2016
10.07

Greetings, readers, breeders, and those who mentally peaked at the age of 16. Welcome to this season’s preview guide.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Long time. No-face see!

Long time. No-face see!

In what must be the setup for the strangest BBC 4 sitcom yet, there lives somewhere in rural England la talking goat litch named Ainsworth, a talking dog/guy named Ruth, some Rozen Maiden cosplayer named Silky who says nothing, and a random normal Japanese girl named Chise. Chise is there to apparently learn the wizarding ways from goat guy after a series of traumatic childhood experiences involving her mother’s suicide and various disturbing monst–

oh this is one of THOSE shows isn’t it?

Ancient Magus’ Bride is a show with a split personality. It starts out as a gentle sort of Miyazaki clone with lots of quirky characters and cute familiars running around, but then… as if a switch was flipped the show turns into straight up nightmare fuel. Something along the lines of Elfen Lied if it wasn’t so ridiculously over the top to the point of being comedic. Its also a really top notch production which is not a big surprise considering its from WIT and they’re still rolling around in Titan moneyez.

Those sitting through Magus’ first 12 minutes and expecting Flying Witch 2.0 are probably in for a shock. Whether not that’s a good or bad thing is in the eye of the beholder. – Lord Dalek

World Witches Series The 501st Joint Fighter Wing: Brave Witches

Pantsu for the memories.

Pantsu for the memories.

Oh…its this…again.

For those out there who have happily ignored the godawful Strike Witches franchise, a brief recap: in an alternate 1940 so stupid it would make Harry Turtledove choke on his own vomit, space aliens called Neuroi have arrived and taken the form of giant planes (not boats, that was Arpeggio of Blue Steel Ars Nova). With their own millitary might completely incapable to fight the space aliens, the former Axis and Allied Powers have said “hey no hard feelings!” and developed a secret weapon to combat the extraterrestrial threat: teenage girls and young women strapped to very tiny propeller engines to turn THEM into airplanes! (not boats, that was Kantai Collection) Also there’s something about magic powers and animal ears and oh who cares, it only looks good when stacked up against IS and its own ilk.

Soooooo that brings us to Brave Witches…which is just Strike Witches…if it was brave….yaaaaaaaaay.

Really what is there to be said about this? Its the stame old stock cute girl joins the military story this franchise pretty much invented. In far off exotic Not-Japan (again… alternate WWII so all the names have been changed to protect the innocent), young Hikari pines to be like her sister, the legendary “Hero of Sasebo”. Unfortunately Hikari is kinda shit at the whole magic thing and always drowning in the local bay as a result. However the European front against the Neuroi has taken a turn for the worse and student witches are now being deployed to the front. This provides an opportunity for our heroine to show what she can do through that “sheer determination under duress” animes like this always have because….cliches.

Long and short of it, if you like Strike Witches, good for you. You’ll probably enjoy this show because its fans only more or less. If you’re like me and can’t stand it, this is just par for the course. Harmless but ultimately redundant and still an excuse at oggling pantsu….dammit I was trying to see how long I could go without mentioning Strike Witches’ pantsu obsesssion. I blame this on you whoever you are, I blame it on you >=(. – Lord Dalek

BBK/BRNK: The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy

Hey remember when this was going to be some sort of Miyazaki thing? Yeah.... good times...

Hey remember when this was going to be some sort of Miyazaki thing? Yeah…. good times…

Oh noes its the Bubukiburankibrabrabraburabrabra! At this point does anyone care about Sanzigen’s CGI regurgitation of early-2000s animu? Well after last season, or more precisely after 15 minutes of the first episode, not I. Nevertheless, here we are again with 12 more episodes of water balloon people, downright incoherrent writing and story structure, and general sense that this is only being made because Sanzigen and Arc Performance can’t get along long enough to make season 2 of Vocaloid Boat Anime. Well might as well suck it up as I’ve got nothing else better to do.

First the good news! Azuma’s gone!…unfortunately he’s coming back…frowny face!

Now the bad news! Instead we have his sister! Whose ten times more annoying and blatantly autistic!

Yes introuducing crazy Kaoruku, Azuma’s 12 eggs short of a dozen sister who dresses like a cross between Trucy Wright and Huggy Bear, wont shut the hell up, and just generally makes me wanna die. She’s leading her own band of rediculous God Eater rejects to fight the ongoing Buranki menace in far off exotic Chinese Taipei which only leads to tons of infodumping and breast size equivalency because this show has no ideas and you know that, I know that, and of course… Rac knows that ;-).

BBK/BRNK/Electric Boogaloogie is just a lot of time wasting and panty chasing. Why on Earth did anybody think this was a good way to celebrate their tenth anniversary I’ll never know. Then again anime is clearly dead so I shouldn’t be surprised that somebody did. Just ask Yamakan! – Lord Dalek

Bloodivores

THE END.

THE END.

Wow………………what a title. Shame that’s all its got. Bloodivores comes to us from el-cheapo Chinese syndicate TENCENT and never has a name lived up to what is on display for me to see. No effort was put into this, no QC, no interest, nothing. Watching it only made me nostalgic for Polyphonica and its quality van. A disgrace.

…and the main character is named Mi Yu. We’re done here. – Lord Dalek

Izetta, Die Letze Hexe

Which is funny because she's spent the entire episode up to this point running away.

Which is funny because she’s spent the entire episode up to this point running away.

Its 1940 and the world is at war!…except this is one of those crappy faux-World War II animus and all the names have been changed because who’s Hitler? As the evil Germanian empire starts to invade every country in central Europe, Princess Fine of El Kabong (you think of a better name) has fled her country for the safety of the Britannian Empire in the west (yest this is apparently a prequel to Code Geass). Things don’t go her way though and Fine ends up stranded with a mysterious red haired girl who apparently has the ability to summon Rukh like Aladdin and, because this is allegedly not a yuri, get your mind out of the gutter.

Izetta The Last Witch is, like last year’s already forgotten Maria The Virgin Witch, just kinda ok. It doesn’t really do anything interesting and the characters are the same stock we’ve seen from other faux historicals like Last Exile and Valkyria Chronicles. The big difference being that these ones are designed by abe-I MEAN BUNBUN! Actually the Sword Art connection doesn’t end there as Michiru Yamane has been drafted to do the soundtrack and already this show sounds like Madoka leftovers. And that’s the main problem with Izetta, it just feels like leftover story ideas, characters, and production values, from other more successful product. Does that mean its bad? Not really. Does it make me watch it again? Nope no way.

But hey! It ends with Izetta using an anti-tank rifle as a witches broom! That’s gotta be cool enough for me to come back ri-no. – Lord Dalek

Keijo!!!!!!!!

Ok Keijo aka Hip Whip Girl, a show about an aquatic sport with tons of fan service. How bad could it possibly b–

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I wanna die.

NO. — Lord Dalek

Nanbaka

Working between seasons has been very trying for Saitama.

Working between seasons has been very trying for Saitama.

This is Prison School but shinier and with less ecchi, and less Kana Hanazawa. And less funny. After a few surprises like Osomatsu-san and Sakamoto, the “pretty guys doing odd things” genre is now back to this. Watching ten minutes of Nanbaka just makes me want to go back to said few surprises. Just hollow jokes and so many attempts to go for funny stupid but ended up being annoying stupid instead. Most of the humor I’m getting is from some of the occasional nods to other, better shows. And when I’m referring to shit like Kiznaiver as “better”, this show isn’t bringing out any A-game.

Especially disappointing when coming from the director of Nichibros, Gintama, and Gundam 0080 (?). It’s just bleep jokes, crossdressing jokes, and the green-haired one being a twat. I could spend twenty minutes blowing my nose until blood comes out, and that would have been a better waste of time. Watching a teenage girl ranting about the Zionist conspiracy would have been more stimulating. Banging my head against the wall and having horrible Nutshack-themed coma nightmares would have been more endearing. I was watching Nanbaka and writing this while in a late-night stupor, when everything makes me giggle. The time of the night when just looking at a picture of Aidan Gillen makes me guffaw. Nanbaka didn’t make me guffaw. It didn’t even make me chortle, or snigger, or titter, or cackle.

Also, Nan Baka sounds like the Japanese remake of The Golden Girls. Just a bunch of nans being stupid for twenty minutes. I want that now. Make a Golden Girls anime, get some veteran seiyus like Masako Nozawa to play Blanche, and we’ll be square. Ish. – BloodyMarquis

Time Bokan 24

Dat face so sakuga.

Dat face so sakuga.

Usually I avoid doing anime for small children on these clusterfucks. For one I’m not the target demographic for this kind of show and find that their frequently repetitive and rather simplistic plots get tiresome real fast.

HOWEVER…this is not just any kids anime, this is Time Bokan and therefore exceptions need to be made.

For those who do not know of Tatsunoko’s semi-long running (give or take decades long hiatuses) franchise or any of the slew of children’s and 70s throwback programing it clearly inspired (ie: Pokemon), here follows a brief description. A pair of kids clad in garish costumes and a variety of robots/mecha do battle with a lady with big tits and her two goonish sidekicks either round the world or across time and space depending on what the theme is that season. Although it is technically a metaseries, the characters are all stock and in the case of the villains even share the same voice actors. Basically if you’ve seen the most famous installment of the franchise, Yatterman, you’ve seen Time Bokan, and TB24, being the first proper new installment since Kaito Kiramekiman in 2000, is no different. Hell, its practically a reboot of the very first series with its horned beetle mecha and time travel theme.

The concept here is that history as we know it is wrong, wrong, wrong and a 24th century organization called the JKK has been formed to set the record straight…or rather unstraight as it turns out Earth’s history was much, much sillier then we were initially led to believe. Opposing them is the latest version of the Doronbo Gang known as the Akudarma Trio, employees of the world’s leading publisher of history textbooks which is none too pleased that their main source of revenue is getting defaced by the rather embarrassing “truth” and “facts”. Caught in the middle is young Tokio, a poor teenage schlub from the present who got shanghaied to the future by a JKK researcher named Calen and somehow managed to survive the process without proper protection. It doesn’t take long for our hero to drafted into the JKK, strapped to a table on a speeding roller coaster, and flung back to ancient Egypt to discover that Cleopatra wasn’t so much the queen of the Nile as she was half of a bokke-tuskomi act named Cleo and Patra. Why? Because this is Time Bokan and who gives a fuck about being educational.

Time Bokan 24 is pretty much just Time Bokan in its most basic form. Shallow as hell and candy colored to the core. If you were expecting some sort of philosophical deconstruction like Yatterman Night, you’re not gonna get it. Instead just check your brain at the door as its likely to be in throbbing pain by the end. – Lord Dalek

Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru

Let the voice of love take you higher~

Let the voice of love take you higher~

So, Kantai Collection with Swords? Because that’s what I got from the twenty and so minutes of the first episode. And like Kantai Collection, I don’t remember shit from this after first exposure. Just a snowball fight, one of the characters taking a bath, and the pretty blue one named Yasusada acting like a dope in front of everybody. Also, they do a dumb dance in the opening. It was one of several anime I watched that night where people broke into dance out of nowhere. They could make an anime about quadruple amputees in this day and age, and the characters would still somehow wiggle their bodies for the opening like they owe money to their big daddies.

I had a discussion the other day as to how Touken Ranbu’s appeal was supposed to work. There’s clearly some research delved in to get as many swords as you can, yet I’m not sure how much of that effort really matters in the grand scheme. Sort of like Hetalia. I’ve seen very few Hetalia fans go out of their way to praise the detail in geopolitical relations. I’m most likely missing some, but most fans I see just want England to do dirty sex things to America. And that’s the case here, where I just sit in the haze during any exposition and wonder when someone is going to screw Yasusada’s sword-boypussy until his sword-brain is in pieces. Not sword-pieces though. Mental pieces.

And I’m sure somebody will be mentally broken by the end of this, because it’s written by Pierre Sugiura of Kuma Miko infamy. Remember that cute, but odd bear show that became horrifying in its last breaths? I fully expect to forget about this show for a few months until reading on Twitter how much of a horrorshow the finale was, and how it’s so bad it’s putting them off the second Touken Ranbu anime made by ufotable. Yes, I forgot to mention that. This anime is one of many for the franchise. We’re probably going to get more Touken Ranbus than we can count, even more than there are Prisma Illya seasons. – BloodyMarquis

Yuri!!! on ICE

You can just feel the cringe!

You can just feel the cringe!

All right, lets get the obvious joke out of the way… For the uninformed basement dwelling otaku still high on Cheetos and Mountain Dew, Yuri!!! on ICE is possibly the biggest cocktease since Friday the 13th The Series. It is not a yuri, it stars a guy named Yuuri (just check the katakana!), it is about figure skating and not some girls love relationship that goes sour, and to make matters worse…its actually a yaoi. HA!

Phew now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk about the best show of the season so far.

First thing you notice about Yuri is the animation. Its good. Its REALLY good. MAPPA’s done some impressive work in the past (say what you will about Terror in Resonance at least it looked snazzy) but even from the op, its clearly we’re approaching KyoAni levels of borderline feature film quality key work here. But its more then just that, there’s actually personality to the animation here and in a week that also gave us the bland soulless CGI work of BBK/BRNK and Bloodivores, to see some genuine emotion come out of an anime is downright refreshing.

Then you notice its actually pretty funny. Not in sort of a funny hahaha, but more of a “oh that’s clever!” chuckle. The show’s got great timing and isn’t trying to beat you to death with forced humor like some other quote-unquote “comedy” anime (including MAPPA’s last venture, the godawful Punch-Line). What is here works because it works. Not because its trying and ultimately failing to work like those other shows.

And then there’s the story. That of a guy who wanted to be his own idol yet failed at it, before coming home to his dismal dump of a hometown unsure of his own personal future. Its sounds really, really traditional on paper but again, the execution is the difference maker here. Yuri is embarrassed about what happened ever since his downward spiral started at Sochi. His family and friends, while meaning well, are only making it worse. And then, when our fairy tale ending kicks in and Yuri’s idol/professional rival Viktor shows up to be his new coach (and unintentionally wag his dick in Yuri’s face), its less of a triumph and more of a “you have got to be fucking kidding me!” moment. Its just… genuine.

Yuri!!! on ICE is this season’s Showa Genroku. A series without much fanfare (well…more than Showa Genroku, natch) that manages to blow the competition away. Even this East German judge liked it. – Lord Dalek

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