2017
10.16

Dies Irae

The common plebeians reaction to seeing cute anime nazi's

The common plebeians reaction to seeing cute anime nazi’s

Welcome to the real premiere of Dies Irae! You’re probably asking yourself “What’s the deal? Why are we dealing with high school shenanigans? Where are the Nazi’s?” Well as you could probably tell by now, episode 0 was supposed to be an appetizer meant to show off the villains and entice people into the show. Yeah, general reception by fans and non-fans alike should tell you how well that worked out. I myself didn’t watch it because the episode itself was adapted from a side story in the VN you’re not recommended reading until you’ve done at least 2 specific routes first. Basically; they fucked up right out of the gate. Can’t you tell we’re already off to a great start? Before we delve in to the proper first episode, let’s go into the history of this crowd funded adaptations real quick. Initially pitched as an “anime pilot”, the campaign did so well that they decided to do a full blown adaptation instead. Unfortunately the results so far leave much do be desired.

The proper first episode adapts the second half of the VN’s prologue and its entire first chapter. As mentioned before most of the episode is high school shenanigans and getting a taste of Ren’s “normal life” he claims to value so much while building up the larger plot. While I can appreciate taking time to build things up, I can’t help but feel that things went by a tad too fast to the point where things felt disjointed. In fact, most of the time I felt that the only reason I knew what was going on was because I read the VN, I can only imagine how bored or confused newcomers must be by all of this. I know condensing roughly 2 hours’ worth of reading into a single 20 minute episode is nothing new for VN adaptations, but the way the Dies anime went about it was poor, almost as poor as its animation. There were a few things I appreciated like music from the VN being used, and the quick flashes of the disembodied souls inside the LDO members’ (aka those “Nazi” guys from the last episode) bodies, but those would only mean something to VN readers.

Now as of this writing I’m only 15 hours into the VN, so I can’t claim to be a superfan or anything, but I would of rather the studio went with the original OVA plans and use that extra crowdfunded money to improve on the animation and pacing in a way that would of at least pleased VN readers instead of going for a TV anime that’s pleasing nobody. Anyone who’s interested in checking out Dies Irae is better off reading the visual novel itself, which is worth a read if you’re interested in over-the-top fights, characters, and Nazi shenanigans. There’s really no reason not to read it if you’re interested because the first 7 chapters are in fact free on Steam, which just calls into question why this needed to be a televised anime to begin with. As of now, the only thing this adaptation has going for it is the ED sung by Junichi Suwabe and Kousuke Toriumi. – CrimsonRynnec

Girl’s Last Tour

War has changed.

War has changed.

I’m not sure how they made an anime about child soldiers dealing with life immediately after a horrific war so chill. I read the synopsis to the show and expected something more grim, but this is more cute and fluffy than another Now and Then, Here and There. Not to say it goes with that tone throughout the episode. There’s times where crucial moments like being able to shoot on target and getting food to stave off hunger are presented in such a humdrum way that it’s as if the characters have gotten used to living like this. They might treat their routines like a highschooler in a slice of life show would treat theirs, but their background gives their actions a starker atmosphere. When thinking about it, these soldiers’ lives are tragic and hopeless, but the premiere doesn’t seem to dwell on that, instead looking at the glass half full.

Not sure if that’s a good thing though. This show takes it sweet time going to places, with a bit of dead air that leaves little to discuss without drawing a blank. What am I supposed to get from this? “War is bad?” I’ve had dozens of shows drill that into my skull already. I know war’s a hellhole that cruelly judges people without a single hint of mercy, and even kids who should be out playing are sent to fight in the battlegrounds. I do like this show doesn’t make that the entire message. It shows that just because you’re in the middle of a war doesn’t mean you can’t have a cup of cocoa with your friends. And I guess that’s a good message to add on. Gives some levity to a show with a grim aftertaste.

Could do without the faces though. When I think the ravages of combat and bloodshed, I don’t think Hidamari Sketch. – BloodyMarquis

Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World- The Animated Series

Barry the Slinger's sister, Mary the Chopper

Barry the Slinger’s sister, Mary the Chopper

Before I befriended the Animation Revelation crew, I was part of a different crowd of cartoon and comic nerds. In this group, we tried making a podcast called “Notaku Diaries” in which both the anime lovers and the anime newcomers in our circle watched and discussed shows and films recommended to us by our friends. This project didn’t last more than a few months, due to occasional in-fighting and me utterly failing as a project manager, but I remember it fondly, as it introduced me to works that quickly became some of my favourite pieces of animation. One of these works being the 2003 adaptation of “Kino’s Journey.” The phrase “The world is not beautiful, therefore it is” quickly became a personal motto throughout my remaining years of high school; a bittersweet mantra that helped me cope just a little bit more with my social anxiety issues and allowed me make better sense of the world. Kino’s thoughtful and meditative vibe was refreshing to me, and I relished in a show that took me to new locations every week and asked me to think about the ideas and philosophies just expressed. It was a great experience, and I find myself going back every once in awhile to re-watch episodes like “The Land of Visible Pain” or “A Tale of Mechanical Dolls”. So when I heard that another adaptation was in the works, I was filled with both excitement and dread. Would this show be as good as the last, or would it somehow fail to recapture the atmosphere I loved so much? From the first episode, I can’t say I’m quite sure yet.

The first episode of “Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World-” hits all the beats long-time fans expect to see in one of these stories, which should have been comforting. Kino and Hermes ride into a quirky country for a three day stay, with said quirks mirroring some greater philosophical or societal struggle or idea. They then proceed to make nice with some of the locals and learn about how said quirk affects life there, not casting too much judgement in the process. The episode finally ends with the duo leaving the country and Hermes asking Kino a question as they head off to their next destination. Roll credits. Yes, the execution was there, but the problem for me was the chosen story. “The Country Where People Can Kill Others” was a fine reintroduction to the world our protagonists inhabit, but compared to the stories told in the first show, it was weak. Not bad mind you, as the story was executed just fine and got its message across well enough, despite straight-up having a character plainly state the “not prohibited ≠ permitted” message. I’m just saying that it didn’t start with its best foot forward, as this episode was severely lacking in the type of interesting characters that Kino often interacts with and the pacing felt a bit off, as though it was speed walking towards its conclusion. It was good enough to keep me engaged, but I’m ultimately forced to look towards future episodes to see if the current crew truly have the idea behind “Kino’s Journey” down and that this was just a case of them choosing what I personally saw as a boring tale rather than them botching what may have been a perfectly great story in the original light novels by Keiichi Sigsawa. With the next episode set to re-tackle “Coliseum”, a story that the previous adaptation did as well (and as a two-parter no less), perhaps we’ll see if it is indeed worth continuing on this journey. I certainly hope it is, but I do find myself worried about whether or not the first adaptation already took all the best stories that the light novels told, and if now we’re stuck with mostly doing B-grade material rather than the A+ stuff with which became enamored by. I’m sure that’s not the case, but I’ll be crossing my fingers regardless. – RacattackForce

Pingu in the City

Frustratingly every copy of this episode was a raw.

We did Pingu. Top that Theron Martin!

Your eyes are not deceiving you, this is indeed Pingu. Its made in Japan now and CGI instead of the original stop motion plasticine but Pingu it remains. So what the hell happened since the days of when Pingu pissed on his dad’s rug (REAL EPISODE NOT KIDDING)? Well apparently the family got kicked out of their igloo by that scary sea lion and now Pingu has to support them at some jerkwad’s restaurant. He fucks up a soup, then makes it better, then gets fired, because Pingu sucks, we’ve known that for 30+ years.

So in conclusion….Pingu. – Lord Dalek

Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter

In memoriam: September 11, 2001. NEVER FORGET.

In memoriam: September 11, 2001. NEVER FORGET.

Oh WUG… the saddest sack fake idol group of all…played by the saddest sack real idol group of all. Its been three long years since they got their asses kicked by that army of idolmaster robots in that 9/11 tribute show. Since then, they were dumped by their anime director/founder Yamakan after his vanity studio went belly up and have been forced to subside on whatever they could scrounge on the street, an anime where they dressed up as animals, and weird theme song gigs (seriously? Love Tyrant?). But I guess somebody really wanted a season 2 so here it is from a different studio looking nothing like the first season. I take it that makes this the Weiss Kreuz (WUG Kreuz?) Gluhen of Wake Up, Girls.

So yeah, unlike the real Wake, Up Girls, the fake anime WUG has actually succeeded! In 2015, they beat those robots in the I-1 cult to become Japan’s new top idol group and not have to work at stripjoints and various houses of ill repute (thanks a lot Yamakan!) Unfortunately, that success was short lived and now they’re back to preforming fur piles for the entertainment of bored Sendai housewives. However hard times have hit every idol group as even I-1 has been forced to close their billion yen theater. But WUG, which has no money, no studio, and no corporate office, has nothing to lose and that means recording an album as opposed to the limited exposure singles they’ve been doing. Getting an album deal means going on national television and that means…awful LFR CGI dancing….yay.

The theme of this season of WUG is noone knows who WUG is and that includes me. I actually watched the entirety of WUG season 1 when it aired in the winter of 2004 and I don’t remember who the hell any of these characters are, no doubt due to the new look character designs. It is still the same old group made up of the same old voice actresses so I guess the short haired one was that one fallen idol veteran girl. Hard to tell, the WUGs have no individual personality now that they’ve been together both in this anime and real life for a while so it could be the plain one. Music wise (this is an idol show, so it has to come up) WUG’s repertoire hasn’t grown much since we last saw them as both OPs from season 1 make an appearance as diagetic music in this episode. Guess we couldn’t use that Love Tyrant! OP after all.

Basically if you want 30 minutes of idol misery like the first season this will deliver somewhat as WUG is not quite in the toilet as they once were. Not much left to be said. – Lord Dalek

2017
10.09

Dies Irae

Gesundheit.

Gesundheit.

Let it be known that in an era marked by social strife and the rise of fascism I am watching an anime about bishounen nazis.

BISHOUNEN NAAAAAZEEEEEEEEES.

Not only that but a show about Bishounen nazis funded entirely with kickstarter money. Somebody gave up their hard earned cash to see a show about bishounen Nazis. This is flat out appauling but not surprising considering Japan gave us Tanya The Evil earlier this year. And wasn’t Tanya the Evil just greeeeeaaaat?

Now I know what you’re going to say: “But Dalek! Hetalia!” Well Hetalia was a stupid comedy about buffoonish country people. This is played deathly straight. Dies Irae wants me to root for Bishounen Nazis unironically. That is unacceptable

On top of that its also Fate/Stay Night with Nazis and the whole episode is just background filler. Three strikes, we’re done. – Lord Dalek

Schindler’s Opinion

"Why don't you read visual novels, Marquis? They've got some great prose!"

“Why don’t you read visual novels, Marquis? They’ve got some great prose!”

This was a kickstarter-funded anime, right? Implying the guys who made this show didn’t want to do this out of money but out of sheer ambition, like they were absolutely determined to make Dies Irae into a show? So why does this look as well-animated as a 2003 anime? This was apparently a big deal for the visual novel’s fans, enough that the funding exceeded expectations, so why doesn’t this show have the care put into it that Ufotable adds into their Type/Moon installments? Those have some beautiful animation, while this has off-model Germans performing acrobatics at each other. I couldn’t even tell who I was supposed to root for or even sympathize with. We get scattered scenes of this albino guy fighting an albino crossdresser, and then Reinhard’s forces show up to fight them. And the premiere focuses on Reinhard enough that you’re led to believe he must be the main character, but then he promotes his weird beliefs while nonchalantly smacking his female lieutenants. Then there are hints it might be a yaoi, and something about a golden fortress that gets its power from dead souls the Nazis kill. I had no clue what was going on.

I know it’s episode 0 and we’ll probably get the real protagonist next week, but then what is this supposed to be? An appetizer to show how badass the villains are? Maybe I was expected to read the entire 50-hour visual novel to appreciate this, but is the rest of the audience meant to do that too? Was there a large enough fanbase that they could adapt an out-of-sequence chapter and expect everybody to get it? Outside of seeing guys argue about power levels, I hadn’t seen anybody else mention Dies Irae until this month. I’m only expecting another Grisaia fiasco, where some guys rage over how they ruined the source material while I sit and watch the show in complete shock as to what’s occurring. This is already “Nazis with Bankais” stupid, so I can only imagine how it can increase the scale. – BloodyMarquis

Infini-T Force

No its Shibuya. Superhero Time is up the road in Yokohama.

No its Shibuya. Superhero Time is up the road in Yokohama.

Once in a blue moon there comes a show that defies description. A show so inept and so baffling dumb that you can’t help but say… well that was a thing. Because we’ve all watched bad anime. We all know what its like. Its badly written, its disgusting, it leaves you emotionally bereft and angry and wondering what kind of lousy people do those trolls at certain websites who praise this hot crap have to be in real life to like it.

And then…you get a show like Inifi-T Force, and it all makes sense.

Admittedly the concept, a Crisis On Infinite Earths-style crossover between a slew of old Tatusnoko super heroes from their Ippei Kuri heyday (Eagle Ken, Polymar, Tekkaman, and Casshern), sounds brilliant on paper. However those geniuses at Tatsunoko never knew a reboot they couldn’t fuck up and so somebody decided “Hey! Lets do it entirely in CGI, and make the protagonist a girl who wears an Italian restaurant tablecloth to school and owns a magic pencil! What a horrible idea! That’ll teach ’em for throwing up over Gatchaman Crowds!”

And yet…some how… they made it work, probably by accident.

Let it be known that Inifini-T force is this season’s Springtime for Hitler. A show so amazingly bad you can’t help but love it. It commits every sin in the book: looking like Final Fantasy, having a script full of philosophy so cringeworthy it would make Nasu blush, getting performances out of its cast so wooden you could build a house out of em, etc. But that’s the charm of Infini-T Force. When you do so much wrong it becomes so laughable that you get into and enjoy it. Its probably the same reason all those creepers love that weird animal loli show from last Winter. It did nothing right, except existing.

And that my friends, is a triumph, it still sucks but its a triumph none the less. – Lord Dalek

Just Because

*applause* *rolls credits by Miller-Boyett Productions*

*applause* *rolls credits by Miller-Boyett Productions*

Oh joy, another romance show where a boy falls in love with a girl and he’s unable to confess. After making a surprisingly okay show with Gamers, Studio Pine Jam is stepping into PA Works’ territory and proving to us that newcomers like them can be as good as any other studio, by producing the same shit as any other studio. Now we can see their take on the “boring guy falls in love with boring girl over more interesting girls while annoying friend of boring guy makes stupid jokes” genre. As we’ve seen again and again and again. Not like audiences will actually remember these shows after they ended, so we have to keep pumping out new ones to briefly capture their attention. It’s as if anime studios have invented their own Mari Okada script generators. I mean, she’s going into directing now, so something has to take her place.

Too bad it’s harder to replicate the animation of her shows than the writing, as the art quality and movement of this show leave much to desire. Characters regularly have one eye larger than the other eye, or pencil scribbles for knees. Take Senpai Club, but remove all the jokes. That’s what the overall design resembled. The landscape and backgrounds are so lifeless and gray that I initially assumed this was a post-apocalyptic anime. During one elongated scene of baseball, I could have sworn the main characters were playing in the middle of a dust bowl.

I don’t know. Maybe I need more time to ponder the romantic lives of Recoome and that one blue-haired guy from Chaika. Could this show possibly be a reflection of our high school lives, how grey and lifeless they were that even a simple game of baseball was the highlight of our day? Or is this show so dull that my mind wanders into Brendan Fraser memes instead of focusing? All I know is that one girl with the camera who took pictures of everybody is a fucking creep and doesn’t deserve anybody, not even Recoome. – BloodyMarquis

Junni Taisen: Zodiac War

Rabbit is a victim of racial profiling.

Rabbit is a victim of racial profiling.

Before anything, I have to say that I don’t care much for the palindrome that is Nisio Isin. At the very least, I don’t care for the adaptations of his light novels, though the feeling I get watching the “Monogatari Series” alerts me that his work would probably too verbose for my liking. Akiyuki Shinbou’s directing of that anime delivers the equivalent of watching random experimental animation being showcased while listening to an unrelated audiobook. I don’t doubt that there is a clever narrative connection between the visuals and dialogue that’s just going over my head, but the story doesn’t entice me enough to dig for and dissect it, causing the entire work to fall apart in my eyes. But maybe something aiming to be less cerebral might do it for me. An ultraviolent action series utilizing the deadly survival game trope, following twelve characters that each represent parts of the Chinese Zodiac, perhaps? With a more grounded animation style in lieu of grandiose experimentation? Hmm. Maybe that could turn me around on Nisio Isin…unfortunately, it didn’t do too much in that regard.

Watching “Junni Taisen” reminded me about that time back in high school where I was trying to write a black comedy/urban fantasy about a teenage serial killer: silly bordering on the absurd, riddled with clichés, and trying a bit too hard to hit every desired beat. From the ridiculous flashback scenes that detail how the Boar manipulated her little sister into committing suicide, to the unexplained and glossed over existence of magic, to the barebones premise, “Junni Taisen” strikes me as a bit juvenile at its worst. At best, it comes across as a small project that was written to relax and cool down between the crafting of larger and more important stories, rather than an earnest attempt to bring a unique take on a popular genre. Which is a bit of a shame, since Isin obviously enjoys playing with harem tropes with the “Monogatari” books. Seeing not even a little hint of that in the first episode of “Junni Taisen” disappoints me. Eh, in any case, I hope the Monkey wins. – RacattackForce

King’s Game

Asu...ka...

Asu…ka…

King’s Game begins with our protagonist finding himself on what appears to be the set of The End of Evangelion. Considering he bares a resemblance to Shinji if Shinji was older and a lot taller, I’d expect him to proceed to find the nearest red-haired tsundere with one eye and start strangling her. But alas… this is actually not Evangelion but just another rehash of Danganronpa, making our hero less Shinji Ikari and more Makoto Naegi.

…wait a minute…Shinji and Naegi had the same VA in Japan…Oh crap! Danganronpa was Evangelion the whole time! GODDAMMIT!

Well anyway back to King’s Game, the saga of death, murder, and various humiliating tasks. Our “hero” has already been subjected to and been the sole survivor of the King’s Game once before, to the point of actually having to rape his old girlfriend shortly before her limbs exploded….because clearly Danganronpa and SAO weren’t horrible enough. Things get even more real when one of sad-sack loser kid’s classmates dies horribly in front of him and the rest of the class when his bodily fluids literally erupt out of his own skin. Clearly King’s Game knows no bottom it won’t scrape and oh boy has it scrapped a lot already.

In a way King’s Game is the ultimate distilation of everything wrong with the anime of 2017. Its badly written, the characters are either 2D cut outs or just completely unlikable, and its gross for the sake of being gross. And the sad part is I can’t even call it the worst show of the fall when we had Neo Yokio two weeks ago! …how the fuck does that work???

On the other hand, we may have found a show this year worse than Hand Shakers. And that is a feat unto itself. – Lord Dalek

A Sister’s All You Need

"They taste almost as good as her cloaca."

“They taste almost as good as her cloaca.”

I’m actually quite sad the first minute, where a young man chews on his little sister’s freshly worn panties from another dimension, wasn’t the real show. By all standards, it was awful and would’ve been a complete and utter scorn on Japanese culture as a whole, but I wanted to see how it could get worse. A naked girl laid eggs and fried them for her big brother, for God’s sake. And because it’s incestuous, those eggs were probably fertilized with his own seed, and he was ready to eat his own unborn fetus children. Yet it was all portrayed like a romantic fantasy, and it’s sad that level of black comedy faded away in favor of Eromanga-sensei but without an actual imouto.

Coming from the author of…sigh… Haganai, we get more of our favorite harem cliches. Reverse-reverse-double-quadruple-agent traps who are not related by blood but still a sibling to a character. Albino teenage girls who thirst for dick and aren’t afraid to admit it in every sentence they utter. MC who desperately wants to fuck little girls, yet is too beta to bone the girl in front of him, and will probably take the rest of the season until he actually holds hands or kisses somebody. If I were writing one of these, I’d have the main character fuck somebody by the first episode and call that the official couple. Sure, it’ll alienate and scare people who want their waifus to be pure, but fuck ‘em. Fuck ’em where their imaginary little sisters never would.

Besides all else that happened was some Phoenix Wright bullshit where the characters debate about potential LN plots. And a sobstory about a lonely teenage girl who was so inspired by a young writer’s work that she became an inexplicably young author herself to chase the man of her dreams. Wah-wah-wah. It’s another LN adaptation that indulges in dumb smut, but uses the excuse of metafiction to justify its skeeviness. It’s not an anime where a guy wants to fuck his sister. It’s an anime that “satirizes” the concept of guys wanting to fuck their sisters. Because it worked so well for Oreimo.

This show does have some good reaction pictures though. Can’t deny that. – BloodyMarquis

Yuki Yuna is a Hero – Washio Sumi Chapter

Yuki Yuna.png

Yuki Yuna.png

Ohhhhh YuYuYu… the show that went from being on the top of everyone’s 10 best lists to the bottom of everyone’s 10 worst lists within a matter of weeks. I had actually forgotten what this show was supposed to be about again until I noticed the entire run was on Netflix. Remembering that it was getting a long delayed 2nd season this month, I decided to refresh my memory…and it all came flooding back. The shameless Madoka thievery, the bs ableist pandering, the shoehorned out-of-left-field Post Apocalypse angle, the Sword Art Online-reject character designs, etc. etc. This show was just as awful as I remembered it. And now, here we are again. More depressing lamb to the slaughter magical girl bullshit courtesy of the Sage Quiche, Akame ga Kill creator Takahiro and famed light novel illustrator abe-I MEAN BUN-BUN! I… just… can’t… wait…. –_–

Anyway this arc of Yuki Yuna is actually a chopped up version of a series of movies released earlier this year and is a prequel. The real sequel isn’t airing for another 7 weeks. That should give the production team ample enough time to produce a horribly rushed epilogue that will be just as bad as the first season. But until then, we have the saga of Sumi Washio, a well bred girl from an elite private school who will eventually lose the ability to use her legs and her memory to become Mimori Togo, the lame Homura clone from season 1; Sonoko Nogi, who ends up bid ridden, with half her face and most of her body horribly burned, praying for a death that will never come; and the previously unseen Gin Minowa whose absence suggests she either didn’t make it or something far worse (translation: stupid). And if you’re going to complain about me spoiling all that… well that show aired back in 2014. We’re well past the sell-by date for spoilers here especially for a tragedy where we already know the outcome. Its like watching the Star Wars prequels and complaining about Darth Vader being a spoiler.

So ultimately I’m not exactly sure what was the point of doing the show this way. We know these girls are all going to end up badly so there’s no dramatic impetus for the story to proceed. We’re just killing time before the inevitable lame ass finale. On the other hand, if there’s anything worthwhile to come out of this, its once again the soundtrack done by Keiichi Okabe and his collaborators at MONACA. And if Season 1’s ost sounded like leftovers from Drakengard 3, these must be leftovers from NieR Automata. That’s not a bad thing at all. But you know what is a bad thing? Watching another boring ass episode of YuCubed and wondering what the point was. Thanks a lot, Sage Quiche. – Lord Dalek

2017
10.05

Hello, scoundrels. Hope you’ve been well, and watching good Christian entertainment like Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. As a reward for your good behavior, here is the new clusterfuck. Disobey in the future, and charlatans will lick your eyeballs clean.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Boy does this look familiar. So familiar that I feel like wrote it up LAST YEAR.

Whoops. – Lord Dalek

Black Clover

*Loads barrel with five bullets. Pulls Trigger.*

*Loads barrel with five bullets. Pulls Trigger.*

Oh boy, more shonen shit! More obnoxious, irritating, generic pablum destined to be “highly requested” for a certain tirefire of a late night cable animation block where it will fail miserably! Just like all the others that came and flopped before it (still salty aren’t we eh #onepiecesailson?). I can see it now: 659,000 viewers a week for this…. this awful thing….why I wonder…

Well anyway, Black Clover is the crap story of a crap protagonist with a crap voice who is crap at everything. However unlike a certain other crap protagonist from last year (cough)DEKU(cough), young Asta here has NOTHING going for him. Asta is so unlikable that he makes Bort’s Dad look like Joseph Joestar. Yeah…I went there. Fight me.

Actually though, it does seem the makers of this show kinda knew that when they made this as they do try to play off how rubbish Asta is. However the character is so awful that when the payoff finally comes…I don’t care. I just don’t care.

Yeah I know what you’re gonna say: “read the manga”. Here’s a better idea… READ A FUCKING BOOK! – Lord Dalek

Gintama -Porori Arc-

 He's made of shit! How did that happen? Yo ho ho he took a bite of crap crap!


He’s made of shit! How did that happen? Yo ho ho he took a bite of crap crap!

As they lampshaded in this episode’s opening sketch, I think Bandai Namco expected that the Gintama manga would have ended by now. It hasn’t, and with the ways things are going it’ll probably be a while yet. Luckily, they have at least a cour’s worth of unadapted mini-arcs from the manga to tide them over, which is a treat for fans like me who wanted to see them animated! Gintama never took its continuity that seriously, so just take this short break between the final arcs for what it is, though canonically all of these story arcs do take place between the Courtesan of a Nation and Shogun Assassination arcs.

The show itself looks as great as ever and is funny as ever. The best part of this opener was easily the sketch at the beginning, lampooning long anime recaps and timeskips and parodying everything from One Piece to Kemono Friends. They even manage to squeeze in some gags about the live-action movie! It’s also clever choice of them to begin this cour adapting the Kagura’s Boyfriend arc, considering the Rakuyou arc was a fairly serious storyline about Kagura’s family. Here we get to see Umibozu’s last comedic storyline in the show animated and it’s a reminder of how funny the dirty old man is. Most of the humor in this plot comes from Umibozu and Gintoki acting like intrusively overprotective dads, and taking “growing up” a little bit too literally. Yet the episode also sneaks in a genuinely thoughtful conversation between them about forgetting how watching the kids grow up used to make them happy, and realizing they need to let them become adults, and need to start being adults themselves. It’s a thematically important message that was reflected in Kagura coming into her own in the Rakuyo arc, and presented here it’s a great bit of introspection as to her and Umibozu’s character development.

The material doesn’t necessitate grand gestures of animation, but what’s there is enough to sell every scene, and the comedic timing is solid. This cour of Gintama will be back-to-basics hilarious hijinks. Regardless of how impatient you might be to see the final arc animated, Gintama at its funniest is the best anime comedy ever made and getting any more of it should be treasured. It’s certainly more accessible to watch for those who aren’t caught up with the plot, and I can assure you there won’t be many continuity-heavy episodes in this cour (with one exception). That said, the opening definitely implies they will get to everything they haven’t done yet, so this is the last hurrah for purely comedic Gintama. The next season is where it’ll all end, so you’d better enjoy the show while it lasts. – LumRanmaYasha

Konohana Kitan

You scream and everybody comes a running. Take a run and hide yourself away.

You scream and everybody comes a running. Take a run and hide yourself away.

A couple of weeks ago, that great source for intellectual discourse in animation news, “Anime Now!”, described Konohana Kitan as being “kind of like Spirited Away, but with 600% more Fox Girls(!)”

….

If that’s not a selling point I don’t know what is. Unfortunately as we all know however, Anime Now is actually a steaming crap hole of Kotaku rejects (Richard Eisenbeis, ’nuff said), and anything they say must be taken with less of a grain of salt and more of the entire shaker. This is not to say Konohana Kitan is a bad show, in fact its perfectly ok, kinda forgetable actually. Its just you can’t liken anything to Miyazaki without illiciting some sort of spit take. That’s like saying Yuri on Ice is “like Spirited Away but with 1000% more gay sakuga figure skating” because its set in a bathhouse. You just. don’t. do. that.

Well anyway what was this supposed to be about again? Oh yeah, um…fox girls. There’s absoulutely nothing to be said about this show whatsoever, a fact which is quickly becoming a common problem with me and these so-called “healing shows”. There’s nothing to hate so I can’t hate it like you expect me to, but there’s also nothing to like either so I can’t say I like at all. Same problem I have with a show like Aria. I don’t hate Aria but I don’t really feel like there’s any real emotional attachment to continue watching it. Likewise I feel inert to this slice-of-life-as-fuck saga of an insecure (and probably underage) fox girl who is dumped at a remote sauna run by fellow fox girls and repeatedly pistol whipped by her tsundere sempai. Whatever. Ye are a show with nothing notable to say for it.

… other than the fact that the proprietress of the bath house is literally just a retrace of Saber mashed up with Yukikaze from Dog Days. Oh fuck this show just reminded of that show. The flashbacks THE FLASSSSSSSHBAAAAAACKS!!!!!!1312!!@!!!!!!@!@#$!@#$!@$!@$!@$!! – Lord Dalek

Mr. Osomatsu Season 2

 Some things never change..and sometimes that's a good thing!


Some things never change..and sometimes that’s a good thing!

After a year and a half of waiting, our favorite trashy sextuplet NEETS are back! Studio Pierrot’s satirical reimagining of the classic Showa-era gag comedy was a surprising hit with fujoshi and comedy anime fans across the world, and against all odds we’ve been graced with a second season. One might be concerned that the first season was a fluke, and the second wouldn’t live up to it. Certainly, the premiere of the second season couldn’t live up to the first, which was so outrageous that it was banned from every being aired or legally distributed ever again! So does Mr. Osomatsu’s second season premiere recapture the magic?

You can put those worries to bed friends! This premiere delivers a hilariously insane satire of its own success, showing the Matsuno siblings becoming fat, grotesque money-grubbing scumbags that do nothing but laze around and shake the hands of their blindly-passionate fujoshi fans. The show not only mocks how fans have fallen in love with the Matsunos in spite of how disgusting they are, but also how they’ve become such a lucrative franchise that even crappy products can be pedaled to the masses at the highest prices because the fans will but it anyway. The Akira-esque monstrosity that Jyushimatsu has become even devours his own fan, expressing how fans’ love for the franchise is being consumed and exploited for the production committee’s benefit. The show holds nothing back in its honestly cynical meta-commentary of the show’s success and how ridiculous its popularity is, poking fun at both itself and the fans for the situation they’ve found themselves.

If that’s not enough, they also throw in some Go Nagai-esque jabs at the PTA, which storm into the Matsuno house to beat them up for being trashy bad influences. And if that’s not enough, this is only THE FIRST HALF of the episode! The second half gets even crazier, as the past versions of the Matsunos resolve to become a “proper anime,” which apparently involves doing a Your Name. ripoff with a 90’s shoujo aesthetic, Iyami becoming Crystal Boy from Space Adventure Cobra, and a CGI Jyushimatsu. And it all ends with the Matsunos realizing they’ll always be trash not matter what they do. It’s a great commentary on the burlesque nature of the show’s comedy, and a hilarious reassurance of its creative integrity!

So yes, Mr. Osomatsu recaptures the magic of the first season and then some. This was an ingenious premiere that demonstrates the staff is self-aware about why this show is popular and what makes it good, while they give the middle finger to commercial interests and the PTA by saying “fuck you, we’ll do what we want!” Mr. Osomatsu is among the few anime comedies analogous to western animated fare like Ricky and Morty in their defiance of authority and penchant for deliberately political satire and satirical parody. It’s this anarchic spirit that makes it so refreshing in the very homogenous landscape of mundane anime comedies, of which its only real compatriot is Gintama (which happily enough is also airing this season!) So if anything, expect this season to be more bizarre, more offensive, raunchier, and even weirder – because with this show they are no sacred cows, not even the audience. – LumRanmaYasha

Neo Yokio

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE! (also this was the best gag in the whole episode)

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE!
(Author’s Note: If you were expecting the Toblerone, the reason why its not here is    I only watched the first episode of Neo Yokio and it didn’t come up)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ***                                                                     (Author’s Note Addendum: Asking me to post the Toblerone would require me    to watch more episodes of Neo Yokio. In which case… go fuck yourself.)

In case you missed my round of Twitter primal scream therapy over the apocalyptic death mass that is Neo Yokio let me summarize for you. I literally turned off my tv only five seconds in to the episode. FIVE. FUCKING. SECONDS. What made me do it? Was it the awful animation? The Deviantart grade character designs? The awful writing that is literally two Jaden Smiths talking to himself? NOPE! It was the random fucking usage of Johnny Hawksworth’s classic ITV ident jingle “Salute to Thames”. Now for some casuals out there, this would be a minor formality, but that was enough for me to walk away.

…five minutes later I turned it back on. It should have stayed off.

In a year that has given us hot garbage like Hand Shakers and Isekai Smartphone, Neo Yokio is the ultimate insult. A bad brew of insufferable characters engaged in nonsensical activities with the soul purpose of being GQ worthy. There’s no plot here. No structure. No development. Everything is a series of bullet points and lulz parody, like a slightly more expensive episode of Kappa Mikey. If you were to ask the writers of Anime Swag to come up with an actual anime it would be Neo Yokio. The difference being this animu wasn’t devised by Soulja Boy but instead that guy from Vampire Weekend who you think is related to Chekov from Star Trek but probably isn’t. I’d say there is a difference but I am too tired and emotionally dead to care. Such is the long night of the soul that is Neo Yokio

Adding to this is the most eggregiously all-star cast ever wasted on a mindless vanity project since the first season of Captain Planet. Don’t Richard Ayoade, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, and Steve Buscemi have something better to do than star in Neo Yokio? What did NoRelationtoChekov give them? Was it a high price? Would that explain why this show was made by Deen? Its just doesn’t make any sense…except for Jaden Smith, he’s garbage and deserves to be the lead. Asshole.

By the end of it I didn’t want to write up Neo Yokio. I wanted to bury myself in my yard and hope I decomposed instead. Neo Yokio was so bad I strongly considered simply copying and pasting Harlan Ellison’s “Hate!” speech from “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” and calling that a review. Alas Marquis talked me out of it. Shame really. It would have been a lot shorter, a lot more entertaining and far more than this dumpster fire deserves. – Lord Dalek

UQ Holder!: Magister Negi Magi Negima! 2

He slices! He dices!

Well well well… look who came crawling back. Ken Akamatsu, my friend, its been….soooo long.

UQ Holder! is the sequel to Negima!, Akamatsu’s fondly remembered attempt to get out of the title of “King of Harems” by writing an action fantasy shonen intstead. It was also a manga that crashed and burned not once but twice in anime form due to a half-assed treatment from those sad basement dwellers at Xebec and subsequent subjection to the early pre-Monogatari days of SHAFT’s art animu obssession. Both of these adaptations petered out before the manga dumped its original harem shit pretense and went full on battle shonen. So instead we have the battle shonen Negima was allegedly supposed to be in the first place…albeit with shit harem antics shoved in. Grreaaat.

80 years after two years worth of Negi’s semen flowed endlessly into Asuna, we have the product of the product of that semen: young Tota. His whole family’s kinda dead though thanks to a nasty car accident. As a result, Tota’s been forced him to live with the rather well endowed (well it is Akamatsu) Yukihime. But surprise, Yukihime’s actually that one vampire from the previous series and is being chased after by nasty salaryman bountyhunters. And then… it gets a little violent. As in limbs flying all over the place. …yay.

Ultimately this is just your bare bones battle shonen introduction episode. We have two characters and a quest, to get to the top of a tower where Tota hopes to find some meaning to a series of visions he keeps having of Grandpa Negi. They don’t actually set out on that quest until the very end and no other characters are introduced so we don’t know what the conflict is exactly. Not surprising for a pretty run of the mill shonen. On a technical scale, UQ Holder! is probably the best looking anime ever produced from an Akamatsu work but then again Akamatsu’s previous sorties into animation were done in the early to mid-2000s when noone gave a crap about frame rates and expressive visuals.

I honestly can’t say much more about UQ Holder! If you’re a fan of Akamatsu and/or every shonen ever made you’ll probably like it. Otherwise its just harmless. – Lord Dalek

Urahara

Using child support for your dose of krokodil.

Using child support for your prescription of krokodil.

Normally, an anime like this should be lauded. It’s an anime original project directed by a relative newcomer, with few other credits. Experimentation in casting is utilized by having the singer of the second Sword Art Online ED (the one that goes ‘Takakuuuu~) play a main character. And instead of just licensing this anime, Crunchyroll is also directly involved in the production. A mixture of subversions that should make for an interesting show, one that can stand out beyond the isekai light novel adaptations and be remembered outside of the season it aired. But something doesn’t click with this series. What should be trendsetting feels decadent. What should aim for the bizarre instead hits the target of mild confusion. Like a fancy, multicolored balloon that pops faster than the plainer red ones. Maybe it’s because it was yet another show that glorified Akihabara, like we needed another after several anime and even a Super Sentai parody indulging in that setting.

But it isn’t bad if you view it from another light. The hallucination-inducing colors and odd character designs beg for a completely different interpretation from what the studio probably intended. For it was at the sight of everybody’s sleepy faces and bushy eyelashes, that I quickly interpreted this show as the main characters’ LSD fantasy. I didn’t care that this show was a weird celebration of Harajuku culture anymore. Instead, it became the sensationalist exploits of drugged-up teenage girls without adult supervision, thinking they’re going on Sid and Marty Krofft adventures when they’re wandering in the middle of the street. That pink girl they befriend? She’s actually a random tourist they kidnap. The UFOs that show up the sky? They’re just the police trying to apprehend them for public indecency and child abduction. Nothing feels quite right in this first episode, making it easy to suspect there’s more going on than what we’re presented. The post-credit scene even supports this theory, as the conscious shrimp tempura the girls were talking to makes a live-action appearance. Perhaps the finale will break the fantasy, and this anime turned out to be a J-Drama in disguise. – BloodyMarquis