Dies Irae

The common plebeians reaction to seeing cute anime nazi's

The common plebeians reaction to seeing cute anime nazi’s

Welcome to the real premiere of Dies Irae! You’re probably asking yourself “What’s the deal? Why are we dealing with high school shenanigans? Where are the Nazi’s?” Well as you could probably tell by now, episode 0 was supposed to be an appetizer meant to show off the villains and entice people into the show. Yeah, general reception by fans and non-fans alike should tell you how well that worked out. I myself didn’t watch it because the episode itself was adapted from a side story in the VN you’re not recommended reading until you’ve done at least 2 specific routes first. Basically; they fucked up right out of the gate. Can’t you tell we’re already off to a great start? Before we delve in to the proper first episode, let’s go into the history of this crowd funded adaptations real quick. Initially pitched as an “anime pilot”, the campaign did so well that they decided to do a full blown adaptation instead. Unfortunately the results so far leave much do be desired.

The proper first episode adapts the second half of the VN’s prologue and its entire first chapter. As mentioned before most of the episode is high school shenanigans and getting a taste of Ren’s “normal life” he claims to value so much while building up the larger plot. While I can appreciate taking time to build things up, I can’t help but feel that things went by a tad too fast to the point where things felt disjointed. In fact, most of the time I felt that the only reason I knew what was going on was because I read the VN, I can only imagine how bored or confused newcomers must be by all of this. I know condensing roughly 2 hours’ worth of reading into a single 20 minute episode is nothing new for VN adaptations, but the way the Dies anime went about it was poor, almost as poor as its animation. There were a few things I appreciated like music from the VN being used, and the quick flashes of the disembodied souls inside the LDO members’ (aka those “Nazi” guys from the last episode) bodies, but those would only mean something to VN readers.

Now as of this writing I’m only 15 hours into the VN, so I can’t claim to be a superfan or anything, but I would of rather the studio went with the original OVA plans and use that extra crowdfunded money to improve on the animation and pacing in a way that would of at least pleased VN readers instead of going for a TV anime that’s pleasing nobody. Anyone who’s interested in checking out Dies Irae is better off reading the visual novel itself, which is worth a read if you’re interested in over-the-top fights, characters, and Nazi shenanigans. There’s really no reason not to read it if you’re interested because the first 7 chapters are in fact free on Steam, which just calls into question why this needed to be a televised anime to begin with. As of now, the only thing this adaptation has going for it is the ED sung by Junichi Suwabe and Kousuke Toriumi. – CrimsonRynnec

Girl’s Last Tour

War has changed.

War has changed.

I’m not sure how they made an anime about child soldiers dealing with life immediately after a horrific war so chill. I read the synopsis to the show and expected something more grim, but this is more cute and fluffy than another Now and Then, Here and There. Not to say it goes with that tone throughout the episode. There’s times where crucial moments like being able to shoot on target and getting food to stave off hunger are presented in such a humdrum way that it’s as if the characters have gotten used to living like this. They might treat their routines like a highschooler in a slice of life show would treat theirs, but their background gives their actions a starker atmosphere. When thinking about it, these soldiers’ lives are tragic and hopeless, but the premiere doesn’t seem to dwell on that, instead looking at the glass half full.

Not sure if that’s a good thing though. This show takes it sweet time going to places, with a bit of dead air that leaves little to discuss without drawing a blank. What am I supposed to get from this? “War is bad?” I’ve had dozens of shows drill that into my skull already. I know war’s a hellhole that cruelly judges people without a single hint of mercy, and even kids who should be out playing are sent to fight in the battlegrounds. I do like this show doesn’t make that the entire message. It shows that just because you’re in the middle of a war doesn’t mean you can’t have a cup of cocoa with your friends. And I guess that’s a good message to add on. Gives some levity to a show with a grim aftertaste.

Could do without the faces though. When I think the ravages of combat and bloodshed, I don’t think Hidamari Sketch. – BloodyMarquis

Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World- The Animated Series

Barry the Slinger's sister, Mary the Chopper

Barry the Slinger’s sister, Mary the Chopper

Before I befriended the Animation Revelation crew, I was part of a different crowd of cartoon and comic nerds. In this group, we tried making a podcast called “Notaku Diaries” in which both the anime lovers and the anime newcomers in our circle watched and discussed shows and films recommended to us by our friends. This project didn’t last more than a few months, due to occasional in-fighting and me utterly failing as a project manager, but I remember it fondly, as it introduced me to works that quickly became some of my favourite pieces of animation. One of these works being the 2003 adaptation of “Kino’s Journey.” The phrase “The world is not beautiful, therefore it is” quickly became a personal motto throughout my remaining years of high school; a bittersweet mantra that helped me cope just a little bit more with my social anxiety issues and allowed me make better sense of the world. Kino’s thoughtful and meditative vibe was refreshing to me, and I relished in a show that took me to new locations every week and asked me to think about the ideas and philosophies just expressed. It was a great experience, and I find myself going back every once in awhile to re-watch episodes like “The Land of Visible Pain” or “A Tale of Mechanical Dolls”. So when I heard that another adaptation was in the works, I was filled with both excitement and dread. Would this show be as good as the last, or would it somehow fail to recapture the atmosphere I loved so much? From the first episode, I can’t say I’m quite sure yet.

The first episode of “Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World-” hits all the beats long-time fans expect to see in one of these stories, which should have been comforting. Kino and Hermes ride into a quirky country for a three day stay, with said quirks mirroring some greater philosophical or societal struggle or idea. They then proceed to make nice with some of the locals and learn about how said quirk affects life there, not casting too much judgement in the process. The episode finally ends with the duo leaving the country and Hermes asking Kino a question as they head off to their next destination. Roll credits. Yes, the execution was there, but the problem for me was the chosen story. “The Country Where People Can Kill Others” was a fine reintroduction to the world our protagonists inhabit, but compared to the stories told in the first show, it was weak. Not bad mind you, as the story was executed just fine and got its message across well enough, despite straight-up having a character plainly state the “not prohibited ≠ permitted” message. I’m just saying that it didn’t start with its best foot forward, as this episode was severely lacking in the type of interesting characters that Kino often interacts with and the pacing felt a bit off, as though it was speed walking towards its conclusion. It was good enough to keep me engaged, but I’m ultimately forced to look towards future episodes to see if the current crew truly have the idea behind “Kino’s Journey” down and that this was just a case of them choosing what I personally saw as a boring tale rather than them botching what may have been a perfectly great story in the original light novels by Keiichi Sigsawa. With the next episode set to re-tackle “Coliseum”, a story that the previous adaptation did as well (and as a two-parter no less), perhaps we’ll see if it is indeed worth continuing on this journey. I certainly hope it is, but I do find myself worried about whether or not the first adaptation already took all the best stories that the light novels told, and if now we’re stuck with mostly doing B-grade material rather than the A+ stuff with which became enamored by. I’m sure that’s not the case, but I’ll be crossing my fingers regardless. – RacattackForce

Pingu in the City

Frustratingly every copy of this episode was a raw.

We did Pingu. Top that Theron Martin!

Your eyes are not deceiving you, this is indeed Pingu. Its made in Japan now and CGI instead of the original stop motion plasticine but Pingu it remains. So what the hell happened since the days of when Pingu pissed on his dad’s rug (REAL EPISODE NOT KIDDING)? Well apparently the family got kicked out of their igloo by that scary sea lion and now Pingu has to support them at some jerkwad’s restaurant. He fucks up a soup, then makes it better, then gets fired, because Pingu sucks, we’ve known that for 30+ years.

So in conclusion….Pingu. – Lord Dalek

Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter

In memoriam: September 11, 2001. NEVER FORGET.

In memoriam: September 11, 2001. NEVER FORGET.

Oh WUG… the saddest sack fake idol group of all…played by the saddest sack real idol group of all. Its been three long years since they got their asses kicked by that army of idolmaster robots in that 9/11 tribute show. Since then, they were dumped by their anime director/founder Yamakan after his vanity studio went belly up and have been forced to subside on whatever they could scrounge on the street, an anime where they dressed up as animals, and weird theme song gigs (seriously? Love Tyrant?). But I guess somebody really wanted a season 2 so here it is from a different studio looking nothing like the first season. I take it that makes this the Weiss Kreuz (WUG Kreuz?) Gluhen of Wake Up, Girls.

So yeah, unlike the real Wake, Up Girls, the fake anime WUG has actually succeeded! In 2015, they beat those robots in the I-1 cult to become Japan’s new top idol group and not have to work at stripjoints and various houses of ill repute (thanks a lot Yamakan!) Unfortunately, that success was short lived and now they’re back to preforming fur piles for the entertainment of bored Sendai housewives. However hard times have hit every idol group as even I-1 has been forced to close their billion yen theater. But WUG, which has no money, no studio, and no corporate office, has nothing to lose and that means recording an album as opposed to the limited exposure singles they’ve been doing. Getting an album deal means going on national television and that means…awful LFR CGI dancing….yay.

The theme of this season of WUG is noone knows who WUG is and that includes me. I actually watched the entirety of WUG season 1 when it aired in the winter of 2004 and I don’t remember who the hell any of these characters are, no doubt due to the new look character designs. It is still the same old group made up of the same old voice actresses so I guess the short haired one was that one fallen idol veteran girl. Hard to tell, the WUGs have no individual personality now that they’ve been together both in this anime and real life for a while so it could be the plain one. Music wise (this is an idol show, so it has to come up) WUG’s repertoire hasn’t grown much since we last saw them as both OPs from season 1 make an appearance as diagetic music in this episode. Guess we couldn’t use that Love Tyrant! OP after all.

Basically if you want 30 minutes of idol misery like the first season this will deliver somewhat as WUG is not quite in the toilet as they once were. Not much left to be said. – Lord Dalek

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