am not too keen on others using this Shoutbox to push their blogs but I will allow it this time. (Pretty certain that compliment was insincere and being pasted everywhere else you are pushing that blog. The joys of self promotion…)
    Just ease off on the exclamation marks there and keep at it.
  • CloudedAnime
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 06:54 AM)
    Love this place! Come check out my blog too at Clouded Anime! Follow me on Twitter too for updates! https://cloudedanime.wordpress.com/
  • wicked
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 05:49 AM)
    @kaiser though those were published in japanese magazine, they were full on mangas
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 05:33 AM)
    @Prince, I Responded.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 03:48 AM)
    That said adapting manwha isn’t entirely unheard of, afterall kurokami and freezing got adaptations.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 03:44 AM)
    I was very surprised to see noblesse was adapted, I read early chapters of the webtoon before it really got going but just fell out of reading it.

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