Last season we had Fuuka, an appallingly bad adaptation of an appallingly bad manga made even more appallingly bad simply from the show chickening out and giving its title character a happy ending (as opposed to getting run over by Truck-Kun. Saaaaaaaaaaaalt!). This season we have Fukumenkei Noise, an attempt to do a darker edgier version of that kind of show while still sticking within the bounds of shoujo convention. And you know why this is so dark, edgy, and serious? Because everybody has bad hair cuts and looks deathly anorexic. And as we all know, the best shoujo angst always stars people made out of twigs who look like they just climbed out of a sewer. CLAMP taught us that.
For six long years, a girl named Nino has been singing (if you can call whatever the hell she’s doing singing) at a beach in the rain waiting for someone to follow the sound of her voice. Clearly its not working but anything to give her an opportunity to ACTUALLY SHOW HER MOUTH once in a while should be to her benefit. Well anyway its time for high school and who would you guess would be there but the chosen guy of fate. Unfortunately Yuzu, the chosen one, wants nothing to do with creepy sterilization mask girl (WHO WOULD?!?) but dat damn red string keeps bringing them together. Even if it means causing the schools resident K-On to break up for all of five minutes and Nino to get triggered by Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. And yes I wish I was making the last part up, but nope Nino literally gets triggered by Twinkle Twinkle Little Star……EDGY!
If there was ever case of serious false advertising this season Anonymous Noise might be it. Remember that early promotional art of our dark edgy band rehearsing in a crumbling building sometime after the apocalypse? Well that show ain’t this by the books shojou saga. OH NOES! LOVE TRIANGLES! Whelp, back to the same ol same ol! As for the production itself, well its not a looker. This is definitely a show dictated by the look of its manga, and the look here was nightmare fuel so its no better really. Not helping is the general low budget look of the animation which resorts to lots of CGI shortcuts to get through the band scenes. Not a waste ultimately by any means but still pretty eh. – Lord Dalek
From the creators of everyone’s favorite LN trainwreck Oreimo comes….Oreimo…again…except worse.
PLOT SOMETHING: Successful teenage LN writer hasn’t seen his sister in over a year. Successful teenage LN’s writer’s success has been derived from his books’ mysterious illustrator “Eromanga-Sensei.””Eromanga-Sensei” is actually his imouto who excells in dirty pictures. Awkward comedy. Rince repeat. Oh just fuck already. Also buy Kadokawa ASCII Mediaworks Dengeki Products because this is our anniversary commercial. What? You were expecting Kittytoe? Nope instead its Oreimo guy voiced by Kittytoe! Clearly a difference! Perfect anniversary celebration! CUT! Print it! — Lord Dalek
Grimoire of Zero
So a bara tiger man who hunts witches for a living has to become a witch’s bodyguard in exchange for the ability to resemble a human. And… honestly, I’m not sure why this show is playing all this straight, given the kind of fans who will be watching a show about a muscular furry guarding a barefoot little girl. Don’t even deny the reason why anybody is watching this show, unless they’re genuinely attracted to the magic systems and world building that’s been done in various other light novel anime. Like telling me you’re watching that Machiavellianism show because you’re interested in what it has to say about gender identity. The first part of this episode is strangely somber right after showing you what the main character looks like, but then they start teasing a relationship between the tiger and the little witch. It’s meant to be cute, but I just picture that one image of a tiny hamster shoving a banana in its mouth. Doesn’t help when Zero compares herself to a body pillow.
But yeah, what else can you expect from an anime about a bossy little girl with magical powers who is called Zero? Even her voice sounds like Rie Kugimiya. I was making jokes about this show being a Re:Zero spinoff, but now it’s ripping off a completely different light novel series. Not completely, since having the lead be a large anthropomorphic tiger is somewhat of a refreshing change. Something the first episode puts some effort into up until Zero appears. It could’ve been just his story and his struggle to be human instead of buddying up with her, because now I know what this show’s going into. Also, they introduce another character named Albus, just so this series can remind you of yet another magic book series that has influenced anime for the worse. – BloodyMarquis
Love Rice -We Love Rice-
In the twenty-first century, rice is dooooooooooooooomed! Wheat and bread rule the world. All grain products are being hunted and crushed. Only the brave forces of the noble rice resistance can withstand the harsh assault of loaves and croissants. This, therefore, is the story of four ruthless young men, destined to become HarveStars and save your Tonkatsu from being served over corn flakes. Its amazing! Its colossal! Its…only four minutes long….dammit. — Lord Dalek
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
It’s been over two years since the first season of Rage of Bahamut came out, and we’ve been waiting for this second season all the while. I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations. And after a chaotic start featuring knights killing angels, the premiere runs pretty slow for a while. Favaro is nowhere to be seen, and our new protagonist is this genki, horny girl named Nina. There’s clearly something amiss in the world, and the new king Charoice seems suspicious as all hell, but it there’s a lot of exposition and reintroducing in the first half of the episode. But once Azazel reveals himself to be the “Rag Demon,” a masked vigilante freeing enslaved demons, some questions start to arise about how messed up the world’s become, and who’s really morally right or wrong in this current state of affairs. More importantly, Nina gets involved, and gets so hot and horny after gazing at Azazel’s handsome pale face, she turns into a MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON AND WRECKS GIANT MECHAS, I’m reminded why this show is pretty awesome.
So yeah, this looks like a pretty cool continuation to the Bahamut story. I miss Favaro but Nina pretty much has his personality and I want to know why she can turn into a fucking dragon. All the other supporting characters make at least cameos in the episode, with Kaiser and Azazel being the most prominent returning players. The show looks great and while there isn’t an action scene rivaling what the first episode of the first season offered there’s still a lot of fun animation and exciting camerawork and action choreography to go around, with fun small touches like blood splattering on screen when Nina massacres a bunch of people after first turning into a dragon. There are a lot of mysteries to explore in how the world of Bahamut has changed in 10 years, and an interesting role reversal in how the knights under Charoice seem to be presented as the villains while the demons from the first season are now being oppressed and victimized. This season looks to be expanding the lore and world of the series even further, which is what you’d want in a fantasy epic like this.
So is Bahamut worth getting Anime Strike for? Well, maybe not on it’s own, but there are other anime on the service including RE: Creators and Scum’s Wish and stuff. But you know what was worth getting Anime Strike for? Crayon Shin-chan: Aliens vs. Shinnosuke. Marathoned that after watching Bahamut and it was a lot of fun. Amazon should add more Shin-chan stuff. The movies would be great choices, and there was another recent Amazon Japan miniseries they should bring over. I need more Shin-chan in my life. What was I talking about again? Oh right, Bahamut. If you were a fan of the first season, this should be a good time. As for whether you should get Anime Strike to watch it, well, I’ll get back to you after checking out their other exclusives first. Definitely get a trial run if you want to watch that Shin-chan mini-series though. – LumRanmaYasha
A story concept by the Black Lagoon author. A fascinating meta concept that would make Grant Morrison proud. For those long tired of isekai shows, the idea of these fantasy characters breaking into the real world instead should be a nice surprise. Even more so, how these fantasy characters all come from an anime within this anime, and have to grasp a world that is not their own while coming to terms with their very existence being the work of fiction, while meeting and serving alongside the creator of their world or fans of the anime they reside in. And yet, I was unimpressed. Maybe it was because I was somewhat hyped for the show because of its pedigree, and was disappointed I didn’t jump out of my seat the way Black Lagoon’s premiere did to me.
I like what the show wants to do, where all these extremely chuuni characters are fighting in ways that would make Nasu Kinoko blush. But it doesn’t seem self-aware about that, instead feeling too much like the shows it’s imitating. Maybe in the next few episodes, it’ll turn everything upside down, but right now, there’s no feeling that the creators are in on the joke. Doesn’t help this is directed by Ei Aoki of Aldnoah infamy, leading to fluid yet uninspired animation and derivative character designs. And many shots that look so stupid. The kind that you don’t want to notice at first, but once you do, your inner Digibro leaks out and you start thinking up critical anime reviews in your head. Maybe it’s just a non-indicative preview of what’s to come, and I’ll sing its praises by episode 15 like another show that started with Re:. Or maybe Rei Hiroe has as much creative input in this show as Urobuchi did with Aldnoah;Zero. I really hope it’s not the latter. – BloodyMarquis
To say the least, a lot is riding on this show to save this moribund season. I mean its the product of everybody’s favorite permanent hiatus mangaka that isn’t Togashi or the now dead guy who wrote HOTD, Rei Hiroe! On the other hand, its also the product of the Sean Murray/Hello Games of anime: Ei Aoki and his Studio TROYCA, and that is a cause for alarm for some. Will Re:Creators be awesome and blow us away ala Black Lagoon? Or will it be another string of broken promises and failed potential akin to Aldnoah.Zero? Well I got nothin better to do and so far all bets have been off.
The plot of Re:Creators is pretty damn simple. Fictional video game, LN, and anime characters (based rather obviously off of real ones) begin to manifest themselves in the real world after some nerdy loser has the worst BSOD of all time. But our hero Sota quickly finds having to act in a Fate/Stay Night style plot is a lot less fun than it is for his suddenly now IRL Waifu Princess Salesia, especially since some nazi loli is now trying trying to kill them with Unlimited Blade Works. Add in a loli caster from this universe’s equivalent of every Nasu schlock ever, and you’ve got the potential for waaaacky hiiiijinx!(tm)
Whelp…after the for fans only boredom fest that was Bahamut 2, I can’t say I had any hope for Re:Creators managing to rekindle some of the hope that Spring might just be a little better than the hell that was Winter. But once Sota and Salesia are chased in a considerably better animated Mini Cooper (take notes Alice & Zoroku staffers for when you have to redo the whole damn thing for dvd), it had me. Want jokes about plot and logic holes? Here ya go! Want riffing on bad philosophical diatribes that make no sense? There’s your punchline! Want your epic action scene set to every fucking Sawano music track ever? Oh hey its Unicorn for the one trillionth ti-oh wait that’s just the soundtrack and Sawano’s a self-recycling hack, dammit!
Ultimately, for once I am actually satisfied with something this season in the form of Re:Creators. Naturally this probably means it will be a crushing disappointment for me as much as Aoki’s last venture was for a lot of people, but then I remember I NEVER liked Aldnoah.Zero and that’s a +1 in the right direction. – Lord Dalek
What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? Are you single? Have you eaten? Does anybody really really know what time it is? Where have all the flowers gone? What would you do for a Klondike bar? Where am I going with this? Who really thought a title this long was a good idea? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood???
Whelp its time for this season’s installment of Isekai-Hell! Seriously…why is this a genre? More to the point why does Japan refuse to adopt my more honest descriptor of “Assholes go to Fantasy-Land?” Wait, don’t answer that. I’ve been asking those goddamn questions for what seems like a better part of half of a decade since I started writing for these Clusterfucks on a a regular basis. Ocasionally we get good ones out of the pile, but Wdydateotw?Ayb?Wysu? (we’ll just call it “SukaSuka” since I am not typing that out again) is not one of them. But what do you expect from a show whose title is probably longer than the LN series it adapts.
Our episode begins with a series of probably unconnected events. In one corner, a red haired princess lady who looks like the chick from Re:CREATORS jumps out of an exploding plane just like everyone else is this season. Meanwhile, generic light novel guy wanders around town with some blue haired girl he just bumped into in a montage set to a lousy Celtic Woman knockoff cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair leading to…nothing. This is a world where all living beings live on a series of floating islands in the sky, the surface having been turned into an unsustainable wasteland years earlier, and our LN-dude Willem is part of its military asigned to the rather trivial task of running a top secret weapons bunker. What he gets instead are yandere maids, annoying orphans, and that blue haired lady again. So far this doesn’t seem too interesting. What’s worse is the maid, orphans, and blue haired lady are actually the weapons…and also fairies. Lame.
SukaSuka doesn’t do anything worthwhile or notable. It has no interesting characters like Grimgar, it has no funny/clever gimmick like Re:Zero, it doesn’t have even a hook to keep you coming back like NoGeNoRa. It is the quintessential drag-em-out what’s the point why am I still watiching this anime? It could be far worse, oh lord yes. Painfully average is far, far better than just being painful but at the end of the day its still not worth your time. But what do I know? I seem to keep missing the fact that these animes are being graded now on how long their titles are rather than how good they actually are. – Lord Dalek