Thursday, May 10, 2018

[New][April 2018] Wotaku: Koi wa Muzukashii

Rathian! That's a Rathian! He's hunting a Rathian!
I got the reference!
*quiet mental squee*

Last Seen: Episode 2

Summary: Narumi Momose makes a sudden job change, when the secret she was trying to keep gets discovered: that she's an Otaku, specifically a Yaoi(AKA Boy's Love) fangirl. At her new company, she bumps into someone she was friends with in middle school, Hirotaka Nifuji: An unabashed Gamer Otaku, who immediately blows the secret she swore she was going to keep this time, by asking if she's going to Comiket, right in front of two of her coworkers!

First Impression: Expected pure gags, got a surprisingly grounded romcom.

My Opinion: This was a surprise. I was giving it a shot mostly because it was in a list of 'anime you should watch this season' and it wasn't an outright reject. Once I started it up, I really enjoyed it, the humors on point, but...there's just one problem. In case the massive amount of weeb'anese in the summary I wrote up there didn't give it away, this show is basically founded on the idea that the people watching either are otaku themselves, or are familiar enough with them from watching anime to get all the jokes. It seems like all of the humor for this one is based on getting all of the in-jokes the characters are throwing at each other from otaku culture.

For point of reference: I kept getting hitched on all of the shots they were showing of Hirotaka playing his game...monster hunter. Which I immediately identified by the sounds, before they even showed it on screen for the first time, since I've been up to the roots of my hair deep, in Monster Hunter World which just recently released.

Specifically I kept eyeballing all of the monsters he was fighting to see if I recognized them, or if they were monsters only in the old Monster Hunter games, because that's what the cuts are, actual footage of an older copy of monster hunter! I just found that so ridiculously charming...which then immediately had me wondering if maybe I shouldn't be slightly concerned with how much it felt like I was looking in a mirror...

Well in short, that's the feeling I get from this one. If you're familiar with Otaku culture, one way or the other, this show's worth your time to check out. The comedy isn't over the top ridiculous, and the 'romance/drama' is all...rather level headed and mature, like the show's actually taking that part of itself seriously. The Otaku part always seems to be cracking a joke, but whenever they flip the coin, things aren't serious business serious, but much more level-headed than I'm used to expecting from this kind of setup. It's all very refreshing after the recent frog march of low-tier stuff like 'Another World Smartphone' and 'Black Clover' that have come out recently. Stuff that feels like it's hot off the clone stamp machine, y'know? Nothing particularly original about them.

No recommendation just yet, this one didn't have me in stitches like Hinamatsuri did, but that could just be a matter of time. "I can't understand what my Husband is saying" was the last time a setup like this was great in my opinion, and it took a few episodes for that show to grow on me too. (that may have just been the short-show format though, if I'm completely honest).

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

[New][April 2018] HINAMATSURI

Someone stick a fork in me, I'm done. I'm dieing over here.


Last Seen: Episode 2

Summary: Nitta Yoshifumi is a yakuza, living surrounded by his beloved pots in his home in Ashigawa. But one day, a girl arrives in a strange object, and uses her telekinetic powers to force Nitta to allow her to live with him, putting an end to his leisurely lifestyle. Her powers can come in handy for his yakuza business... but he also runs the risk of her using them on him! Not to mention, if she doesn't use her powers regularly, she will eventually go berserk and destroy everything around her. So their life living together begins...

First Impression: It's COMEDY GOLD PEOPLE!

My Opinion: I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time. Comedy is always a roll of the dice, but this one hit a natural 20 with me. It contains so many dangerously over done tropes, but it's using all of them in such a fresh way, and the jokes are on point. I think perhaps because it relies more on situational comedy, rather than outright slapstick or gags.

The show has a serious tone running under it, which helps hold it all together, and keeps it feeling like its moving forward instead of just wasting time spinning its wheels in one place. That's kind of how I felt about Alice and Zouroku after it's big mid-season climax, like it gave everything it had, and then was just finding ways to kill time. Even though you could tell the story was still trying, it was just over-saturated with comedy, so nothing felt like it had any weight or feeling to it anymore.

Here meanwhile, this show reminds me a great deal of Kobayshi's Dragon Maid. Comedy is obviously the center, but the show has a serious side when it wants to, without feeling like it's deliberately trying to be edgy. Ah, the word I'm looking for is 'Mature'. When the show is being serious, it feels very mature, instead of like something that fell out of a teenagers edge-lord fantasy notebook.

It's only two episodes in, and I swear it felt like I had watched four episodes already. Part of that is because the story arcs were actually divided 2 per episode, but think about that for a second. I had just consumed 4 half-episode time-sized stories, but I still felt like I had watched four full-length ones, because they had that much weight and impact to them, in both comedy and honest story.

I think a lot of it can be attributed to one of the main characters, Hina, being the right balance of the apathetic/empty character trope. The show does a good job of framing it that she previously was a hollow vessel, but unlike how a lot of shows seem to think that's an end unto itself, (It's not by the way, that makes the most boring characters ever), she's already growing out of it nicely, if with comedic effect awkwardness. The bar scene in episode two killed me, all the way through, I actually had to be told I could be heard laughing from all the way outside the house.

Needless to say, this show gets a 100% pure

Recommendation
for comedy gold that's right on point. You should absolutely try it, see if the humor tickles your fancy.

Monday, April 16, 2018

[New][April 2018] Kakruiyo - Bed & Breakfast for Spirits (Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi)

Well, isn't that a pretty set-piece.

Last Seen: 3

Summary: One of Aoi's earliest memories, is of a kind Ayakashi saving her life. Having been able to see them for as long as she can remember, her mother ends up abandoning her, and she's left to fend for herself, and starve. This is when an Ayakashi appears before her. Thanks to the Ayakashi's kindness, Aoi survives, to be found and adopted by her grandfather, who can also see Ayakashi. He teaches her how to survive on her own, live quietly and avoid trouble with them. She grows up peacefully, until the day her grandfather passes away... and an Oni comes to take her as his bride for a debt of her grandfathers! With her grandfathers name signed on the contract naming her as collateral!

First Impression: Much better than I was expecting.

My Opinion: The anime industry is nothing if not demonically-contracted to jump on the bandwagon of anything with even mild success, so when I first saw this show I just assumed it was bandwagon 'copy, paste, repaint, and sell'-class material based on Konohana Kitan since it sounded so similar. In just one episode though, it proved me quite wrong. There is, after all, nothing wrong with innovating on a previously existing idea. The problem is just that a lot of people in a lot of industries read 'innovating' as, 'reselling the same old crap with a new paint-job'.

Where as Konohana is as shallow as it can possibly get, and focuses on cute'sy feel-goods, this show quickly sets out to prove it has a bit more depth. How much, will remain to be seen in future episodes, but it looks promising to me so far.
(Get your torches and pitchforks ready, and brush up on your angry mob tactics, I'm certainly far more 'willing to believe' than is wise).

Just in the first episode we have a fair touch more grounding depressive events, with child abandonment and debt-collection. More importantly, none of the characters feel 'trope'-y, yet, even by the third episode. Which is quite impressive honestly, since this show seems to be peeling cards off of Natsume Yuujinchou, Konohana Kitan, and more than a few rom-coms in its future I'm sure. If for no other reason than the main character running around asking for a job, and then when one is actually offered without her asking, she acts surprised. I didn't like that part, she had been a rather strong character until then. Besides that however, the show isn't really pushing romance...at all. As a matter of fact, it's waaay in the background as it focuses on Aoi getting her bearings in this sudden upset in her life of being plunged into the Hidden Realm.

As it continues on, it fixes up right nicely. The main character has the right balance of being utterly mystified by all of the unheard of things she's surrounded by, but at the same time, since she's been dealing with Ayakashi since she was young, and she's now already an adult, she acts like she should, I feel. She barely even blinks when the Oni talks about enjoying eating humans and is more annoyed by how happy he seems to be to point it out all the time, and she doesn't jump at every little new thing and character that comes on screen. I like that. She's acting like she actually is a mature adult. I think that's something I miss in most anime: competent level-headed characters. The show is looking great so far.

On the topic of looks though...something about the animation feels...off. Like walking around in a room that has been tilted 1 degree off from being level. I can't quite put my finger on why I think something seems out of place with the animation. Could just be a random impulsive feeling, but I'm here to right my opinion and inform the masses, so may as well mention it.

All together, this is a lovely little show so far, and I'm looking forward to it from week to week. Not quite worth a full recommendation yet, as nothing huge or especially interesting is going on, but I believe it's worth most peoples time to try it. Nothing seems ready to crash and burn, and that's actually kind of rare lately. Maybe I'm just not watching enough anime, or have had bad luck picking out shows, but a lot of shows have had shaky starts lately. Well that's my opinion, so may it serve you well.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

[Ended] Alice & Zouroku - Fast climax, slow and steady pan out

Shh, too lazy to take a screenshot.


My Opinion: This show was absolutely and undeniably fantastic. For the first half. After that, it's a roll of the dice and anyone's game. It's not mediocre or bad by any stretch, but by comparison it definitely isn't as strong of an impression or impressive. It EXPLODES right out of the gate with the best it has to offer, and then everything after that just seems a bit dull by comparison.

This one is very much a 'come for the fight, stay for the characters'. Which is to say, if you didn't fall in love with one of the main characters right away, after the main climax is over literally when I wrote the first post for this show at episode 5-6, you don't really have a strong reason to keep watching, because it's more or less just those characters, living their lives. Very much a clean fit into the 'slice of life' genre.

Personally, I absolutely adore the character Zouroku, and surprisingly, I did like Alice as well. Normally I find the overly eager and rambunctious little girl characters aggravating and in need of a good lecturing and grounding, but uh...Zouroku kind of handles that perfectly so. It ends up being fantastic watching Alice try her best, and Zouroku guiding her down the right path.

Impartial Opinion: If you immediately dislike one of the two and half main characters, you have basically no reason to watch past episode 5 or 6. Everything after that mid-show climax is just a slice of life of the old man and a little girl living their lives getting used to each other. Yes, more trouble crops up, but it pans out far less spectacularly than the first half. Zouroku is the punchline, so I liked it anyway, but that may not fly for everyone else.

I still maintain this shows solid:

Recommendation
 under the provision that it extends only as far as that mid-show climax. After you see that, everything else is up to your own personal taste.

Naturally this show gets a rating of  Good.

Honestly, I shouldn't have been surprised that they couldn't maintain that level of excitement. It was still a let down however, so no Great for this one.

[Aside]
If I'm perfectly honest, I think the thing that miffs me the most is that Zouroku takes a backseat in the second half for no other reason than he is separated from Alice. While the story is fine and interesting, and I don't really fault them for doing that, I can't deny that the lifeblood of this show is those two interacting together, and I absolutely love Zouroku to pieces and everything he does in the show. Perhaps if he had a stronger presence in the second half, I would have felt better about it.
*shrug*
[aside end]

Monday, March 12, 2018

[New][April 2017] Alice & Zouroku

I have never gone from 'eh, villain, just another shitty human' to
"BITCH I WILL FUCKING MURDER YOU!!"
so fast.


Last Seen: Episode 5

Summary: The “outside world.” It was filled with things she had never touched, scenery she had never seen, and people she had never met... In the face of such a broad new world, she was surprised, wavered, and her eyes were opened on the impulse of curiosity.
Sana.
She was born and raised at a facility called the “Laboratory”, without ever knowing anything about the outside world. This girl has the special power to materialize anything she imagines. Once free, she find's a grumpy old man she judges to be a 'good person', and offers him a deal: She will grant him any wish at all, if he helps her.
He flatly refuses.


First Impression: Expected Cute'sy nonsense on an 'Usagi Drop' scale. Got that, and so, SO much more!

My Opinion: What are you doing, why haven't you watched this? It came out in April. Why the hell did it take me so long to watch this? ... oh right, because the anime industry churns out truckloads of shitty copy paste trash that drowns all the gems to the bottom of the abyss.

Well, let me sum things up with this: In five episodes, this show managed to have the entirety of another anime's full plot line, and it was goddem fantastic every single step of the way, and it's not even over yet, my mind is so farking blown right now.
Meanwhile, I managed to somehow catch myself up on Black Clover, and the shit having dried, doesn't smell as bad anymore. It's alright I guess, but holy shit does putting it next to this show make you really appreciate the vast difference in production quality.

Alice & Zouroku goes for what I can only describe as an old-fashioned simple art style that looks like something you might have seen 5-10 years ago, but polished up to modern standards. I wouldn't be surprised if you pulled out a manga, said it was the original material, and took a screenshot of the anime and it looked exactly the same, just colored in. And yet...
The animation doesn't cut any corners for the fights I've seen, the CGI is in the background where it belongs, handling objects and set-pieces, and the characters are consistent. I'm not going to bother saying anything about Black Clover because I just can't be made to care anymore now that I have my precious gem. Having just recently gotten back on point writing here, this is a good feeling, a show filling me with so much inspiration to write.

But of course, I give this show a full fledged:

Recommendation
,

and I haven't even finished it yet. It's just that good.

To flesh it out some more though, don't be mislead by the simplistic and cutesy art and first impression. This show certainly surprised me with how smooth and mercilessly it refused to pull any punches, and sucker punched me in the gut. It's got a nice level of depth. It's not so far down it becomes Edge-lord'y but it's a nice comfortable level that conveys emotion and realism, without trying to grind your face in the grit, or break your sanity and will to live apart. But, it's only episode 5, eh? I've got more to see, but that will be in the end post.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Oh Crap. I foRGOT ABOUT THIS!

OKAY REAL FAST, HERE WE GO, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

A Centaurs Life (Centaur no Nayami): Good, Too Short to do source justice!

Yokai Apartments
: Good! Surprising Depth!

Juni Taisen
: Good, under some conditions!

Konohana Kitan
: Simple, Shallow, Good!

B: The Beginning: Great! Recommended! No Spoilers.

Devilman Crybaby
: Great! Recommended! Ending's a little pretentious in my opinion!

Blood Blockade Battlefront Second Season: Went down without a hitch, more of the same, but shallower this time. Feels like build up to something that we didn't actually get?

Saga of Tanya the Evil: Great!
Jesus did I not write an end for this yet? someone slap me.

My Hero Academia Season 1&2: Great! more on this later. (more on everything later honestly)

Silver Guardian
: Mediocre! See that capital M? Mediocre with a Capital M. Not worth a post of its own.

Okay, that should SORT OF catch everyone up on everything I've consumed since the last post, plus a few bits and pieces that I haven't been motivated enough to finish or I don't feel like are worth mentioning.

[Aside]
Honestly, I don't know why Silver Guardian is even on here, and since blogger.com won't shut up about the Label(tag) character limit, I'm just going to cut it out of there to save space. If it wasn't for the fact that I've defined the Bad rating for myself as something that's a hot mess, but that has value to watch if for no other reason than to learn what mistakes not to repeat, I'd call that the worst show I've seen in a while. (not the worst ever by a long shot, most Drama and Soap Opera's take that trophy and run the Olympics with it). It has such a chronic case of 'no substance' and having nothing that can offend or impress, that it wraps right back around to being offensive again on the sole accusation of being precious time from our limited life spans wasted. Copy, Paste, Plagiarize, Done: Silver Guardian.
[Aside end]

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

[Retro] The Devil is a Part-timer: Good from start to finish.

This show can get unnervingly serious at points...

Summary: The Demon Lord Satan begins to conquer the land of Ente Isla with his vast demon armies. However, his efforts are foiled by the hero Emilia, forcing Satan to make his swift retreat through a dimensional portal only to land in the human world. Along with his loyal general Alsiel, the demon finds himself stranded in modern-day Tokyo. Powerless in a world without magic, and reduced to a weak and frail human form without it, Satan assumes the guise of a human named Sadao Maou and begins working at a local fast-food restaurant to make ends meet. He soon realizes that his goal of conquering Ente Isla is just not enough as he grows determined to climb the corporate ladder and become the ruler of Earth, one satisfied customer at a time!
My Opinion: So. This is a very old one, isn't it? Also, Holy crap, Evil Cat already had a post about it. I'm watching shows so old they were reviewed before I even started writing here. Ah Jeez, Rick.

THERE ISN'T AN END POST THOUGH, SO I'VE FOUND MYSELF A LOOPHOLE!

[Aside]
Seriously though, that tells you how mediocre Black Clover is, that I went and watched an entire show from like, 4 years ago, before I could muster up the willpower to watch one new episode of that one. I hear the manga is better, from a source whose opinions I trust, so there's that I guess.
[Aside end]
When this show originally aired, I actually made the call to not pick it up based on the glut of "Maou" show's that were buzzing around, kind of like how the Isekai(another world) theme is recently. That, and Evil Cats less than enthused first impression. Honestly, I wasn't impressed either with the first episode that includes the magic and fighting in Ente Isla. This show's shine comes out when they get to our world.

What got me to pick it up, was I was just floating around youtube videos trying to put off watching Black Clover long enough that I could follow it up with Juni Taisen to rub the bad taste out, and one of my recommended videos ended up being a clip from this show. I busted a gut laughing, and that's how the binge of it began.

This show is quality comedy, from start to finish. Of course, comedy is one of those things that are to each their own taste, but this one was 100% refreshing and enjoyable for me. Maybe it has something to do with how I actually work in Retail, but almost all of the gags and jokes feel very much like the kinds of bickering you'd actually hear from people working and living like the characters are. More importantly, its not just all jokes, all the time. The world has this...consistency to it. Both of them. Things keep happening in Ente Isla, even though we don't spend much time watching it, and the whole thing has this ridiculously holistic feel to it for a comedy, like watching drops of water causing ripples that randomly collide with each other. It doesn't feel like the comedy is trying to apologize for the shows serious notes, nor does it feel like the serious notes exist only to break up the comedy. Rather, it feels like the everyday lives of the characters are naturally funny, and that Life being Life, bad things happen.

Actually, that's more or less the kind of feeling I get. The characters, despite being completely fantasy characters, feel human and real. The Demon King isn't just cartoonishly evil just for the sake of being evil, he actually acts and adapts like a thinking person would, and most of the characters act that way as well. Unfortunately, the villains are a little flat, but not glaringly so.

You know, I have a benefit that writing in the future provides. This show feels like Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. I do believe that the entire feeling and impression of the show is exactly the same, from front to back, with the dragons just swapped out for demons. There's a feeling of ... authentic'ness? to the show, even when the crazy magic is flying all over. For example, when the Maou and his general arrive in our world, reduced to human forms, the Maou actually comments, "hm, perhaps humans are the base for all life" or something to that effect. Of course, his general just laughs it off as a poor joke, but the Maou seriously thought it for a brief moment. This single moment actually ends up playing into the shows entire theme as the rest of it plays out, and I utterly adore such a finely detailed touch to making sure a worlds general concepts are consistent. It isn't just, "Oops! the Demon Lord suddenly turned into a human! For reasons! LOL", so that the show can have its gag humor. It actually had some thought put into it that affects the show later as the story progresses.

Something I wouldn't have noticed years ago, this show was produced by White Fox. Back then, that probably wouldn't have meant anything to me even if I had noticed, but these days, I recognize that as a stamp of 90% quality production. There's very few shows I haven't loved that this studio has managed the production of. Take that as you will, opinions and such.

All together though, for solid characters, world-building, and comedy, I rate The Devil is a Part Timer:

GREAT
With a Recommendation on top. You couldn't find a smoother way to kill 13 episodes worth of time, in my opinion.

Maybe it's just refreshing to find a show like this because I'm watching a season with Dies Irae, GARO-Vanishing Line, and Black Clover in it, all of which are suffering from either a horrendously chaotic assembly, or an utterly undecipherable sense of direction or tone. That and feeling Shounen'y for the sake of being Shounen. Because Shounen is a genre that is popular and profitable, right? Absolutely not childishly irritating on endless repeat. At least GARO feels like it could end up someplace good. Gonna have to stop being lazy and start writing the posts for those shows.

Monday, October 30, 2017

[Ended] Knight's and Magic - Relentless High Tension

Exo-suits! FINALLY,
Someone figured out these are much more practical!

My Opinion: Nothing about this felt like a mech anime. Since it's literally covered in giant robots though, that's quite an impressive statement for me to make, so let me back it up a little. At the end of this post is a rant about me and my history with the Mech Genre of anime, but to summarize it: Giant Mechs are so unwieldy, that they weigh the whole show down trying to support them. Or at least, trying to have them fighting. Knight's and Magic sidesteps this problem in a very interesting way. Rather than staying as far away from the technical side of things as possible, something that inevitably will spell the death of a Mech anime, because the basic idea of a Humanoid Giant robot is either,
A) Untenable by various principles of Physics, especially the balance controls, or
B) Impractical for the amount of resources they cost, versus how easy they are to destroy in the show.

Knight's and Magic dives right in to the technical side of things, and takes care of point A by setting the stage in a world with magic. This allowing them to bend, rather than abolish the laws of Physics. Any show that uses magic to just hand wave things away is just as bad as a mindless Mech anime in my book. Then it takes care of point B, by emphasizing how much work it takes to make these giant machines. This also naturally underlines that it's devastating for large amounts to be easily destroyed, or worse, for information on building better ones to be stolen, since it takes so long to make them. If the enemy already knows about your new secret weapon long before you can even finish building it, its effect is greatly diminished, in addition to them now having it.

That's the other thing I love about this show. Intrigue. Most of the time, Gundam shows have drama, great big emotional clashes of will and might, not real intrigue, people desperately moving around in the shadows trying to get an edge on each other. In Knight's and Magic, knowing how the enemy's mech is built is just as valuable as knowing how powerful it is to the main cast of characters, and therefore, the show. Grant, espionage isn't a large part of the show, but it's nice that they acknowledge that it exists and pay tribute to it.

That is the second half of what I think makes this show amazingly special. I believe other mech shows have previously been ruined by including lots of technical aspects to their giant robots, because they eventually get lost in those same technical aspects. The main character of this show, Ernesti Eschevalier, is the primary driving force of the show. Despite his utter otaku love of giant robots and everything to do with them, he's still grounded in the reality around him. He's not a space cadet, so to speak. He properly comprehends the consequences of what is going on around him, and how he affects it with his genius. At the same time, his boundless enthusiasm constantly propels the show forward, where other shows would get bogged down either with drama, or trying to explain things. If anything ever starts to slow down, Ernesti inevitably comes up with some lunatic new robotic thing-a-ma-jig and it, with a lot of clunking and gear-grinding, propels the show further forward as he now has to patch it up and make it work, or come up with more thingamajigs.
His robots do not just magically come up with extra power, hell, almost all of them have a problem of running out of power before the more normal designs. The pilot doesn't just scream love, friendship, or anger at the top of their lungs and suddenly everything goes their way. Shit breaks, and someone has to fix it.

It's a fair point to mention that all of the things Ernesti invents were always really interesting, in addition to being designed to be cool. That, plus the fact that nothing ever seems to go to waste in this show. I can't think of a single thing Ernesti invents in this show that he doesn't in some way re-use or re-purpose at least once, if not multiple times.

This show is a breathtakingly high-stakes, but fast paced, barrage of giddy high tension excitement.
The show knows it is here for one reason only, to make Giant Robots fight, but for once in my life, I've seen a show put in the work it takes to make this overly simple concept truly engaging.
Ha, that's it. That is how I would describe this show in a single word:
Engaging.

Impartial Opinion: I truly think everyone should give this show a try, especially if you hate Mech Anime for same reasons that I do. The characters are endearing. Several of them are very trope'y, but Ernesti generates so much driving force in the show, that they never have enough screen time to become truly annoying. They also all grow, at least a little bit.
However, if you find Ernesti himself annoying, that will likely smash this show to tiny pieces. Ernesti and his passion feel like the lifeblood of this show to me, so I daresay you would be very hard pressed to enjoy it if you hate his guts.
The battles are very high quality, in my opinion, even if the scale is probably a lot smaller than the Space Epics that hardcore Gundam fans are probably used to by now. If you just cannot get into robot fights, that will also be an easy breaking point for some, because the show does invest a lot of tension and excitement into how the latest greatest thing will perform in actual combat.

All around, I give this show a rating of,
GREAT
and a strong recommendation to top it off. I loved the hell out of this show, and it will quite literally be the first Mech anime to ever grace the shelves of my collection, if/when it ever gets translated into English so I can share it with friends.

[Aside]

I remember the first mech anime I ever watched was Gundam Wing. I was pretty into it at the time, and I loved the Endless Waltz movie to death. However, when I tried to go back and re-watch the Gundam Wing series, it just...grated on me. Most of it was how dated it was with its storytelling and characters, but the only Mech anime I've ever felt like re-watching since then was Fighter G Gundam because I remember it being unique and interesting as far as the genre goes. I've never bothered because I'm worried it will be a repeat of Wing Gundam, and it's not worth tarnishing the nostalgic memory. Knowing myself, I'll do it one day anyway.

Why did I bring all this up? I have liked basically zero Gundam anime that have come out ever since. I ended up watching quite a lot of Gundam 00, and enjoying it...but then without even realizing it, as soon as other shows started pressing for my time, it was the first to be dropped, even part-way in the second season. After that, I tried to pick up a few other Gundams that came out, or that I had never watched, but I just was never interested again. What's more, any time a mech anime came out, it got the same treatment.

I do believe I know why this happened. It's because, to begin with, human shaped robots are impractical, but that's just a very tiny piece of it. Magic is way more impractical, and I love me to death a lot of fantasy shows. The important thing, is that it contributes to the Suspension of Disbelief being dispelled. You can't just tell your audience to accept something. You need to put some effort into it, make the abnormal feel normal. The problem is far worse though. The number one contributing factor to me dropping the shows every time, was I was just utterly bored or disenfranchised with the story and characters. The drop always comes right around the time the shows story or character development plummets into the earth in favor of...Giant Robot Battles.

Yes, the core reason most mech anime fans love the genre tends to be the point where I drop the shows. Why? Because as soon as the fighting starts in earnest, everything seems to devolve into an endless ridiculous chain of excuses upon excuses for having MORE giant robots smash each other to solve everyone's problems, and it somehow fucking works. Emphasis on somehow. The excuses just continue to get ever more ridiculous until the show eventually grinds to a halt. In other words, all mech anime eventually compromise on the rest of the show, and sacrifice it into the fire in order to sustain the unwieldy metal monstrosities that are the very heart of their genre. Assuming they even tried to have a decent story and characters to begin with. A lot of the time, they're content to make it obvious right out of the gate that the show exists solely as an excuse for giant robots to smash each other for little to no reason at all. I honestly think that's the better approach, because then it isn't duping hopeful or curious people into watching something they thought would be more than it was.
[Aside end]

Sunday, October 29, 2017

[New][July 2017][Ended] Restraunt to Another World - Quality Relaxation

It's always hard to pick a pic for a show like this.
but this lion using those tiny utensils is still hilarious

Summary:
There is a certain restaurant in the first basement level of a multi-tenant building...The historical restaurant, marked by a sign with a picture of a cat, is called "Western Cuisine Nekoya." This restaurant seems completely normal during the week, but on Saturdays, it opens in secret to some very unique guests. During this day, doors in various areas of a parallel magical world open to allow customers of many different races and cultures into the restaurant.

My Opinion:
An absolute joy to behold. Original, quality content. I'm very happy to see someone actually innovating with the Another World trope, or "Isekai" as it is rendered in English from the Japanese. The characters are precisely as fleshed out as they need to be. This is a very simple, slice-of-life style show, and so no individual character is ever amazingly deep or complex, but watching each of them develop and interact with each other is very pleasant.The entire show's story ends up having this wonderfully satisfying arc as well, without you realizing what it's doing.

Impartial Opinion: Fair warning, there is Food Porn here. The show spends a LOT of time having the characters drool words all over the food they're eating, describing it and its absolutely AMAZING taste. I've never even eaten a single thing they serve in this show, and they still make it all sound great. Never made me hungry, but I imagine a lot of people would find them selves drooling if they aren't just outright laughing. These kinds of scenes tend to have radically diverse reception. Some people love it, some laugh at it, others hate it because they don't enjoy it and it drags on.

I had already planed to give this show a rating of
GREATwith a solid Recommendation,
when I had first finished watching it. At some point, I tabled writing its New post, and now here we are, I completely forgot I hadn't ever actually finished and published it.
Before, it simply was for being a solid 10/10 for relaxing and refreshing story, but now, having recently consumed that thing that is known as 'Another World with my Smartphone'
it also gets bonus points for something I hadn't originally thought to talk about. A creative and original use of the 'Another World' setting. I think I've seen anime centered around Food Porn before, and I know a specific comedy series that's set in a Restaurant, but I do believe this is the first time this particular combination has ever been done. In my experience, at any rate.

Go enjoy this lovely little gem, I promise it's worth your time, so long as you don't mind them prattling on about how amazing the food is every episode.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

[New][Ocotober 2017] Konohana Kitan - Light and Fluffy goodness

Let's play Guess the Guy! There is One Guy in this picture, Whooo is it!?
Yay Androgynous Japanese art!
...they are a guy right...?

Last Seen: Episode 2

Summary: In a village inhabited by youkai, Konohana Kitan is the heartwarming story of a new apprentice named Yuzu, and the other fox girls who work at a hot spring hotel called Konohatei. Yuzu had always been living in the mountains, but now has to adjust to a new life working in a high class inn. The staff at Konohatei live by one belief: no matter who one may truly be, no matter what, anyone who is a guest is a god.

First Impression: A light and simple story to warm your heart.

My Opinion: If you need something to pick you up after a crappy day, for example, having had a wisdom tooth ripped out of your mouth while you were awake when you were expecting to be knocked out, there is nothing better you can find to relax to than this show. The main character, Yuzu, has more than just cuteness going for her. Usually a Cutesy main character goes hand-in-hand with being a ditz, and that irks me. That's a support character, not a protagonist, for anything other than a pure gag-comedy show. Yuzu on the other hand, while being just the right spice of clumsy, is by no measure dense or incompetent. Just in the first two episodes she shows to be a fast and earnest learner, and a hard worker. I find that very appealing in a character we're going to be spending most of the show with the camera glued to the back of her head.

The world seems to be an interesting light-mix supernatural and conventional. A couple of characters have referenced Humans wandering through the town occasionally, and Yuzu has said they visited the temple she was living at frequently. So I'm not precisely sure if the story is set in a spirit world, or if parts of the world are just more Youkai populous. The whole setting feels very Natsume Yuujinchou if I'm perfectly honest, and I love it.
In fact, that's a good way to describe this show so far. Take Natsume Yuujinchou and remove most of the sad and depressing heartfelt moments, and replace them with light and fluffy moments. I'm not sure if the show will ever get a bit more serious than this at this episode count, but I don't feel like it needs to. Within two episodes, you have a very clear idea that this is a 'feel-good' show, you're here to do just that, feel good and happy. The show does it's job perfectly.


If you are looking for or enjoy having a show to relax and unwind to, I give Konohana Kitan a solid
Recommendation.

It's just the right balance of slice-of-life light drama and good comedy. Maybe not what everyone is looking for, but one episode is all you need to figure that out, nothing too deep here.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

[New][Ended] Bulk Post Continued

That's right, another bulk post, because somehow I forgot to come back and finish whatever that train of thought was from last time. Can't even remember. Oh well.

ON WITH THE SHOW.

--
Another World Smartphone: Honestly, I would have waited to lump this into a bulk post even if I didn't have a bunch of shows I've finished to catch up on. This show was the most
MEDIOCRE
thing, I've seen in a damn long time. Pull up any generic description for a Harem, a Deus ex Machina, and then spice it with the recently popular Different World setting, and you have literally this show. This is the most bare-bones, empty-hearted, soulless show...just....ARGH.

WHY DID I WASTE MY TIME ON THIS SHOW!? I knew it was trash bin material by the second episode, but I kept wanting to see him call God! I thought that would be the most hilarious joke theme ever, having God on speed-dial! Instead, the main character may as well have BEEN GOD HIMSELF, he was so stupidly powerful and vacuous. He is LITERALLY the Deus-ex-Machina of the show!
Whatever, Youtube already has at least one review talking about how empty this show is because of it's ridiculously Over Powered main character, so I'll leave that part alone. Let's talk about the Harem for a second. At first, I found it novel that-


A) There was a fiance declared very quickly, and
B) She then immediately offers for everyone else in the Harem to become his wives as well.

Those were very avant-garde for the harem genre, usually it just faffs about with fan service and 'reasons to slap the main character' jokes all day, and no progress towards any kind of a meaningful deep relationship ever happens. I thought maybe the show would touch on how impossible the idea of keeping more than one person at a time happy or satisfied was, or emphasize how the only reason the Main Character could do it was because he was basically God Incarnate.

Instead,
"
...it just faffs about with fan service and 'reasons to slap the main character' jokes all day, and no progress towards any kind of a meaningful deep relationship ever happens."
Zetro, 2017.

In all due honesty, as far as anime goes, there is nothing strictly speaking offensive about the show. As long as you don't count how soulless it is. There are several pieces, like the two I just pointed out, that are original and creative in the show, but it is just so determined to not do anything risky or bold that everything is as flat as a pancake, and about as exciting as watching paint dry. I think the only useful or productive thing this show will ever be credited for is creating the "Slip Meme" I predict should show up at some point. Got a problem? Use Slip. Need help with something? Use Slip. Enemies knocking on your gates, ready to loot your worldly possessions, rape your women, murder your children, and burn everything to the ground? Use Slip.
--

Twin Star Exorcists:
Well this is old isn't it? This was a Good Shounen genre show. However, in case you couldn't tell by how long it took me to get my lazy arse around to finishing it, there was nothing especially riveting or exciting about it. Well, okay, the show being a shounen, is all about hype and excitement, but nothing outside of the norm. It's just a repeating cycle of "train to beat the big bad of the week, brief joy, new big bad of the week, repeat."
If nothing else though, it does execute on something that A CERTAIN SHOW JUST MENTIONED BUT REMAINING UN-NAMED, failed to accomplish:
A meaningful relationship between its main characters. A shallow relationship, yes, but a meaningful one in the context of the show, that grows over time, like a proper character arc should.
If you want to kill about 50 episodes worth of time real smooth, I recommend this show for that. Double points if you like Shounen genre shows, which this sits in quite firmly.

I found the show kept my attention pretty much riveted, right up until the Sae-Arc. At that point, it just felt so...forced. I dunno, maybe that's just a Me thing. Take it or leave it as you will, it was a pleasant series to watch to the end.
If you like shounen shows: I give this series a Recommendation.
--
Girlfriend Gal: Meh. Why did I finish this show again? With Smartphone, I'm outraged at myself for having put up with it, but I literally cannot remember why I kept watching this show. At first, I found it interesting that the main girl wasn't a cardboard cut out. The show seemed determined to underline how her appearance was deceiving, and it actually fleshes her out really well in the first few episodes. She's probably the ONLY character in the show with any depth worth noting. Everyone else is mostly defined by a stereotype.
Just going to go ahead and get this out of the way: I don't like the male protagonist. I especially hate almost all of his bickering inner-self segments. That's about all I have to say on the matter. He gets points for being morale when it counts, and for having a goal and sticking to it. I really respect that much of him, but for whatever reason, something about him as a whole just rubs me the wrong way and I'm not completely sure why. 


Honorable mention to the Glasses support character, I would absolutely watch an entire series dedicated to him working at his part-time job. Or, just dedicated to him, period.

Also, we need to talk about the fat pedophile. No, not "the fat lolicon" I mean THE FAT PEDOPHILE. There is literally a pedophile in this show, and it's suppose to be comedic entertainment! That's fucked up. I understand and tolerate the lolicon theme and character trope, I've even enjoyed and laughed like hell at it in such settings as the show 'Working!!!', but this show goes out of its way to make sure you understand that the fat guy is without a doubt a pedophile, and it's really creepy. No, it does not get a pass for every character in the show being creeped out and trying to tell him he's going to end up in jail, especially not after they SEND HIM TO A PART-TIME JOB AT A DAYCARE CENTER.


Who the hell...oh whatever, I don't care anymore. As far as I can tell, the show wants you to be creeped out by him when you're not laughing at him. Assuming you were laughing at him and not just creeped out all the time like I was. I've said my piece, and any more would just be wasting time beating the dead horse.
I'm going to go ahead and give this show a
BADrating. It's not a waste of your time, but you'll probably regret the time you spent on it if it isn't your cup of tea. It's through and through an 'ecchi humor', as I believe they call it, show. At least it isn't a Harem.
--

In other news, I've finished Knight's and Magic, and it is good, but I'm going to take the time to write up a proper end post for that one.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

[New][Ended] WELCOME TO THE BULK POST

OKAY SO. I may have...fallen behind on anime for a while. So we have here another bulk post to catch up on some things that have been and gone that I either didn't get to post at all, or forgot to make a post for.

-[April 2017]-
Natsume Yuujin-chou Six

Summary: A beautiful yet fleeting story about people and spirits. Natsume Takeshi has been able to see Yokai ever since he was young and inherited his grandmother Reiko’s Book of Friends. He spends his days with his self-proclaimed bodyguard Nyanko-sensei, and freeing the Yokai that were bound to the book. Natsume continues to find ways to protect the precious days where he tries to find which path to follow through his connections with spirits and those involved with them.

My Opinion: This is more of what we already love. Need I say more? What should one say about the sixth sequel in a series besides that? I mean, some show's shake things up, or at least try to, but this isn't really that kind of show. If nothing ever changed, (besides character growth, you can't do without character growth, and we have that here), we wouldn't really have anything to complain about. Or at least, I wouldn't be complaining. I could happily watch an episode of this show every day of every week for the rest of my life and never get tired. It's just not realistic to expect the author to be able to come up with that much original content, so we know that eventually, it must end, but for now...
Everyone, gather round, and sit down, it's time for another season of Natsume and the Book of Friends.
For this show has but one flaw:

THERE ISN'T NEARLY ENOUGH OF IT--

World End: What do you Do at the End of the World? Are you busy? Will you Save Us?

My Opinion: This gets a double big thumbs up as a
Greatshow.
With a strong Recommendation on top. All of the characters in this show end up being splendidly fleshed out, and the story is just...wonderful. I can't say much beyond that without spoiling stuff, I feel like. I wish I had gotten to write the end review back when I watched the last episode, so I could have filled it with more passion. As it is, I've just got this pleasant feeling of Euphoria from the spot in my brain it occupies. If I had to sum up this show, I would say 'Not Cheap'. Fair warning, this show doesn't get the happiest ending, but it does have a great ending.

The story has a passing level of depth to its plot, which is good because the driving force of the show is definitely its characters more than its over-arcing story. It provides some background driving force behind the scenes, and that's all it needs to do. Give this show a shot. I was a bit worried about the show to begin with because they were going for the cheap lewd jokes, but it was ultimately just me being trigger happy and easily annoyed around those elements in shows. It never becomes a problem. So, go pick this show up and give it a shot, I say it's worth your time!
--

KADO: The Right Answer
My Opinion: For as high as they raised the stakes, this show ended quite well. Honestly, once you take your story to the Universal Dimensional Forces level and beyond, you're just...what are you suppose to do with that?

I feel like this show could have been god-tier quality with a longer run time and more time to do things slowly, but as it is, it's great for what it has. It's the first time I've seen characters animated in 3D-CGi that look good. Like, really good. I've never really believed that I'd see 3D-CGI be good for anything but monsters that are meant to look weird and out of place with the rest of the show. This show proudly proved me wrong, the characters look just fine, amazing in fact. The question is, does doing it this way actually save the industry money and time? I couldn't even begin to guess, let alone make a statement. Hopefully it does, and it will raise the bar of quality.

As far as story goes, it's good. Not the most amazing thing ever, but it's very pleasant and it keeps you engaged. The characters....feel strong. Looking back on it, the show really felt...rushed. At the time, nothing seemed amiss, and honestly nothing was. However, with hindsight, I feel like I can say that if they had more time to flesh the characters and story out in a more methodical manner, things could have been even better. No one can deny that the climax just sort of....explodes onto the scene. For a while there, I thought the show would devolve into a Shounen-style battle for the finale. It didn't, I'm happy to say. I guess they just wanted to show off some of their more flashy special effects in the CGI.
The show is a slow, almost intellectual affair. More something to stimulate you thinking about things than pure entertainment itself. I'm not sure how to describe it much further than that. Give it a shot, see if it's your thing. If nothing else, make sure you watch a bunch of clips of the 3D-CGI, I think it's amazing how well they did with it.
--

Okay, that will have to do for now. Blogger is whining that I'm about to go over the Label/Tags character limit, so more at a later date.