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

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