2017
07.16

Battle Girl High School: Battle Girl Project

The next generation of Wake Up Girls, where they bring up the Srebrenica Massacre instead of 9/11.

The next generation of Wake Up Girls, where they bring up the Srebrenica Massacre instead of 9/11.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

…Pfft, okay. What’s the real name of this show?

Wait, this show is seriously called “Battle Girl High School: Battle Girl Project”?

…BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Okay, so, BGHS:BSP is exactly what you think it is. It’s an anime about a bunch of girls who fight battles in futuristic armor against some alien threat while also going to a high school where they learn how to fight battles. It’s painfully dull and I found myself resisting the urge to open up another tab and just scroll through Tumblr on multiple occasions. No, scratch that. I gave into that urge about halfway through the first episode because everything was such a slog. One big problem is that the first episode quickly introduces us to about twenty girls and makes it impossible to learn anything about a single one of them outside an archetype such as “gamer” girl or “slightly cuter than the other girls” girl. Another is that the episode doesn’t give us anything to latch onto and care about as an audience. Oh, the girls are fighting worse than they usually do? But they still beat the threat in a curbstomp battle, so why should we care? Oh, these two girls are going to get their respective clubs shut down by the school? Wait, nevermind, a friend is going to pull some strings for them. Oh, the episode ends on the shock reveal of another battle girl? I certainly can’t recall the names of any of the girls as it is, so why are you giving me another one?

“Battle Girl High School: Battle Girl Project” is nothing but a commercial for a smartphone game. It’s not a good show. It’s not even bad in a humourous way. It’s a lame show that’s exactly what it says on the tin. Most of you have probably been ignoring this show or weren’t aware of its existence. You may continue doing that. Those that are contemplating watching it right now? Do what you like, but trust me when I say your time is better spent elsewhere. – RacattackForce

In Another World With My Smartphone

There is no way out of here. It will be dark soon.

There is no way out of here. It will be dark soon.

As you can surmise from the obscenely long (but not as long as that forgettable WorldEnd garbage from last season) title, this is based off a light novel. A light novel where a dorky NEET dies in a freak accident and then gets reincarnated in a fantasy land where a bunch of women immediately fall for him and RPG cliché parody hijinx ensue. In other words….. its Konosuba….again.

What’s worse…its the BAD version of Konosuba…

.

..

HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE??? KONOSUBA WAS ALREADY THE BAD VERSION OF KONOSUBA!!! WHAT DOES THAT MAKE THE GOOD VERSION?!? TANYA THE EVIL??? PLEASE DON’T SAY YES. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD…

(ahem)

Well anyway, normal guy gets sent to magic land with one request, to be able to use his phone despite having no coverage whatsoever (surprisingly despite being in the title, that fact barely comes up in the plot at all). He quickly shacks up with a pair of Rem/Ram clones and goes into freelance monster hunting because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do RPG-pastiche lands like this. Infodumps and moe follow punctuated by absolutely awful eyecatch-esque transition cards. Splendid.

There is nothing worth watching here and I say that as somebody who tried to watch Konosuba past the first episode and crawled into a fetal position as a result. Its like somebody read Konosuba, said “Hey you know what this needs to be more like? Sword Art Online!”, and this was the result. Take out the blatant sexism and cringecom and replace it with a bland overpowered protagonist and a bland overpowered battle harem (as opposed to the underpowered, mentally challenged harem of that other show). And just for zest give main dude Kirito’s coat but flip the colors because we don’t want to give it away ahahahahahahaha…Yeah no. – Lord Dalek

Koi to Uso

But they're like an open book.

But they’re like an open book.

What if, to fight declining birth rates, the Japanese government assigned everyone a marriage partner as soon as they turn sixteen by way of genetic matching? And what if two teenagers who are in love with each other find themselves matched with other people? Well, you’ll get an interesting wrapper for your love triangle story.

I’m a bit weird when it comes to romance works in that I have yet to nail down what elements I’m fine with been added on top of the story. It’s the reason why while everyone else was heaping praise upon “Your Name” last year, I was sitting there wondering why the hell they added time travel to body swap romance story. I’m not sure how I feel about the inciting incident for story being the result of government mandated marriage (something which actually leaves a lot of plot issues up in the air all on its own). But that might actually be secondary to the fact that this first episode didn’t do much for me in wanting to see Nejima and Takasaki become a couple. I’m not saying that they don’t have chemistry, but I am saying that the show’s introductory episode failed to let us know enough about these two for me to actively root for their attempt to get past some asinine babymaking system. They may look cute together, but they developed crushes on each other because Nejima gave our main heroine half an eraser several years back. I need a bit more than that before you can tell me that these two are meant to be.

But at the same time, I can’t be too hasty here. Romance stories are slow burns by their very nature of needing such relationships to develop over the course of weeks and months within the narrative. If you rush it, then it doesn’t feel as real as it should be. And so I hesitate on passing substantial judgement on “Love and Lies” right now. Especially since, despite what I’ve said about not feeling invested, I don’t think the show has a bad start. Just an average one that is a bit hampered by a silly premise. Maybe things pick up in the second episode? Maybe not. All I know is that the government marriage thing just sounds like eugenics. I mean, the show itself even says that part of the goal is to increase overall IQ. That should probably be acknowledged by someone in the show, just saying. – RacattackForce

Made in Abyss

Rude.

Rude.

One of the things that I pay close attention to when reading, watching or playing fantasy or science-fiction works is how they go about explaining the nature of their world within the first five minutes, and how well they accomplish such a task. After all, these are genres that not only have the task of establishing the tone of the piece and introducing us to the current situation, but also relaying what makes this world so different from ours. It’s a huge task that can be easy to screw up, resulting in our audience losing interest. Too much explaining and you’ll find your reader/viewer/player bored out of their minds. Too little, and they’re confused. Finding out how much you need to immediately make clear, and the proper method to give this information, is a difficult tightrope act. And considering how “Made in Abyss” was the only show this season whose description piqued my interest, I’m happy that it manages to pull it off.

“Made in Abyss” takes place in an alternate world where exists an island in the South Sea that hosts a kilometer-wide pit that goes only-God-knows how deep into the Earth. The characters reside in a town on the edge of this hole known as the Abyss, with the sides of said pit being host to a beautiful forest world that’s full of ancient treasure to discover and monsters to encounter as you go deeper down. It’s an enticing call to adventure that’s tinged by the fact that this is also a world where stringing up naked children at the top of a building for disobedience and forcing the more rowdy ones to live in actual torture chambers. In this way, the world of “Made in Abyss” is at once alluring yet fills you with a sense of apprehension, immediately priming the viewer to expect the narrative to become darker and more serious as things progress. It is a welcome warning that is communicated well and makes me curious as to what exactly will be happening as we uncover the mystery of what this hole in the ground is, where Regu the robot boy came from, and just what happened to Riko’s mother.

The skill with which the tone of the series is established extends to other aspects of the universe as well. Terminology is dropped with just the right context such that the audience can understand what the characters are talking about. Characters are introduced to the audience in a natural, low-key way, either through simple conversation or short actions that perfectly communicate who these people are and the history they have with each other. Any questions raised as you watch the program are either answered in short measure or are mysteries that the characters themselves are searching for the answers to. Oh, and this isn’t a narrative thing, but this is almost worth watching just for the visual design alone, with background and character designs that wouldn’t look out of place in a book of fairy tales. Watching the first episode of “Made in Abyss” was an incredibly pleasant experience, especially in comparison to some of the show this anime season, and I happily recommend you check it out. – RacattackForce

Mahoujin Guru Guru

3rd Gig still never happening. ;-;

3rd Gig still never happening. ;-;

(my apologies to Italian weeaboos who grew up with this show)

No, seriously. Someone stop with these time slips. I already had to deal with early 2000s softcore yaoi, now I have to go through pre-Pokemon 90s children’s anime that spoofs Super Famicom JRPGs? I can’t wait for what next season of anime unfolds. Maybe a mecha show that hearkens back to the Voltes V and Daimos, or a Rose of Versailles pastiche, or perhaps that Gridman show can come out early? Just something else that captures that memory of going to a Chinese supermarket and finding VCDs of anime I had never heard of, alongside those used copies of Dragonball GT where Baby Vegeta looks off model on the cover, and the Mandarin subtitles are burned in.

Anyway, about this show? They keep saying “yuusha” over and over again, almost as if it was a verbal tic, or they were begging for that Maoyu Mao Yuusha show to come back. They say it in almost every sentence, and I almost wanted to mute the audio so I didn’t have to hear them say it again. Maybe it’s meant for the kid audience who won’t get what this show’s about unless you repeat it a hundred times. Or some in-joke to some early internet meme I was never made privy to. But it’s probably the former, since they rush shit so hard in this show. I can’t help but think this was an entire season of that old 90s show adapted into a single episode, because this show needs to sit down for a time out, possibly get some Ritalin or some other bootleg medication to that effect. It’s annoying, candy-colored, loud, and makes me want to hide in a corner until some brave dubbing company gives it a gag dub like that Shin-chan thing from a decade ago. Because this is giving me back a couple childhood memories I didn’t want back. Now please go away. – BloodyMarquis

My First Girlfriend is a Gal

Now its dark.

Now its dark.

When shows are “highly anticipated”, its usually due to a lot pre-existing hype. Either because its an adaptation of a very popular work, its a sequel to something that did rediculously well in its last go around, or it has a bunch of all-star names working on it. In this case, its an apparently very popular manga. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never heard of Hajimete no Gal until it got announced a couple months ago. So I’m out of the loop here and have to go on what I see before me. And what I see…is complete garbage.

I’m going to be perfectly honest here. HnG is the second coming of Eiken. Oh sure its not over the top disgusting as Eiken but its Eiken none the less. Boobs! Pervs! Skanks! Torture! Shame! Indifference! Its like a death march through an endless oppai gauntlet. Only television censorship of the quality seen in another piece ecchi hell I remember from years past called “Imoucho” keeps me from feeling like I’m going to jail for creeper bait.

I have therefore come to the conclusion that this is supposed to be some sort of prequel to Prison School. This is the only way to explain the hellish depravity on display here. I can only take solace in the idea that the male protagonists are going to end up getting whipped to death by women with bigger cup sizes than this horrific lot. Now somebody out there fly to Japan and throw this show into the same furnace that Doraemon ’71 ended up in. It would be a fitting punishment. – Lord Dalek

 

Princess Principal

THE OMELET WAS A LIE.

THE OMELET WAS A LIE.

THE HORROR. THE HORROR.

I knew nothing of what it is was that I had I clicked on. All I had was a title: “Princess Principal”, clearly an adaptation of some dating sim. I bet they were all the player character’s sister or something. But then a single name came on the screen and my face became pale and numb. I could not feel a single bone in my body for the amount of terror had canceled out every nerve and every neuron in my body. It was a name I had seen many years before. The first time was on a show where a very thin man did some sort of hand trick and made his eye glow, it had been very popular but its fans contracted conjunctivitis some time later and all died. Then there was a show about a guy named Shoe who’s pop idol girlfriend was actually his sister leading to Oedipus complex or something. And then there was this show about giant robot vampires who had to rape each other to survive because amnesia or something. This last show was the one. The one that made me want to die most of all. And he wrote it. This man…this “Ichirou Ohkuchi” was one of the banes of my existance. Only Reki Kawahara and Nisio Isin had caused more emotional distress and feelings of guilt and self-loathing. Knowing this I wanted to turn away, but I had to press on and for my sins I did.

The show was set in a steampunk world not too disimilar from that of the author’s earlier work involving codes and gasses. Little girls from a Black Lizard Planet (a scary sounding place as any) were trying to escort a man in a bowler hat out of the country. Actually they were all just spies, exactly for whom I did not know. It was ultimately just a harem show with thick bodices and goth lolitas. People talked and talked but nothing made sense. Nevertheless there was an eye condition causing mental instability so it clearly fit in with the writer’s previous works. The outcome too was predetermined, the little girls killed everyone and I felt nothing. I am no fan of loli assassins, and this example was one of the more…how would you say… “half-assed”.

Princess Principal was bland, drab, and soulless. It was nothing more than a stream of half-baked cliches I had seen in other works. I found myself unable to write much on it so the only way was to do some sort of Conrad/Lovecraftian pastiche on the matter. I had reached that level of uncreativity that the show itself was already existing on. It was only a matter of time that I would want to watch something like Unbreakable Machine-Doll again. And that thought was the one that made me wretch.

THE HORROR. THE HORROR. – Lord Dalek

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