2016
10.14

ClassicaLoid

Sodomize Chevalier John Taylor

Sodomize Chevalier John Taylor

Well, that was cute in a “drunk freshmen try to re-enact I, Claudius” way. So coming off the heels of Osomatsu-san, director Yoichi Fujita gives us a silly anime about classical musicians. It’s like Vocaloids, except they’re not. I don’t even know what they have in common with Vocaloids to warrant the title, but moving on. It’s one of those ideas that you crack as a bad joke when you’re bored, but then somebody decides that should be an actual show. And whether that should be cause for celebration really depends on your tolerance for dull, meandering character drama in the middle of your goofy Beethoven antics.

When they’re not showing footage of Beethoven failing to make dumplings, the show focuses on these two kids named Kanae and Sosuke who come off as bombastic, but not in an endearing way. More of a “Please use an indoor voice or get out” way. Just their mere presence makes a scene irritable, and you just wish they could go die so the Classicaloids get the full stage to themselves. I don’t care about Kanae’s grandma, or Sosuke’s iPad, or how they’ll eventually get together despite how they’re assholes to each other at this point, just give me what happened in the first minute but stretched to an entire show, okay? It’s like ordering dessert at a restaurant, but having your waiter talk about their banal life troubles to you while your dish is being made, and then going on even when you’re eating.

No love for their character designs too. they all look like first draft drawings of Pokemon trainers. Everyone’s so wide-eyed and colorful, but not to the levels like other cutesy shows so it’s all uncanny. They remind me of the shark girl from Orange. For every mark this show hits, it misses two more. Maybe it’ll get more exciting with Bach-sama, or with Tchaikovsky-chan, or with Liszt-san, or with Debussy-sensei, or with Kotzwara-kun, or… – BloodyMarquis

Second Opinion!

I hope Salieri-sempai notices me!

I hope Salieri-sempai notices me!

In this year’s installment of Fujita taking the piss, we have a guy who thinks he’s Mozart and dresses like he’s Miku, and a looney who thinks he’s Beethoven but is really just Gintoki on steroids. The two have invaded some average girl’s house and now refuse to leave much like Edward Gorey’s penguin thing. But that’s ok, her wacky whimsical house with a piano roof and tuba chimney is slated for immediate demoliton. But then Beethoven uses his magic life fiber conductor’s baton to create a poor man’s Manheim Steamroller version of Symphony No. 6 and it all stops making sense altogether.

Well this show is….something. Not really anything worth watching but it is…something. I think the problem is that unlike Osomatsu, Fujita is basically working here without a net. With Osomatsu he had a really, really bad old anime from the 60s to make fun of. Here its just people’s opinions about how stuffy classical music and the people who enjoy it (PS: HI HATERS!) are as opposed to the Vocaloid craze that just doesn’t seem to want to go away (much like the unwanted houseguests of this series). And honestly if I wanted to hear Sugita scream bloody murder about his futility to cook Gyoza, I’d just watch… you know… Gintama.

8/10, too many notes. – Lord Dalek

Drifters

When you're doing sudoku but thinking about war.

When you’re doing sudoku but thinking about war.

Drifters is based on a manga by Kouta Hirano of Hellsing fame, where a bunch of historical figures from various era’s do battle in a fantasy world filled with Elves and Dwarves.

It’s as awesome as it sounds

Immediately the anime throws you into the action with a delightfully bloody battle where Toyohisa Shimazu makes his last stand in Sekigahara, gleefully slaughtering Tokugawa Ieyasu’s forces and even managing to wound one of his generals. A dying Toyohisa wanders into a mysterious corridor with an enigmatic man doing paperwork before going into a door that leads to the fantasy world where he is led by a couple of elves to a small fortress occupied by Oda Nobunaga Nasu Yoichi, who subsequently nurse him back to health . The rest of the episode is devoted to exposition and character introductions, but done in such a way that the result is amusing rather than boring. Right away, Drifters has the violent over the top action and zany characters that made Hellsing a success. The anime’s artstyle faithfully replicates Hirano’s distinct artstyle, and combined with the surprisingly stellar animation by Hoods, and this results in quite the visual treat. Violence has also been surprisingly kept for the TV airing, allowing for the audience to focus on the fights and showing off the gore in spectacular fashion. Music also deserves a special mention, being composed by both Yasushi Ishii (whose score for the original Gonzo Hellsing anime is not only the one thing still remembered from that project, but is one of the best anime OST’s period) and Hayato Matsu (composer of Hellsing Ultimate) leads to a soundtrack that is equal parts jazz, rock, and funk with a cinematic flair. As expected, the characters each are very entertaining, if a bit stereotypical so far. Toyohisa is characterized as a hot-blooded, bloodshed-loving warrior, but done in such a hammy and over-the-top way that I couldn’t help but enjoy his antics. Though not having as much screentime in the first episode, Nobunaga and Yoichi both promise to be entertaining characters, and I can’t wait to see them in action. Like Hellsing before, there is plenty of humour to go along with all the violence, some may be put off by the sudden transitions to SD characters and typical exaggerated facial reactions, but considering how over-the-top the rest of the show and its very premise is, it works in its favor, it certainly helps that Drifters is quite open about what it and its target audience is. Above all us, Drifters, much like Hellsing before it, is fun and promises to be a wild ride, and I couldn’t help but have a grin on my face the entire time watching it.

It goes without saying that Drifters is not only the anime of the season, but potentially of the year as well. If you watch any anime this season that doesn’t have to do with fictional sports centering around boobs and butts, make it this one. – CrimsonRynnec

Gi(a)rlish number

I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

So apparently anime industry cringe-com is a genre now. Oh sure there had been examples over the past couple decades but it wasn’t until Shirobako (aka that show everyone bawwwws over that I could never get that far into) hit big that this became a thing. Which brings us to Gi(a)rlish number (yes that’s the real title) AKA Shirobako written by the SNAFU guy. That’s a strike already because I can’t stand SNAFU, so it comes as bit of a surprise to me that Gi(a)rlish number is not only pretty good but surprisingly acidic for what looked like a bubbly girl power com from the promotional art.

Whereas Shirobako was about the tireless underpaid animation department heads, this show centers around three women at various stages of their voice acting careers (don’t worry, they’re just as miserable as the SB girls). Chitose is the noob always lurking around the edges of frames and waiting for a role where she’ll get more than two lines. Momoka is slightly more seasoned enough to know which light novel writer is a lech or just calm and sensitive. And finally there’s Kazuha, the grumpy veteran whose become disinterested/annoyed in both the industry and losers like Chitose who are following in her footsteps. All three of these girls have the same problem, anime is of course dead as the man said, and production higher ups are currently infatuated with endless adaptations of light novels by greasy pervs who only got sales through their books’ illustrators or glorfied advertisements for idol groups. So naturally Chitose finally gets her big break in a show that combines the worst of both worlds…winning!

This is one of the saltiest animes I have seen in many a moon and I gotta wonder who pissed the SNAFU guy off so much that he’s essentially throwing gasoline on a fire to burn it all down. Maybe we’ve finally reached a point in the anime industry where self-reflective contrition is the only way of making sense of it. Even the next episode preview involving the two execs chortling over their success over images of a bored table read that gets more heated as it goes along is both subtle brutal in its irony. A complete surprise winner in a season that gave us the kind of horrible dreck greenlit by the real guys. – Lord Dalek

Flip Flappers

Mmmm, salty coins and milk...

Ahh that distinctive aroma of salty coins and milk…

At one point early on in Flip Flappers, I actually felt like this was Japan’s answer to Stranger Things. A blatantly retro aesthetic, crazy science experiment girls, jet black voids, parallel worlds that exist on top of ours, a hole in a tree, and even a very large demogorgon. If it wasn’t for the lack of Tangerine Dream-knockoff music and Eggo waffles you couldn’t tell the difference.

…oh I kid… this has nothing to do with Stranger Things at all, but since I didn’t bother to do a write-up for Mahou Shoujo Juuichi-chan last July I had to get my quota in somehow this season.

So yeah, Flip Flappers, a quasi-magical girl show in the vein of way too many Hayao Miyazaki movies from those guys who made the abysmal Dimension W earlier this year. Happily though this show feels more like their first effort, Celestial Method, and not that crap. Basically a crazy girl, who looks like the love child of Haruko Haruhara and Birdy the Mighty and owns a flying surfboard and cheesy early 80’s bible animu robot, kidnaps a perfectly normal school girl in the name of ADDDDVEEEENSHA! Said adventure involves scary frozen wastelands, scary frozen monsters, and scary violation of personal space, because cringeness for the sake of cringe?

Plotwise its kinda slight, but man does this show look good. Not quite moe, not quite Studio Trigger levels of overtly cartoony, the visual style works really well for the kind of Europan look they’re going for here. If the storytelling improves now that the initial sense of bewilderment has worn off, we may have a winner here. Then again, Studio 3Hz doesn’t fill me with much confidence over consistancy. – Lord Dalek

Second Opiums

Ritsuko Agaki, the truth is...

Ritsuko Agaki, the truth is…

Flip Flappers is…weird, to say the least. It’s about the adventures of an ordinary girl named Cocona and her energetic newfound friend Papika having strange, surreal adventures in a parallel world. Papika is from a mysterious, oddly named organization called FlipFlap, her mission being to collect mysterious stone shards that can grant any wish, thanks to her energetic and nosey nature, Papika ends up dragging Cocona (whom she somehow knows, despite Cocona not having any recollections of having met her before) along for the ride, much to the latters chagrin. That premise doesn’t really do the show any justice, but rest assured, the execution is strange, bizarre, and above all else, just plain fun and whimsical. The show gives off a suitably surreal, nostalgic vibe that can only be described as “mid-00’s Gainax meets a Ghibli film made during an acid trip” and with a lead like Papika, it’s hard not to make such a comparison. All of this is accentuated with an endearing cast of characters, Papika herself takes the role of the energetic manic-pixie dream girl type character, and her antics manage to come off as innocent and genuinely good natured rather than irritating. Cocona is the typical straight-laced foil with a fairly believable reaction to the events surrounding her, serious about her school and studies and initially wants nothing to do with Papika or her strange world, but eventually warms up to her and accepts the energetic girl’s friendship and promises to go on more adventures with her when she feels like it. Rounding out the initial cast is Papika’s robot sidekick, Cocona’s pet rabbit Uxekull, and her childhood friend Yayaka, who seems to have feelings for Cocona of her own and may end up playing a bigger role in the future.

Really though, Flip Flappers is a show that has to be seen to be belived, go watch it for yourself, and hopefully you’ll be as entertained as I was. Also, the OP and ED were catchy as fuck. – CrimsonRynnec

HEYBOT!

SPLINK!

SPLINK!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

This is apparently a kids show. It airs on Sunday mornings on TV Asahi. It is a comedy about a robot akin to Burn Moerocon! and Kabutack/Robotack. In fact I was expecting to make this writeup nothing but a series of Kabutack jokes because Kabutack is nightmare fuel.

But then, the first five minutes….buttships….so many screws…what did I do…is this actually real?

…so many sexual refferences…

…so many screw puns…

…so much awkward….

PASS. – Lord Dalek

Lostorage incited WIXOSS

*Insert Soviet Russia joke here.*

*Insert Soviet Russia joke here.*

BATERU! BATERU! BATE-nah we’re done with that shit. Okada and her Gen Urobutchi obsessions are out as writer of WIXOSS. Instead we have the writer of PriPara and his Jun Maeda obsessions. Great going Takara Tomy, I feel we’ve reallllly traded up here (/sarc).

So what’s different about Weak Sauce this time around? Quite a lot actually. With Madoka ripoffs on the way out, we no longer have Lrigs that represent Faustian deals with the devil or at least not the kind that blatantly ripped off Madoka. Instead they’re some sort of abstract construct of people’s memories given physical form and allowed to speak complete sentences (no more Tama! YAAAAAAY!) And instead of trying to make their “wishes” come true, Selectors now bet their memories in a mandatory death game for reasons that are as yet unexplained. The punishment is probably amnesia or something as there is no indication that these Lrigs “won” the game at any point in the past. Which makes sense as this season has brought a second big change to the WIXOSS mythos…

Now we have Selectors with dicks!

Yes the first jerkface our heroine (FTR her name is Homura, which is the closest this is going to get to Madoka) faces is basically Winston Payne Jr. A rookie killer/possible rapist who prays on insecure teenage girls with an Lrig even more insecure than said victims. And unlike the crazy fashion plate girl who got her face mangled in the previous series, he still manages to get away with it even after losing. But hey, anything to shake up the status quo with this show.

So is Lostorage an improvement over the incredibly frustrating Selector saga? At this point, I don’t really care. Its still a DARK PERVERSION of Yu-Gi-Oh and its ilk and that means no matter how messed up this timeline is you’re still getting the same show. – Lord Dalek

March comes in like a lion

This scramble crossing is unfamiliar.

This scramble crossing is unfamiliar.

Well well well, its time for the ol’ Shinbo! Head tilts! Random gusts of wind! On-screen text! Artsy fartsy ambitions that go nowhere! Oh have I lusted for it for so long this year. Annoy me SHAFT! Fill me with aggravation and dismay! Incite me with another year of failing to live up to the standard set by Madoka Magica. TAKE ALL MY ANGRY AND MY SORROW AND FLUSH IT UPON THE WORLD! YESS YESSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSZZZZZZZZZZZZ….

!…

…Actually this show is pretty damn normal for some reason. Never mind the fact that the lead character Rei looks more like an amphibian than the kid from Your Lie in April (but not Eden of the East since it has the same character designer). Now I know what you’re thinking : yes this show has got SHAFT Tilts and SHAFT Wind up the wazoo, but there’s a big difference… silence, moody moody silence. Remember how you always got annoyed by all the nonstop talking from annoying characters in Monogatari and Kagero Daze? Well, here’s a show where nobody talks for like 10 minutes. How…not…SHAFT.

You know what else is normal? The fact that this show is sol and has no space battles, hot sisters, or scary monsters. Rei plays shogi. Rei hates himself, some fat fuck breaks into his mailbox. To Be Continued. That’s not much of a plot but, honestly, this is not about the small stuff, its about soulcrushing depression, and its better done than say… Depression Quest. To borrow a phrase from a boring over written Doctor Who episode, in lion, to lose is to win and he who shall win shall lose, and Rei may be the only person whose victory at shogi makes him more miserable with each passing moment. How will it all end? How should I know? At least this is on NHK so it won’t fall into some fan service trap at the very least. Thank god, I can now brush my teeth again. – Lord Dalek

Occultic;Nine

That's fucking bullshit. NEET means you're not being educated, except you just said you're going to high school. That automatically disqualifies you from being a NEET. You ain't no fucking NEET. You a salaryman-in-training, that's what you is, yo! You fucking liar!

That’s fucking bullshit. NEET means you’re not being educated, except you just said you’re going to high school. That automatically disqualifies you from being a NEET. You ain’t no fucking NEET. You a salaryman-in-training, that’s what you is, yo! You fucking liar!

Fast;Pacing
Too;Fast
Speed;Talking
Vroom;Vroom
Speed;Animation
Too;Speedy
Car;Crash
Need;Breath
Shameful;Pacing
Other;Hand
Mutated;Breasts
Yuuki;Kaji
In;Everything
Seems;Like
Persona;Again
Boobs;Though
She’s;Annoying
Why;Raygun?
Hate;Her
Required;Rewatches?
Fuck;That
Wait;Until
Half;Cour
When;People
Who;Sticked
With;Show
Suddenly;Praise
It;As
The;Next
Steins;Gate
But;As
Of;Now
I’m;Scared
Of;This
Show;And
Of;Boob
Girl;Especially
Of;Her
She;Could
Choke;Yuuki
Kaji’s;Character
With;Her
Inflated;Bazongas
I;Like
Kanako;Ito
Though;She’s
Cool;At
Singing;Openings

– Bloody;Marquis

Second Opinion!

Spooky Scary Skeletons gets her all eroge.

Spooky Scary Skeletons gets her all eroge.

Ever had the feeling you’ve watched an anime with the fast forward button stuck in the on position? Well that’s Occultic;Nine in a nutshell. This show literally moves so breathlessly that simply taking your eye off it for more than two seconds will leave you completely confused due to the rapid fire stream of exposition and technobabble. Honestly I have never experienced this before and I’ve watched Monogatari!

So what’s this show about? Well as far as I can tell it involves paranormal investigators and women with gigantic cleavage. One guy is a jobless loser who translates news for shut ins, another is a grouchy academic who’s too cool for school, and there’s a lady who plays the part of the journalism team from Ultra Q. In fact, I think that’s what this is trying to be…Ultra Q if it was Steins;Gate and with more dialogue than your average Shinbo show.

The problem is cramming so much content into your product makes its absolutely incoherent. I started this episode bewildered and I ended it confused and rather annoyed about the whole process. But hey it does look nice as A-1 didn’t half ass the animation this time around. Dem boobz so sakuga. – Lord Dalek

Show By Rock!!#

*crack*RAWHIDE!!!

*crack*RAWHIDE!!!

Ah Show By Rock!!, the anime that proves no matter how stupid Symphogear gets every season there’s always going to be something even stupider the next year. And lord was this as stupid as stupid gets.

So last time, Plasmagica saved the universe from the black pudding thing Dagger and Cyan went home, slightly more assertive but still stuck with her real life moe anime girl Rivers Cuomo chic. And that was a pretty definitive denouement there so what kind of assbackwards creative bankruptness are we supposed to do this season? Simple… rip off the Cell Saga! Dagger’s back and allied himself with a grouchy band of emorockers named Victorious (you know… like Victoria Justice!), the leader of which will eventually become the Dark Empress of Evil or Something and destroy the universe or something (you know… like Victoria Justice!). However a team of time traveling ninjas have pulled a Trunks and warned Plasmagica, Shingan Crimson, and Cristicrista of their impending demises in the oncoming armageddon. All that sounds and fine and dandy and all but what about the real burning question…

WHAT ABOUT CYAN?!?!?

Well a giant robot breaks into her house and shoots her with lasers because anime. ‘k.

Show By Rock!!Hashtag is just more Show By Rock!! in all its derpy dimwitted cgi nendoroid glory. Not a shred of originality, not a ounce of subtlety, not a care in the world. The only problem being that feels more like a ton of backstory infodump episode with Cyan being shoved into a corner at the very end. But then suddenly a leftover Kataphrakt from Aldnoah.Zero shows up and all is right with the world. Consider my brain melted. – Lord Dalek

Yuri!!! On Ice

shoes

Admiral Müller offers a welcome present to his Galactic Empire. Especially Lutz.

Who knew that a show with “Yuri” in the name could make male viewers go gay? Because this is really pretty. The main character is an obese blob, and they somehow made him pretty. I’ve seldom been one to discuss animation in anime (yes, I know how much of a flaw that is when writing about cartoons), but this show’s work is gorgeous. Something expected from film directors like Hosoda all jam-packed into a single episode, hard to believe I wasn’t watching one of those Young Animator Training Project short films but an actual show I’ll be getting on a weekly basis. It’s so… exquisite. “Exquisite” is a word people should rarely use in anime because very few actual shows can truly be that adjective, like calling an anime elegant or debonair or some other English word you use because you don’t want to say “sakuga”, but Yuri!!! On Ice managed to be absolutely exquisite. It’s like watching Michelle Kwan perform in the 1998 Olympics, every detail and stitch sewn in with care. Sayo Yamamoto and Studio Mappa, they’re cool people for doing this.

Just every frame unleashed a warm smile on my face, like getting Christmas presents at December 24th. I know it’s going to be the typical monomyth, about a kid down on his luck, bullied and living like a bumpkin, getting help from his childhood hero and attaining success and blah blah, but that’s for the critical eye long after the show’s over. When the divorce has long since proceeded, and you’re stuck with only fleeting memories as nourishing as cup noodles. But right now, this mind is still engaged. The eye when watching is full of astonishment and wonder, longing for Yuri to become a famous ice skater as much as he secretly wants to. Yeah, aspirational tales are a dime a dozen, but it doesn’t make this show and its characters any less endearing. – BloodyMarquis

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