Clockwork Planet

I lied, its actually Fire Emblem.

I lied, its actually Fire Emblem.

Within the first 30 seconds of Clockwork Planet’s first episode I couldn’t help but think…”is this NieR?” What with all the discussion of the world ending and robots, that was the natural conclusion I would be led to, albeit half jokingly….and then it turned literally turned into NieR!…albeit with some dorky card game animu kids thrown in for zest because Xebec. But yeah that’s fricken 2B, this is NieR more or less.

I mean don’t you remember that part of NieR where 9S had this huge gear fetish? Don’t you remember that part where 2B still in a fridgerator crashed into his house? Don’t you remember that time 9S stuck a screwdriver in 2B’s…yeah moving on….Don’t you remember that time Pascal was a bitchy loli scientist who chastised her employees and the grumpy not-German military? Don’t you remember that time 2B called 9S a pervert before making herself his personal slave and did oral on his index finger? Don’t you remember love?!?!

What? You don’t? Well clearly you weren’t playing the same Vidcons that I was plebeans! Go back to your Pissewna and Zelder! This is clearly an A+++ adaptation of Taco Yolo’s schmasterpiece. And clearly as I am the master gamer of this group, I should know that. Now would somebody figure out how to plug in my Atari 26k, grampa needs a new pair o’ shoes! – Lord Dalek


Thaumatropy's Test Kitchen

Thaumatropy’s Test Kitchen

I was going to write about this show before realizing it would be boring, so let’s talk about spaghetti instead. Spaghetti’s a dish that I’ve only seldom had over my entire life, mostly because it’s surprisingly hard to craft a perfectly good plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Some fucker of a chef will tell you that making spaghetti’s really easy, all you have to do is boil the pasta and make the sauce, but it’s more complex than that. It’s not like instant ramen where you can just do it while you’re half-asleep. It’s like performing an elaborate magic trick, and the audience is your tongue. You have to pull all of these stunts to make sure your tongue doesn’t realize it’s being fed bullshit, which spaghetti can easily become when handled poorly. It’s not like pizza because pizza has an easy to grasp form, while spaghetti is just nothing but entanglements. That’s why you see all these Papa John’s and Domino’s, but rarely any fast food joints that pride themselves on their noodles. Or why you don’t hear Richard Dawkins raving over a Flying Pizza Monster. Because spaghetti is a common trade often done too poorly for the average human to tolerate. Some people can over-boil the pasta and leave it soggy. Others will make a sauce that’s too chunky or too watery, something that looks more like freshly excreted bloody rectal fluids than anything edible.

And it’ll taste like that too. I’ve met quite a few people who’ve described a bad plate of spaghetti as a diabetic’s diarrhea given life. So many things that you have to get just right in order to so much as create a decent dish of spaghetti. The kind of effort that will make you go “Fuck this, I’m ordering take-out.” But the take-out guys aren’t any better either, because they’ll add too many onions and not enough garlic into your dish. They might not even enhance the flavor with spices or anything, leaving you to chew on some stale garlic bread as a palette cleanser. And that’s why I envy the master spaghetti chef, because they can manipulate this shitshow of a food into something great. And if they can do that, they have their life together. – BloodyMarquis

Love Tyrant: The Very Lovely Tyrant of Lovely Tyrant Love

"This is my 'Japan ruined Death Note more than whitewashing' face."

“This is my ‘Japan ruined Death Note more than whitewashing’ face.”

Oh dear fucking god. What is this? Why is this? Who in their right mind thought making Death Note into a romantic comedy would be a good idea? I mean Death Note’s already pretty damn funny for all the wrong reasons, but trying to make it into a Monster Musume/ToRabuRu-like? Just…why?

So our not-Light is some blue haired guy who probably wishes he was married to his imouto and his reverse shikagami sidekick looks more like an escapee from Soul Eater than an albino Willem DaFoe. Not-Ryukh needs Super Saiyan God Dorku here to kiss some girl in order to stay alive. However for whatever reason said perfect choice has turns out to be a blood thirsty yandere. And now there’s a love triangle because immortality or something. I don’t know anymore.

The main problem with Kiss Note is that its the worst paced comedy known to man. Plot points get thrown out willynilly and jokes are simeply rammed into each other without any sense of structure or timing. Also that kitty cat has a human face and a spit curl, and the theme song was done by Wake Up Girls! singing Keiichi Okabe. I just…why? – Lord Dalek

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Exposure to mass amounts of Card Game anime has been proven to be hazardous to your health. Side effects include spiky hair, effeminate noises, and lack of continuity. Please see a doctor for a strong regiment of more civilized games...like Monopoly

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Exposure to mass amounts of Card Game anime has been proven to be hazardous to your health. Side effects include spiky hair, effeminate noises, and lack of continuity. Please see a doctor for a strong regiment of more civilized games…like Monopoly

In this season’s installment of “oh its this thing again”, we have the not-so-highly anticiapted return of that edgy card game animu from a couple years ago that we talked about for all of three weeks before it actually turned out to be no so great after all. Frankly all I remember about it was that was it was just a rehash of SamCham starring the dude from Ideon. Space Dandy, and some random girl. Clearly that was the staying power of Rice of Basmati: Megadrive, it’s existence had been thoroughly wiped from my memory until its sequel was announced too late for me to care. But hey! I just vomited my way through two unremarkable/downright awful episodes of Groanblah Fantashit, maybe this won’t be so bad! (nervous chuckle)

So we begin our episode with a bad rehash of…Final Fantasy IV? Yes apparently humans have stolen the powers of the gods and are using them to prove he doesn’t exist so they can get killed in the next zebra crossing. Meanwhile in another corner of the anime, a lame reenactment of the opening number from Beauty and the Beast is happening starring Spunky Pink Haired Grl and the dull locals of this castle town. This is Nina and she’s both really strong and prone to making weird frog faces. Elsewhere its been a whole decade since Favaro and Kaisar blew up Bahamut. Since then Kaisar’s been a rather begrudging participant in his king’s recent Farquad-esque fantasy creature relocation project. There’s also some guy with wings whom the government wants to kill because yeah, and then Nina literally explodes and turns into a dragon because sure. Who cares.

Well ok lets get the good out of the way, the animation for this show is INCREDIBLE! Its borderline feature film quality and although not quite on the ones its damn close. But then again, it IS the great Mappa so not very surprising there.


The Royal Tutor

I think the tutor is embarrassed to be in his own show.

I think the tutor is embarrassed to be in his own show.

Child-like teachers were in-vogue in anime for a while, particularly in the 2000s, but isn’t something you see much nowadays. Royal Tutor puts a spin on the concept by having the titular tutor only look like a child but have the mind and deep baritone voice of a fully grown adult. Oddly enough, the tutor’s voice actor is a newbie and this is his first role, and I have to say he’s really nailing the character’s deadpan and passive-aggressive wit. I think all the voice actors are in general quite praiseworthy in this show, since they really help elevate an otherwise basic concept into something pretty funny.

The premise of the series is total BL fujoshi-bait, with a bunch of slender and effeminate young guys surrounded by their adorable teacher. The characters all slot into classic BL archetypes, the same kind that Osomatsu-san viciously parodied in it’s infamous first episode. A lot of the humor comes just from the tutor himself reacting in a deadpan fashion to the oddity of these brats and commenting tsukkomi-style about how they are doing something archetypical, stupid, or strange. The show looks as good as it’s characters, with sharp, distinctive character designs and a stylish color palette. It’s well-executed, even if it isn’t exactly, well, interesting. At least so far.

Still, I like the tutor enough to keep watching and it might be fun seeing how he gets these weird princes to come around to him. Again, it’s a well-made show, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the manga by it’s English-language translator on her podcast that has made me interested in looking into more of it. This show should be good fun for those of you who like their pretty boys and BL shipbait, while still having enough good enough humor and moments to interest the rest. – LumRanmaYasha

Sakura Quest


 When your parents point out the contradictions in your argument and you can't retort because you know they're right.

When your parents point out the contradictions in your argument and you can’t retort because you know they’re right.

There are some shows that are just so damn relatable to your particular circumstances that you can’t help but fall for them immediately. For a currently unemployed college senior desperate for work but has no offers or options, finding more comfort and purpose back home after trying so unsuccessfully to make it in the city, and having great respect and nostalgia for the rural countryside and small-town communities, how could a show like Sakura Quest possibly not appeal to me? What’s more, the show feels very similar in tone, look, and feel to Shirobako, another show about twenty-somethings trying to make it in a career with no job security constantly unsure of their futures or what they’re doing with their lives, that I of course also adored. Whilst promoting tourism isn’t as pointedly relatable to me as the work involved making cartoons, Yoshino’s general attitude about her life and struggle to make it and longing for the specific moments in her childhood that made her happy is pretty on-point to how I feel everyday.

The character designs are also done by the same woman who did Shirobako, and are just awesomely expressive and full of life, which really complements the personality of animation and acting which makes it so easy for me to love every character right off the bat. The show is also plenty funny – I legit laughed out loud at the scene where Kodota dressed up in the Chupakabra suit to scare Yoshino into accepting her queenly duties – as well as genuinely heartfelt. I really believe these people love their town and want to do their best to bring it back to their glory days, and I can the nostalgic catharsis Yoshino feels after realizing her fondest childhood memory was experienced in this town. What could have come off as sappy or saccharine emotional manipulation instead feels sincere and real. Even Shirobako didn’t always get that right, but a show like this lives and dies on the honestly of it’s feelings, and so far, I really believe in them.

I don’t know if this show is for you all, necessarily. This show honestly feels like someone looked at my exact situation and interests and said “hey, let’s make something tailored specifically for this LumRanmaYasha guy!” (why they didn’t just remake Urusei Yatsura if they wanted to appease me I don’t know, but here we are). So maybe I’m the only person this show is made for. But that’s okay. I don’t really care if anyone else relates to what this show is about or not. This show is for me and I honestly really could use a show like this in my life right now. Even if it doesn’t go anywhere or has something to say, I feel so much love and honesty from the staff behind this expressed through the show, and what it’s about is deeply cathartic for me. Dammit, first Alice & Zokuro made me feel all warm and fuzzy with it’s precious father-daugher dynamic and now Sakura Quest has won my heart with it’s hometown spirit. I really am a big softie, aren’t I? – LumRanmaYasha

Seikaisuru Kado

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Oh God, it’s a Toei show. A Toei show with CG. A Toei show with CG businessmen. Hands on deck for something that will make Shaft quake with fear.

Wait, this is actually interesting to watch. The CG isn’t particularly noticeable once you get used to it. The characters aren’t that annoying, aside from the physicist. What’s going on?

Maybe I’m being too bitter if I was going in thinking I’d hate this show, but this was a surprising first episode. It’s not superb or anything, but it does keep you focused and glued to the screen. I was thinking this would be a lame show about businessmen until the cube showed up and sucked everybody in. I like how the show focuses on the disaster aspect, with the Prime Minister and his team of physicists working on how to get people out of the cube. There’s actual tension going on, something you wouldn’t get if the cast were just high school kids using magic spells to extract people out of the cube. Instead, it’s the government, the Japanese Self-Defense Force, and several scientists working together to solve a national crisis.

It’s kind of refreshing. Even if it reminds me a little too much of Shin Godzilla, but that was a good movie. And if Toei was gonna rip off something, why not rip off good movies? People rip off Anno’s other good shit all the time, so why not take a cue from Shin Godzilla? Like how Samurai Jack takes tons of shit from Mad Max Fury Road. Or all the shows this season that add “Zero” to their already long light novel names to trick you into thinking they’re spinoffs of Re:Zero. What I’m saying is more anime should be like Shin Godzilla, because that was one fine monster movie.

But back to bitterness, I’m just waiting for something really stupid to come out in this show though. Especially how the episode ends with this white haired angelic figure straight out of a CLAMP manga unveiling his presence to the known world. – BloodyMarquis

Twin Angels Break

Looks like someone needs to brush up on their Edo history.

Looks like someone needs to brush up on their Edo history.

I was in the mood to watch a magical girl show and this happened to be the only new one out this season as far as I could tell. I got what I expected. Genki go-getter girl is a goofy goody two-shoes and she’s given a magic gift to become a magical girl and has gotta get good to gut grifters and goons. Also her partner is a moody broody chick who can’t crack a smile. The premise isn’t really explained much beyond bad guys are stealing energy from people for nefarious purposes and a hedgehog is giving girls powers to fight against them. You can check off a list of all the elements that go into a magical girl series and see that this show pretty much has them all.

So it’s a pretty average and unambitious magical girl series, but for what it is I quite enjoyed it. The fight scenes are hilariously bad in terms of animation and action choreography, but they’re silly enough to be entertaining anyways. There’s some fun oddities to the show, like the earnest philanthropy of the protagonist, the fact that her most feminine friend is a cross-dressing boy who wants to be an idol (and I appreciate there were no jokes at his expense), there’s a random girl who dresses like a sheep and ends all her sentences in “baa,” and the fact that the bad guy she fights in this episode is a shamisen player with fights with the shamisen as a weapon. Weird, random things like that infuse a lot of flavor into an otherwise bland premise, and it helps that the characters while stock are pretty easy to like. There’s nothing great about the show but there’s nothing bad about it either. It’s worth checking out if you are specifically interested in watching a magical girl series from this season. Otherwise, it’s harmless entertainment, but not a must-watch. – LumRanmaYasha

2 comments so far

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  1. For once, I really dare to watch one of those titles and I deeply admired your review about Sakura Quest. I also notice after watching the 4 firsts episodes to how I fully appreciate the main heroines characters do service for the community than in most standard movies and TV shows in North America who are often portray as spoiled brats, manipulative or annoying and always need to find the Prince Charming. This is one of a kind show who is very difficult to handle correctly without further troubles and i’m looking for the next episodes to appreciate more. Thanks for this great review and make me want to see this Anime by myself.

  2. Thank you for the comment! I’m glad my review convinced you to check out the show and that you seem to be enjoying it as much as I am! I agree, a show like Sakura Quest is in rare supply, and it’s refreshing to see a show about people working hard to help their community without a bone of cynicism. It’s that sense of nostalgic sentimentalism that really tugs at my heartstrings and endears me to the show. 🙂