2017
01.20

Chain Chronicle

MR SPARKLE

The conservative’s nightmare

Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that opening. All of the cast just striking at the empire right before I’m ready for the opening. I feel like I missed ten episodes before this. I assumed I was meant to watch something beforehand, but even other fans tell me the movies were like this too. Overall, a very off-putting experience, not necessarily a bad one. Actually pretty refreshing to get past all of the exposition to see this, because all of the occasional references to the Black Emperor and his Black Army suggest I won’t give a horse’s ass about the lore. If more of these fantasy shows could start out like this, I’d be less grumpy and unwilling to review anime.

But then the opening scene finishes, and I’m treated to more of what I expected from the burgeoning mobile phone adaptation genre. Just some kid in an unbuttoned shirt saving the helpless old people like he’s hot shit. Oh yeah, the fight at the beginning turns out to be for nothing in the long run because they all lost, and the peasants are pissed off because they’re fucking peasants. Maybe it’s subversive to have the big fight mean nothing for the show’s climate, and if anything make things worse? Seems strange to have this be your big twist while leaving out any creative decision making for the rest of the story.

But theennnn, somebody else tells me this is actually an edited form of a movie coming out at around the same time as the show. And maybe I should watch the movie or download the phone game to figure out what the whole story is. But theeeeeeeennnnnnnnnn, I find out the global version of the phone game was shut down before either the movie or the show came out. That’s kind of weird, but I guess the studio wants to keep things locked down so those filthy foreigners don’t pervert their image of the Black King. But theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, I hear from elsewhere that Funimation licensed this show/movie for overseas release. Maybe they want to shill this on the Black King’s merits rather than to those few wacky gaijin who played the game beforehand. Honestly, this whole behind the scenes adventure has been more interesting than the last 15 minutes of this episode. So yeah, pass. – BloodyMarquis

Degressi: Tsugi no Kurasu S3

The guy playing the principal has been on Degrassi for decades. I can't tell if that's dedication to admire or mental sickness.

The guy playing the principal has been on Degrassi for decades. I can’t tell if that’s dedication to admire or mental sickness.

There are some things that, try as we may, will continued undeterred. The sun shines, the grass grows, and Degrassi offers a unrestricted look a the lives of modern Japanese youth. While other anime confine their efforts to shallow action or trite comedy (not to mention ungodly amounts of appalling fanservice), Studio Epitome has once again elevated itself about the rest.

The Degrassi franchise’s usual blend of compelling characters and biting social commentary comes to fruition with this season. Worst girl Lola continues to be, well, worst girl. While I applaud the show for giving us an honest picture of what bullying looks like Canadian high schools throughout Japan, her character arc as a villain is basically just her hair changing color (likely showing influence from Studio David’s JoJo adaption) and ending her purity, which had previously been her only redeeming factor. Meanwhile, fan favorite and muh waifu Maya continues her struggles. Here we see some of the most heartfelt drama I’ve seen in years. Of course, fans will also rejoice at the heavy yuri undertones this season. I won’t spoil who is involved, but let’s just say it closely ties in with the much anticipated and acclaimed Syrian Arc.

On the technical level, the animation is on par with the rest of Epitome’s work. Usually fluid, but willing to take breaks in order to focus on strong character moments. The OST is also fantastic, and I have no doubt that “WHATEVER IT TAKES/それが取るものは何でも” will go down as one of, if not the, best openings of the season. My hats off to you once again, Epitome. – ShadowGentleman

That's it, I quit.

That’s it, I quit.

In this season’s entry of EARLY-2000’S SHONEN THAT TIME FORGOT!!!(tm), a young boy’s ravenous sexual libido manifests itself as a Digimon growing out of his chest.

 

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Yeah I should stop writing right here, but there’s also something about yet ANOTHER secret government organization dedicated to fighting space aliens and Chuuta, our dorky kid is literally dragged into their secret organization because yeah. Its all rendered in Pierrot’s signature 15 cent budget-no shits given “style” and lacks the sense of humor or stupid fish faces of your average shonen crap to have any lasting value. I’ve already forgotten what I just watched or what I was about to write. Sounds legit. – Lord Dalek

Gabriel Dropout

I really don't like the bondage overtones this season has.

I really don’t like the bondage overtones this season has.

Stop me if you’ve heard this setup before: so there’s this angel, right? And there’s this demon, right? So the angel, get this…is terrible at being a angel! She’d be better working as a demon. And the demon? She acts like an angel! Hahaha…oh, you’ve heard that before? It’s nothing new whatsoever? Huh. Weird. So, Gabriel DropOut is a decent show that isn’t really worth a watch because everything about it is either boring or “been there, done that.” It’s a cute enough comedy, I suppose, and it is competently made. But there’s absolutely nothing here that you can’t see in any other show and done much better, or at least in a more interesting fashion. From the types of characters and how they play off each other, to the various situations, to every joke made in this first episode, I can think of a dozen anime that have done it and pulled it off much better. In terms of this season’s middling anime, it is a mediocre bad rather than a mediocre good.

To clarify, the latter is a decent, if poorly spent, way to burn 22 minutes of your remaining time on the planet Earth, while the former is glorified background noise while you play an online shooter. Watching Gabriel DropOut is just a sad reminder of where the Japanese animation industry has been for the past few years and where it will continue to go: buckets and buckets of quickly and cheaply made schlock, with a small handful of gems that manage to appear once in awhile. Hundreds of anime made each year and so much of it utterly forgettable. Yeah, I probably won’t remember having watched Masamune-kun no Revenge in a few months either, but at least I got a bit of short-term enjoyment out of viewing it. Gabriel DropOut brought me no joy. Or sadness. Or any emotion really. It was a boring comedy that just existed. If you need a supernatural comedy fix this season, ignore this and go straight for Demi-chan wa Kataritai. Even if you end up forgetting having watched that as well, at least you would have been smiling in those lost memories. – RacattackForce

Hand Shakers

I think this is my punishment for calling Keijo!!!!!!! artless garbage. While that show was indeed garbage, it seems Japan wants to introduce me to "artsy" garbage.

I think this is my punishment for calling Keijo!!!!!!! artless garbage. While that show was indeed garbage, it seems Japan wants to introduce me to “artsy” garbage. Hence… Hand Shakers.

The goal of whoever made Hand Shakers seems to have to been make a show that will literally induce motion sickness. At least with me they have succeeded wildly. This first 90 seconds alone are a tableaux of jerky nonsensical editing, hard to read subtitles, random fish eye lens effects that make no sense in anime, and gigantic credits IN ENGLISH that distract my eye making what was already hard to follow on screen even harder to follow. This show is already a disaster and we’re barely in!

But wait there’s more! What follows is a fucking rape scene!!!!! And a non-sequiter rape scene at that because they immediately cut to something else! Yes in a season that has already produced some of the absolute worst garbage imaginable (so much in fact that Tanya The Evil just became one of the best shows of the season by default), this show managed to find a way to be worse than all of them on so many other levels.

Well what’s the rest of the show about? Well a bland dork who looks like Yashiro from K encounters a sickly girl who looks like Neko from K and gets shoved into a plot that can’t tell if its Fate/Stay Night or Guilty Crown. Than that rapist guy shows up again and starts attacking the two with infinity chain generated by litterally smacking his bitch up. Nothing in this show makes any sense. Nothing in this show seems to want to make any sense. I can’t even be bothered to make that “Hand Shakers? More like Head Shakers!” joke I had planned because it would be too kind to this manure. Don’t watch this. Just don’t. – Lord Dalek

Idol Incidents

The Walking Derp

The Walking Derp

Whelp… can’t say we didn’t see this show coming, hell it seems all of modern anime was building up to it. Aikatsu imagined a world where little girls forfeit pretty much everything just to become vapid role models to other little girls to forfeit everything over. Love Live went one step further and made it a world where being in an idol group was the only way to get any sort of education or training in this cold hard Japan we live in. And now… Idol Incidents presents us with a Japan that after years of recession, social discord, and other malaise, has finally embraced idol groups as the only way to run their government effectively.

…and people said Blade Runner was the most effective futuristic dystopia of all time =/.

So the Heroine Party is looking for a new Dietwoman and young Natsuki is the only one who survived their grueling qualification test (a race to the top of a very tall hill). However she just isn’t very good at Aikatsu-ing and an attempt to pair her with a far more qualified veteran is a near disaster. But her aura is so strong that everything will work out right? Well its certainly enough to crush the staid salaryman she’s running against in the opposition party…I think.

This, if you have guessed, is supposed to be a parody show. But its not a very funny one and since I try to avoid idol shows like the plague (I can literally count the amount of Love Live episodes I’ve seen on one hand), I cannot say I got any injokes if such things were even there. That said, you could do a whole lot worse with a plain old idol show…like that one by Yamakan about 9/11. Seriously. – Lord Dalek

Little Witch Academia

I guess you could say Akko's been... Trigger'd

Akko shares her fealings about the 2017 Winter Season.

First things first, I like Netflix. I like it a lot. Yeah The OA was kinda weird and stupid, and Stranger Things would have been 1,000x better if it was an actual storyline and not just a bunch of shabby old 80s movie ripoffs homages but their content is far broader and far more entertaining than the current decrepit state of cable televsion (Netflix has Magi and Madoka, so have fun burning in hell with DBShite Turdnami).

That said… I do not like the idea of having to wait 13 weeks for a quote-unquote Netflix Original Anime. Especially when that anime is, of course, Little Witch Academia.

This is by far the most highly anticipated show of 2017, and maybe the ONLY highly anticipated show at that. Trigger’s original short made such a huge impact at Anime Mirai in 2013 that they were able to finance a second short movie through American Kickstarter bucks. This was of course before Trigger turned into something slightly less interesting than what the original production promised thanks to dreck like Kiznaiver and Inou-battle. But hey! LWA is now a full 24 episode tv series, so bygones be bygones and all that.

Now usually when we have a series of films get adapted into a tv show, its just a cutup of existing material ala Broken Blade or Gundam UC RE:0096. But happily not so with Little Witch Academia, as Yoh Yoshinari and Michiru Shimada finally have the opportunity to fill in the many gaps in what was originally just an exercise in crazy sakuga with some plot. Wanna know why Akko desperate adores Shiny Chariot? Its in here. Wanna know why Sucy hates Akko’s guts but hangs around for lack of something better to do? Its in here. Wanna see Akko and Lotte get sacrificed to a giant firebreathing chicken? Oh there is most definitely a giant firebreating chicken. If LWA the short felt like a concept pilot, then the series is that concept fully realized and lord is it good.

Anime of the season, easily. But then again…we all knew that going in. — Lord Dalek

Marginal#4 Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang

Nomura has not had boy's flesh in long time. Nomura is curious.

Nomura has not had boy’s flesh in long time. Nomura is curious.

R Nomura must sing for girls, because that is what Nomura knows best. That is what Nomura does. To make the voices go away. Without the singing, Nomura considers death. But not death of self. Death of others. Without the singing, Nomura contemplates actions. Horrible actions. Nomura has read up on the French act of Piquerism. Piquerism, the stabbing and skinning of others to achieve sexual affinity. Nomura is delighted by stories of Piquerism. Nomura reads the stories of Albert Fish every night in awe and delight, but Nomura cries at the end of each page because Nomura can never act upon these urges. Nomura must keep singing for girls. Nomura must not kidnap girl for torture. That would be bad for Nomura’s business.

But if Nomura so desired, Nomura would kidnap fan, preferably younger fan. No preference for gender, Nomura is willing to dip in any river. Nomura would take fan to apartment, strip fan of clothes and identity. If fan is too fat, Nomura will cut off fat. If fan is too tall, Nomura will make fan short. Nomura would cut into fan’s flesh every time they say a naughty word, and will only give them food and water if fan can please Nomura’s desires. Nomura will force fan to call parents to say they are okay. Nomura will put more holes in fan’s body if fan complains about the pain. Nomura will burn fan’s eyelids with cigarettes so fan cannot avert gaze. Nomura will cut fan’s tendons to make sure fan will not run away, to make fan crawl like dog. Nomura likes dogs. Nomura likes when dogs go bark bark. Nomura wants fan to go bark bark too. Dogs that go bark bark please Nomura, but Nomura abhors dogs that do tricks. Because that is a dog trying to be a human. Nomura does not want dogs to think they are human.

Nomura will use scissors when Nomura is ashamed of his manhood. Nomura will beat fan with bamboo stick if fan asks to die. Otherwise, Nomura is content. Nomura is pleased with life. Maybe Nomura will let fan orgasm some day or another. Nomura can be a kind god. But fan and Nomura both know this is a temporary situation, for Nomura will one day grow bored of fan. Nomura will someday find fan unattractive, not deserving of Nomura’s love. Not deserving of anyone’s love. Nomura will lock fan in storage, stop their breathing, with whatever storage Nomura can find. Perhaps Nomura will use an oil drum like the last one. Or not. Nomura distastes routine.

Then Nomura will continue singing with friends and girls, because Nomura is a good boy. Nomura is a good boy, and good boys can do no wrong. – Nomura

Rewrite Second Season

Visual Metaphor for Theron Martin when he gives this a 3.5 over at ANN.

Visual Metaphor for Theron Martin when he gives this a 3 over at ANN.

Last time on Rewrite: EVERYBODY DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!

Yes everybody, literally. All animal life on the face of the planet got sacrificed to a big fucking tree because Kotarou couldn’t keep his goddamn hands off of Kagari’s Kagaris. What was left was a world bathed in yellow light where the only thing left alive will be Jailbait 60fps Ushio and that damn robot doll that was actually Tomoya or something because clearly all Key/Maedaverse bullshit is all connected am I right wut wut.

BUT WAIT! Despite its Jun Maedeon Be Invoked ending, Rewrite’s got 12 more episodes to do…something…I guess. So how is Eightbit going to follow up their feh-pic first season which made Charlotte look like anything that was you know… good…and not Charlotte? Simple! Pretend it never happened! Wheel out the ol’ reset button boys, my fist is hungry for some slams and jams.

We begin with Kotori about to blow Kotarou and Kagari (god, say that five times fast) away with a shotgun which was apparently the pathsplit before the previous season went all Tomino on us. Ya see if The Key joins with the Earth then Kotori loses her magical druid powers and we already saw how THAT turned out. However things get interrupted by the arrival of a random Brachiosarus thing and Kagari instead gets blown away by Not-Golden Darkness and her anti-tank rifle. What follows is a series of scenes that have no flow and no continuity as Kotarou plays through all the routes he skipped in warp speed ala a highlight reel. Trying to describe this is impossible because the narrative, which was pretty disjointed already, only manages to become even more disjointed by the way Eightbit is presenting it in the first ten minutes of the episode. No wonder they titled it “Three Cups of Coffee”, clearly that’s how much the writers drank before setting out on this trainwreck.

Well there is an explanation that all these crazy alternate routes are memories of Kotarou’s of things that never actually happened, and since it didn’t happen lets just watch him get impaled/beheaded/Team Rocketed by Kagari’s red ribbon of fate for the One-Tillionth time. Otherwise, this show literally has nothing else to offer other than Kotarou wandering through the empty destroyed city and staring at Kagari doing nothing.

Doing nothing is also all I can do for this show. I simply can’t write about it. All 24 minutes of it were nonsensical incoherent bullshit with no redeeming value which is something I have never been quite able to type about anything Key until now. The worst show of Summer 2016 got even worse. Isn’t it incredible? – Lord Dalek

Urara Meirochou

THIS WAS A HARBINGER.

THIS WAS A HARBINGER.

Hey kids! Da ya like moeblobs? Da ya like cute girls doing cute things? Da ya like random fanservice? Da ya like midriffs? Of course you don’t! So screw this! – Lord Dalek

2017
01.06

Welcome to the Winter season of this year’s anime! After a troublesome 2016, let’s hope 2017 has more to offer, shall we?


Akiba’s Trip: The Animation

Someone compared this to Keijo, and Keijo fans were offended. This show is looked down upon by Keijo fans. There's rarely a bigger case of damnation than that.

Someone compared this to Keijo, and Keijo fans were offended. This show is looked down upon by Keijo fans. There’s rarely a bigger case of damnation than that.

akibastrip2

Just watch fucking Akibaranger instead. – BloodyMarquis

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Impure King Saga

Shin Boobzilla: A Hideaki Anno Joint.

Shin Boobzilla: A Hideaki Anno Joint.

Well, well, well look who came crawling back. >_<

Last time on OwBlech—OH WHO AM I KIDDING? THERE WAS NO LAST TIME!!! IT WAS A FUCKING ANIME FUCKING ORIGINAL FUCKING FILLER ARC THAT NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED BECAUSE FUCK ANIPLEX FUCK SEVEN DAYS WAR FUCK TENSAI OKAMURA FUCK THAT GUY WHO WROTE HONKY TONK WOMAN FUCK EM ALL!!!

Well anyway… it’s been 6 years since the last series and the manga finally got to a point where we can actually adapt it! So that means more shitty edge lord Rin whining, more Yukio being a useless cockblock, more Shura being a useless cocktese, and more Izumo being a bitch because HAHAHA that fucking beach episode. Also Shiemi because yeah whatever. So in other words… its still OwBlech and everything you hated about OwBlech is still there. But hey! The most important thing is this arc they actually get to do something! No more school! No more SOL shit! No more birthday cakes!!! No more weddy weddy weddy fo da tayk aaahf!

Well anyway might as well get this over with. We pick up the plot with Rin still being unable to control his flames (because he still hadn’t figured it out in the manga by the time the anime decided he had), Yukio NOT being a demon because again that never happened, and some new macguffin called the Left Eye of the Impure King being swiped from the Shrine of the Silver Monkey by fricken Death Gun from Phantom Bullet. Alas its all a trap and the real culprit is one of Yukio’s coworkers, an evil satyr guy named Todo. With the Left Eye snatched, attention is immediately re-diverted to the Right Eye, currently being held at a field office in Kyoto, and our band of plucky would be demon hunters are sent off to protect it. This in turns for some awkwardness as this is just after Rin went crazy during the camping trip arc and noone likes him anymore, especually Sugoro. Ah character development that got dumped because it wasn’t canon. Don’t ya just love it?

So basically it may have been five years since the last canonical episode of OwBlech but this show doesn’t seem to care. We pick up in medias res with a bunch of lousy unlikable characters we can barely identify with and a plot that seems barely any better than the “horrible filler” of the original series’ second cour. So honestly, I don’t give a fuck. For fans only…if this even has fans anymore .– Lord Dalek

Chou Shounen Tanteidan Neo

When Steven's penis doesn't save the day.

When Steven’s penis doesn’t save the day.

no goddamnit another one of these shows i swear to god whoever comes up with more of these goddamn ranpo shows needs to die a slow death why does this mohterfucker love ranpo so much but doesnt know hoe to write an anime about it thats fuking stupid and i hope a slow and painful end awaits him or them orwhat preferred pronouns they want i dont care if its actually a show about the kids of the kobayashi instead of actually kobayashi because fuck him figuratively fuck his girls ass i dont want anymore ranpo please no more ranpo i would rather another hundred isekai animes over ranpo – bloodymarquis

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Season 2

Well this relationship is in deep ship already.

Well this relationship is in deep ship already.

Oh thank god! Finally something GOOD to watch! After a year long hiatus, its back to the saga of Yakumo’s guilt, Konatsu’s disgust, and Yotarou’s general childlike enthusiasm. Season 1 was all about Yakumo and his dark past with his friend/rival/possible lover Sukeroku in the 40s. Now its 1988 and the focus is on Yotarou and his attempt to follow in Sukeroku’s foot steps in an artform that’s quickly eroding in the age of tv and endless boke-tsukomi routines.

Actually things are a lot worse for our ex-con turned popular stage entertainer. Theaters are closing left and right. Many young artists are either giving up Rakugo early or never bothering to give it a try. And with his engagement to Konatsu imminent, trying to make ends meet is looking to be a hell of a lot tougher for young Yotaro/Sukeroku. However a chance encounter with a wealthy author interested in changing the nature of rakugo stirs something within him. Is this the beginning of a new relationship?

I love this show. If it wasn’t for Yuri!!! last year, season 1 might have been AOTY. So its great to see that not only does the first episode seamlessly pick up the drama from the previous season and deliver content that is emotionally involving and subtly crafted (if still not the most well animated, no surprise its DEEN). This is not a show with magical powers, explosions, or giant robots. This is about talking and communication, and the words it gives you are the some of the most passionate and poetic to come out of anime in years. Even if everything else in Winter is godawful (and that very may well be the case), Showa Genroku will always be regarded as a good show. You should watch it. — Lord Dalek

Masamune-kun no Revenge

His face looks like a cookie.

His face looks like a cookie.

If you’ve read the description for this show, then you know very well what you are going to be in for. That statement isn’t a slight against the show. Just a simple declaration: if you are aware of all the usual tropes to be found in not only high school romance anime, but in non-melodramatic romance works in general, then you will have a very good idea of how things are going to progress. If not after reading the series synopsis, then after watching the first episode. And this isn’t me being a dismissive asshole, as I went ahead to check the manga. My suspicions were confirmed when skimming through the first thirty-odd chapters: many of the plot beats that you would think a romance plot like this would hit are hit. Yes, the main character falls in love with the girl despite trying not to. Yes, she comes to love him back. Yes, she is a bitch, but she will defrost overtime to become a nice person. Yes, the reason they grew apart as kids was due to a stupid misunderstanding. We’ve done this song and dance before.

If there is anything here to make this new Silver Link show stand out, it would be in the main characters, The titular Masamune tries to play himself off as a bit of a Casanova. And he succeeds at this, constantly being surprised at what he’s able to get away with just by virtue of being really attractive. And his goal of taking down Aki because she rejected him back when they were six is humorously petty in and of itself. Meanwhile, Aki is a horrible human being who humiliates anyone who dare ask her out by going to the school roof and screaming their deepest secrets over a megaphone for all to hear. Then gives them playground-level insulting names like Molelo or Pudding Prince. These character traits were enough to make me smirk, and kept my attention during the show’s proceedings, but they ultimately do little to mask just how predictable the anime is.

However, that isn’t to say the show is bad. What I am trying to get across is that this show is simply just your average anime rom-com, with no special twists or notable plot elements to speak of. It’s okay. It’s average. There are much worse ways to burn 22 minutes of your time. Personally, I’m fine with shows that are just average. Not everything that isn’t a masterclass work of fiction has to be dismissed as awful or not worth viewing. There’s a gradient in the quality of entertainment, not a steadfast line between good and bad. And in that light, I can recommend Masamune-kun no Revenge as a decent show for those who want to scratch that romantic comedy itch this anime season. Unless the anime takes a hard left away from the manga, the show won’t be going anywhere special. But you won’t have any regrets riding along either. Just remember to reduce your carb intake before viewing.

Oh, and there’s a loli mom in it. Like, the main character’s mom looks like she should be in elementary school. Not sure what that shit is about, but she doesn’t turn up much. Still. Loli mom. Terrifying. Why? I mean, I know I should be used to crap like this but now, but…fine. Whatever. NEXT SHOW! – RacattackForce

Saga of Tanya The Evil

Crom! Grant me revenge!

Crom! Grant me revenge!

Hey remember that Izetta show that kinda fell apart really quickly last season? Well here it is again! Except now its a fake World War ONE, we’re supposed to root for the Nazis, and this witch girl is hitting on Ochaco from My Hero Academia! BIG DIFFERENCE!

So in alternate universe 1924, the Prussian empire is being assaulted on all sides by the good guys of World War I. However those wacky Germans have developed a secret weapon to fight the Allies: flying humans with magic powers!…where have I seen that before? Well anyway, our focus is on a group of mages being led by a nasty little blond bitch named Tanya Degurechaff and her frequently abused subordinate/chief eunuch Serebryakov. Tanya blows stuff and acts all high and mighty about keeping the Sudetenland pure while Serebryakov tries to act brave but mostly tries not get whiped to death by Tanya. So in other words this show really just is a metaphor for the abusive relationship between the two protagonists’ VAs Aoi Yuuki and Saori Hayami and I can only imagine the former was riding the later around like a pony in the recording studio.

So how does one approach a show like Tanya the Evil? If its supposed to be some sort of black comedy, its not very good at it. If its supposed to be another alternate fantasy war series its not giving me any incentive to come back. Really the only thing this fairly terrible first episode had going for it was the animation done by brand new Madhouse spinoff studio NUT. Its really good but really good animation can only you so far (one need only look at Wit Studio’s output for that). And frankly there’s only so much rah rah fascism I can take in this day and age. – Lord Dalek

Schoolgirl Strikers

Nudist Beach for the Disney Channel crowd.

Nudist Beach for the Disney Channel crowd.

First minute goes by, and I think this is going to be yet another show about girls fighting monsters with tacky brightly-colored weapons right out of a Bandai warehouse. Before I decide to doze off and plan to write the review based on whatever daydreams I had from watching the show, it shifts gears and becomes a slice-of-life for 8 minutes. I can’t tell if that’s for the worse or not, because doing that is just changing from one brand of “Oh look, another one of these goddamn shows” to another. As if they know anybody who wants to watch this show will regardless, and don’t need to lure casuals in with an exciting first episode or an intriguing arc. It’s a subtle brilliance on the producers’ part, where they know just as much as the astute viewer does how this is nothing more than a time-filler. Thus, easy money for minimal effort.

Checking the cast on MyAnimeList, I see some familiar faces like Hanazawa, Sawashiro, and other voice actors with more credits than your overly-ambitious debt and loans victim. Many, many familiar voices taking away the jobs of less accomplished voice actors who could desperately use that sweet smartphone money. So yet again, another way to keep viewers in seats without worrying about things like storytelling and characterization, because you can just lure them in with their favorite seiyuus. Then all you have to do is have the entire cast shout “Tsubame-chan!”, and you’ve got enough to keep your intended audience glued. You don’t even need to give them full sentences to say either. Just have Kana Hanazawa say “mm” or “ooh” or “uh”, and you have a successful commercial for whatever dakimakuras or onanholes you’ve got made and ready to ship.

If you’re the kind of person who’s easily amused by girls in silly outfits fighting monsters, or have some odd desire to ship girls together simply for standing next to each other, then go ahead and watch. Partake, engorge, bloat yourself. Then as soon as this finishes, throw it away and completely forget it while you wait for the next one of these shows to come along. Let this steady stream of forgettable, waifu shows be your religion, your mentor, and your lover. And one day, perhaps one day, you will find this show again by chance, tell your friends about it, and then go “Huh, that was a show I liked?” The ultimate legacy for series like these, where all of these production committees and animation studios will eventually wind up making something as insignificant as another mark off a MAL profile. – BloodyMarquis

Seiren

Ikuo gets sick of Jojo references and takes it to the source.

Ikuo gets sick of Jojo references and takes it to the source.

I didn’t watch Amagami when it first aired, or maybe I did watch an episode all those years ago and forgot, whatever. But the point is, I’m not sure I’m of a similar wavelength to these kind of shows. I get the sense people like me will just skim through future episodes and go on 4chan threads to see which characters the main character fucks than having to sit through a dozen 24-minute episodes to find out otherwise. It’s not the shows to blame for it, Amagami, Seiren, or whatever series this creator makes next, since they’re embedded into the J-drama formula of ridiculously slow story-building and hoping the characters can make up for that.

And what do the characters do? Play a game of Life where the main character Kamita goes “the ambiguity on what causes you to piss yourself is the beauty of this game.” Several more lines of dialogue regarding incontinence then there ever should while playing a game of Life. Then it goes into pondering on Kamita’s part as to whether he can accomplish what he wants after high school, because get it? He’s thinking about life while playing Life. Next, he’ll be having a personal financial crisis while playing Monopoly, or not knowing how to word out his feelings when playing Scrabble. That kind of juxtaposition can be done well if handled with self-awareness, but

I do keep wondering when something’s going to happen, but that’s my own fault for not being used to romance anime. But even then, I don’t sense much chemistry between Kamita and the other girls at the moment. He’s got more of a functional relationship between his friend Ikuo at this point, which leads to a few of the other girls thinking he’s “homo or immoral”. Of all the girls introduced, I didn’t see much of a connection between Kamita and either of them. It doesn’t even seem like he wants to romance them, but rather get them to serve him Korean BBQ while in a swimsuit as one of his dream sequences puts it. It’s that and the piss scene that becomes a roadblock for the show’s pursuit of chemistry, troubling for a show that’s otherwise smooth in tone (animation tone, not body tone, though that’s smooth too). – BloodyMarquis