29 CommentsLists / By Scamp /

10 Moments of Suck in Anime: 2015 Edition

imageWe just spent the last 12 days celebrating the best moments in anime. We will soon have everyone posting their Anime of the Year lists. Everyone is feeling pretty great about anime right now. That’s why I’m here to put a stop to all this celebrating. Christmas is over, it’s time to stew in miserable resentment. As I do every year, it’s time to count down the top 10 moments of suck from 2015. This is something I must do. It’s a cleansing process so that I can enter the new year with my spirits reborn and expectations heightened so another year of anime can let me down all over again.

10: Durarara’s animation collapse

_HorribleSubs__Durarara___X2_-_07__480p_.mkv_snapshot_19.30_[2015.02.23_09.10.52]I had waited 5 years for this sequel to come. On the whole it has lived up to my expectations. But there was a scary moment about halfway through the first cours where the animation went completely to pot. The in between frames disappeared and they had to resort to showing bodies fading in and out to demonstrate movement. They cut awkwardly to pixellated faces so they wouldn’t have to show action. What made me panic was this was so early on in this planned triple-cours that I started to wonder if this is what the whole show would end up like. They had changed studios so perhaps this was to be expected? Ultimately it didn’t come to pass, which is why this sits so low on this list, but for a moment there I feared the worst.

9: Iron Blooded Harem

imageA lot of this list will feature anime I like but made significant missteps. The disappointment is much stronger in an anime I expected something from. When Monster Musume treated its women like equally subservient breast-havers, I didn’t think twice of it. But when Iron Blooded Orphans introduced a dude with a harem and seemed to act like this guy should be aspired to, I felt truly let down. I kept waiting for someone to pull back and yell “hey guys this is really fucked up” but instead we have Kudelia turning to mush at the sight of a baby. I was half expecting her to go “I’ve found what I, a useless woman, can do in this world of men: I can have babies”. It might eventually make this move, which is why it’s fairly low down, but my disappointment remains.

8: Gakkou Gurashi loses all subtlety

imageThis seemed to be a year for some extraordinarily bad endings. Th fact that Gakkou Gurashi’s isn’t even close to being the worst this year is testament to that. At least it stuck to its thematic guns. Telling the zombies to go home is something that they had at least foreshadowed. But to have it done with this extended PA message where they lay everything out destroyed all subtlety the series had been pretty good at building (while also not making much sense since the zombies would surely process a shorter, more natural go home message). Throw in the whole thing with the bloody dog and the graduation ceremony and I was left feeling thoroughly irritated by the whole thing. Graduation episodes are always awful, even during the zombie apocalypse, and this one was at least not as bad as the one from Angel Beats.

7: Seraph’s magical high school

imageIn this case I just feel sorry for the author. I liked the first episode of Seraph quite a bit. It was a touch cheesy but there was a good setup for a story there. A kid escapes a compound and into a barren world where he is picked by the remaining resistant fighters, as he swears revenge against those who killed his friends. But then I guess some editor strolled in and said “hnyeargh this is good but hunyeargh you know what this needs? A magical high school harghnyearrgh”. Yeah sure let’s stamp out all originality from this promising shounen action and make sure it looks like everything else on the market.

6: Death Parade’s disconnect

imageI remember after watching the original Death Billiards short and liking it a lot, apart from the final few minutes where the story all fell apart. That would be fine though for a full series, I thought. There’s the bones of a great idea here. Which worked fine in pretty much every single episode apart from, as was the case in the OVA, the final 5 minutes. Every single time it felt as though myself and the author had different ideas of what was morally right and wrong. I left every episode feeling irritated. I’m not sure which annoyed me the most. The idea that a woman lying about something was worse than killing someone, or this concept that getting plastic surgery was the most shocking thing, or the entire terrible double episode with the two murderers. Even when we were on similar tracks it just seemed like the writers thought they were far smarter than they really were. I find it difficult to pin this irritation to a specific moment so instead I will call it the disconnect in feelings I felt I should be having once an episode ended and what I was feeling.

5: Blood Blockade confused ending

imageI could not tell you what the ending of Blood Blockade was about. At some point I tuned most of it out, letting the pretentious dialogue wash over me as pretty things happened on-screen. There was some wonderful moments in Blood Blockade. But the entire White and Black storyline was not one of them. In a way I feel I should be even more annoyed than I am. But I suppose because they waited several months before giving us the ending I had enough time to realise I gave not two shits about their storyline, which is what the ending was going to focus on, so I was able to prepare myself for the disappointment. Still an absolutely garbage ending that was far too serious in an anime that excelled when it was being fun, but not even the worst ending this year.

4: Jojo’s makes babies

jojos-bizarre-adventure-very-very-wrongWhile I’m picking on one specific moment from Jojo’s, this stand user is here as a symbol of what went wrong for me with Stardust Crusders. I love Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Battle Tendency is right up there as one of my favourite anime of all time. But Stardust just took too long to get to the good parts for me to maintain my excitement. We’ve had like 20 years to realise which parts of Stardust worked and which parts didn’t. Surely the baby maker was one of the moments they should have looked at and realised this doesn’t need to be here. Surely they could have cut some of these double episodes down to a single one. Maybe I would have been impossible to please either way. But all I can think of watching episodes like this one is how great the first season was and how much I wish I was watching that instead of this crap.

3: Ore Monogatari holding hands

imageI shouldn’t have let myself get into this position. I should know by now where I stand with shoujo high school romance. But no, this would be different. It’s an award-winning manga with an unusual protagonist! But nope, it’s the same go nowhere, do cute shite that appears to be most of what shoujo gets adapted. I swear there’s some sort of executive decision going on here. No we won’t adapt the badass post-apocalyptic shoujo like 7 Seeds. We’ll keep picking the cutesy yet somehow slightly creepy purity obsessed shoujo high school romance manga where nothing more lewd than hand holding happens. That moment where the girl had a chance to fight back from the “she’s so pure” line but responds with “holding hands” infuriated me. A girl gets the chance to show some agency in her romantic life and that’s what we get? Argh!

2: Yatterman Nights perving on a disabled girl

imageThe ending for Yatterman Nights could easily make this list too with its blatantly unfinished product that left everyone with baffled faces as reused animation filled the screen. But my patience had been worn down long ago with Yatterman thanks to this one nagging thought in the back of my mind that eventually became a sledgehammer whacking the side of my face every time they brought it up: They keep perving on the mentally disabled girl. The blind, traumatised, mentally disabled girl who can barely take care of herself is being repeatedly perved upon like she’s this hot piece of merchandise. Because what’s hotter than a teenager but a teenager with the mental capacity of a toddler. No no no no stop it Yatterman, it wasn’t OK when Pet Girl did it and it’s not cool when you do it either. What’s worse is you keep making references to how the characters used to perv on Doronjo and now only do it as a legacy thing, but at least Doronjo used to be a fucking adult who could punch them back. Now you’re doing it to this girl who wouldn’t know what to do if you touched her inappropriately except maybe cry. Fuck you Yatterman Nights, you were supposed to be good.

1: Rokka’s cowgirl

imageRokka’s ending is the worst ending to an anime I have ever seen. People often say that the worst endings are the ones that just sorta end and leave nothing resolved, but I don’t buy that. At least then you still have the feeling of excitement you had from the early episodes and can assume the rest of the story yourself. It’s far worse to produce a conclusion that farts all over everything that came previously, thereby retroactively making all that material worse with this new context. Rokka managed that, which was impressive. But what was doubly impressive was what happened next. At least with the non-ending you would be interested if there was a sequel, and you could always imagine what happens next. Rokka’s cowgirl reveal managed to kill all enthusiasm for a potential second season, killing all interest I had in the franchise whatsoever as it demonstrated the author had no idea how to continue this story. It was such a thorough assassination that it’s almost impressive.

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29 Comments

  1. The Big Guy
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    Yeah, the cowgirl wasn’t the best, but the author somewhat redeems himself by revealing who the new 8th Brave is on the very first page of the next volume. So they fixed the biggest issue of the ending at least.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Interesting to hear. Makes it slightly less shit I guess

    • Mark
      Posted December 30, 2015 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      My friend said something similar. He didn’t go into detail, but he says the cow girl thing isn’t nearly as shit as it seems. However, I still think it’s bad. I’m not sure how it plays out in the LNs, but the anime adaption had a choice. They could have shifted cow girl to a hypothetical season 2 so the season 1 ending didn’t end so poorly. Too often anime adaptions are way too faithful to the source and this was a great example.

      Now the series has bombed and the first season is probably all of Rokka that will be animated. Because of their decision Rokka will always have ended on that poor note with nothing to justify it.

  2. DickGrayson
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Actually i agree/disagree with number 7, the high school thing is cliche and unoriginal as all hell but it’s quickly explained as a front and is discarded for the rest of the series.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      See though it continues with it for long enough and he keeps going to this school that is grated way too much. Even the crappy asshole rival they introduced felt as though an editor told him to put it in rather than him wanting to

  3. Ken
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Cowgirl is the Jar Jar Binks of anime. Must destroy Cowgirl!

    • Ken
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m lactose intolerant.

  4. Posted December 28, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I’d bump Iron Blooded Orphans up the list after the lolicon bullshit in this week’s episode.

    • The Big Guy
      Posted December 28, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      The problem with the harem is that it came out of completely left field and didn’t fit with the tone of the show. Mcgillis and his child bride fit into the overall point of the show, which is adults abusing children. If that makes you uncomfortable, you may be watching the wrong show.

      • Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

        Sure – I could buy that if it was presented as a bruising incident, instead of as a genuine princess moment.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like Iron Blooded Orphans took some interesting turns lately…

  5. Ibri
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I never fully understood the big problem people have with the Rokka Cowgirl (aside from her character design.) Is it that they think the exactly same thing now has to repeat itself?

    • Outcast
      Posted December 28, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      “Is it that they think the exactly same thing now has to repeat itself?” <— In terms of plot points? No. In terms of the narrative? Absolutely.

      Let me put it this way: If cow girl ISN'T the fake, then that means one of the surviving six is a fake, which instantly makes all of the verdicts of innocence previously passed out totally pointless. They shrugged it off in the final moments of the finale, but eventually there will come a setback where the story will have to focus on the characters going around proving their innocence AGAIN, undermining the camaraderie that developed between the group over the first season.

      Of course, someone at the top pointed out that the fake is revealed early on (which I have a feeling cow girl isn't), so it probably won't factor THAT much into the story. However, that just means cow girl was added as nothing more than a shameless sequel hook and to add an unnecessary love triangle to an already resolved romantic arc. Some would find that annoying, I imagine.

      • Ibri
        Posted December 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        I read the novels afterward and I disagree with that assessment. But to discuss that any further would be to spoilerific I think.

  6. Shikamaru
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I really enjoy highschool romcom shoujo anime like Ore Monogatari. Probably because I’m an asexual. I would love to find a pretty woman who just wants to hold hands, hug and kiss sometimes.

  7. Posted December 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Somehow, I can all agree to this list especially high school in the Apocalypse. I was like… WTH happened and we got this?

    The funny thing about Durarara!! is that I lost interest after the first part and I feel watching the next two parts is rather a chore than actually watching. Heck, even waiting for Kekkai Sensen is already bad, the end doesn’t make much sense at all (60% didn’t)

    And lastly, Rokka’s ending was a disaster if you asked me leaving to let all the hard work reset to zero once more… I was like…’if she is the hero, then all others would be the non-hero.’ My problem with the show is that it dragged too much to solve one volume in a season.

    mentions:
    Yatterman Nights is disappointing, thank goodness I dropped it midway. and Death parade has episodes that disconnects us to the flow…with hat, I find finishing it harder.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      See I still really liked Durarara overall. I like the new characters a lot and what they did with Mikado really surprised me in a good way.

      • Posted December 30, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        yup… Mikado had a 180 degree turnover and became an active character. But then, he still sucks. But the new characters are awesome. Especially the Russian chick.

  8. alex
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I still have no idea what Bones was thinking adding in Black and White to the BBB anime. Their storyline felt pointless and it didn’t make me care one bit about them. It seems like Japanese fandom felt the same way since I’ve seen very little talk and fanart of them on twitter/pixiv. And I feel that due to them putting so much emphasis on the twins that characters other than Leo didn’t get enough screentime or development and certain plot elements about blood breeds weren’t explained very well and were rushed. The anime would have been better if they had gone with making Femt the big baddie and/or giving more information and relevance to the Thirteen Kings.

    Hopefully they’ll learn from their mistakes for the second season (which I’m 99% sure is going to happen. Don’t know why they’re waiting so long to announce it). Second season’s going to be fantastic since it’s going to include some of the best chapters from the manga (paritcularly volume 10’s chapters).

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      The thinking behind it must have been they want a story that spans the length of the TV series rather than just having disconnected stories. The author supposedly gave his blessing for that material too. Unfortunately it was…kinda bad. I would still love more though, so long as they keep Matsumoto directing. She brings that world alive

  9. D1360EX
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Durarara!! I paraded that episode around my friends to make fun of it. I did also make Seraph a hate-watch due to the high school shit. Yatterman had a good idea with the setting but they stuck to close to the original series and I don’t think it worked for the old fans and baffled the new ones. Doesn’t help half the series was filler.

    With JoJo Scamp, I suggest you start unloving it now. I can see you despise villain of the week (or two weeks in the case of JoJo) format, which becomes the norm for JoJo. I do think most of the arcs past Stardust Crusader have more plot or better transitions between fights, but that is the norm. At least the villains in Part 4 tend to have more importance.

    I do agree some of the fights in Stardust Crusaders should’ve been shortened (Sun should’ve been half an episode, High Priestess and Judgment should’ve also been one episode). I do think Diamond is Unbreakable will have better pacing since it is 22 chapters longer so more chapters have to be crunched rather than the slow pace Stardust Crusader had.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Sigh, I’m starting to think you may be right. Perhaps I will never love Jojo’s again like I once did? I guess Araki found a formula he liked and stuck to it after Stardust, which I can hardly blame him for. Perhaps I will find love in the new formula somewhere?

      • D1360EX
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        It is done better in Part 4 since the main objective isn’t set since the 2nd episode and everything is a roadblock to Dio. A lot of western fans do dislike Part 3 and 5.
        Still if you liked the Poker Battle, Magnetic battle, and Oingo and Bongo battle there’s more of that instead of Jotaro punching the bad guy.

        The main group is way more likeable and I’ll feel you’ll like Rohan a lot.which this arc features a lot of.

    • nonread
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      You will just have to wait for Part 7 to be animated.
      Better yet, read it yourself. It’s really fantastic and blends the great sense of adventure from 1/2 with the insanity of stands from 3-6.

      Other than that, I could see part 5 working fairly well in an anime medium since it is so fast-paced.

      I doubt you will like 4 much at all though if monster-of-the-week is not your cup of tea.

  10. Outcast
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    For people who did not get BBB’s ending, Hope Chapman from ANN wrote a pretty long post about the themes and plot points on display. It’s an interesting read.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/blood-blockade-battlefront/episode-12/.94063

    Mind you, it probably won’t make you care about the story more, but at least you can get the details straight (or a good interpretation, at least).

  11. Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    No Gangsta on the list?

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      I only watched 2 episodes of Gangsta and I liked what I saw. I heard it’s the end that makes it so bad so I suppose I’ll leave it at that

  12. Buffaloe
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    While beeing quite a decent show in general the treatment of it’s female characters is really a big moment of suck in IBO. It’s not just the haremettes (and their ridicilous wardrobes) but also Kudelia. Beeing a young political activist from a bourgeois background, coming in contact with the poor and witnessing misery she had always been sheltered from gives her a lot of potential for developement and growth. A naive rich girl from Mars turning into a revolutionary would make for a pretty cool story after all. But instead she is beeing turned into a space housewife…sigh.

  13. 45am
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    The intro to this article was great – but then again I enjoyed reading every bit of this.

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