Boy I’m not very good at this whole ‘being on hiatus’ thing. Already I’ve written two really long posts since the supposed hiatus. This just happens to be how I wind down. I’m weird like that.
For the record, I haven’t watched anime in over a week, so I’m at least one episode behind on everything.
The fact that this rather standard romcom with a morbid twist was any good came as a surprise to me. That it was this good blew my mind. It’s all down to the directing. What could have been a bland Yuji-Everylead comes off as relatable and human with flaws and dreams. Rea could have come off as a demeaning and voyeuristic handling of child abuse, but instead appears as a real person who is naive yet sympathetic. I never thought I’d say this, but bravo Studio Deen. You’ve elevated average source material with your excellent adaptation.
B+ Minori Scramble
Thank god something good came out of Ufotable’s attempts at OVAs. Minori Scramble is a fantastically goofy slapstick comedy, one I haven’t seen done as well as this since Hare+Guu, and that was over 10 years ago. What I have to praise more than anything is that, while it’s cute, the cuteness is used as a means to create comedy, rather than relying on the cuteness itself to be the only draw. Genuinely charming and laugh out loud funny, I thoroughly recommend this. I also hope they make more, because it seems a shame to let this die at one short OVA.
B+ Aquarion EVOL
I did not think Aquarion EVOL had taken the right direction at the start of this month. The show revels in its goofy cheesiness, and having something that downer happen didn’t mesh with the aim of the show. And yet Aquarion EVOL defied me. It both handled the drama incredibly well, all while keeping within the same goofy cheesy constructs that makes it so entertaining. It came out the other side a stronger show in which I cared about the characters even more. The banana robot mixed hot springs episode also proved that it hasn’t lost its craziest side either.
B+ Kids on the Slope
Kids on the Slope is basically perfect. All the directorial cues hit their mark. The characters are well-defined and likable yet with proper flaws. The animation is amazing and meshes perfectly with the music. It’s pretty much bang on the mark. My only problem at the moment is that it’s all a bit too nice. I’m waiting for some sort of real drama to occur that makes me eager to tune into new episodes, because as of now I’m just not getting as excited as I probably should be for it. But apart from that, it’s perfect.
I love Tsuritama’s approach to telling its story. It’s got this loopy, happy-go-lucky nature that makes it infectious. The directing is a little bit all over the place, leaving some stretches of episodes having remarkably little happen in them, leading to some rather dull stretches. But the wilder segments easily make up for that. I’m now waiting to see how all these seemingly disparate elements tie together to form some kind of overall narrative, but I’m certainly enjoying the ride it’s taking me on.
Jormungand’s plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at the moment, mainly because it’s non-existent. A whole load of people selling weapons and shooting and so on. But I don’t really care because the characters (well, mainly just Koko) make this show inherently enjoyable. I originally compared it to Baccano/Durarara style of introduction, but a closer comparison is Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. These guys are just doing their jobs, you’ll pick up what they’re like along the way. Which is great, because this show has Koko. She is rather mentally imbalanced if I do say so myself. Oh no, is what I said.
B- Future Diary
Barmy, loopy, crazy, nuts, tossing logic out the window and barreling towards some sort of psychotic conclusion. These are all ways I thought I would be describing the final episode, but instead it was an oddly low-key affair. OK this is still low-key by Future Diary standards, so there was still a re-writing of the entire universe, but it left me feeling oddly underwhelmed. Still, it was a fitting end to the series, and this month also included the fantastic episode 25. Totally batty anime, and I loved it for that.
B- Space Bros
Space Bros has a bit of a problem with banging on and on with the same subject. Chasing my dream blah de blah we get it. The show will probably always be inherently enjoyable because Mutta is fun to watch. He’s like Kotetsu from Tiger and Bunny except cleverer and therefore less irritating.
For a show that’s supposed to be about Rider and Waver, they’ve gotten rather little screentime these past few episodes. I mean, these side characters are all right. They’re rather too in love with their own voice, saying nothing in one sentence than can be said with 5, but isn’t that par for the course for this show. At least their stories are pretty interesting. Still though, I’d rather like to see the main attraction take centre stage again.
B- Lupin III: Fujiko Mine
The quality of this new Lupin III series has been a bit all over the place. I loved episode 3 with Goemon. It’s story was well told and endearing. On the other hand, episode 2 was a mess. Trying to fit the larger-than-life Lupin characters into a noir style story simply doesn’t work. You need more subtlety, which this show simply doesn’t have. Also there’s Fujiko’s tits, which just get silly with them flying all over the place. When it hits the mark, it’s a pretty damn great show. I just hope it realises how silly it is and sticks to doing that.
B- Mysterious Girlfriend X
I genuinely like the story Mysterious Girlfriend X is telling. This alternatives take on teenage romance, challenging the social norms of what you should do in a relationship, is something I appreciate. But the drool. Oh god the drool. After the first episode, I thought the drool fascination would slowly die down, and my reaction to it would become increasingly tepid until I barely noticed it was there at all. Instead, the reverse has happened. It’s gotten to the point where I actively push my screen away, shut my eyes and cover my ears when the drool appears again. I probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as bothered by it if they didn’t revel in it so much.
C+ Eureka Seven Ao
Eureka Seven Ao hasn’t quite clicked with me yet. I haven’t found a character to latch onto yet, so all I’ve gotten from the show is a whole load of technobabble I can’t make sense of. The scub coral has arrived, quick unload the MXP-Fighter Unit 01 to unleash the seventh swell with the aliens swearing off the Japanese from unleashing the defence force from invading the potato fields on the last christmas on Tuesday. It’s all dramatic and beautifully animated, but I just haven’t found any reason to care yet.
Buta is part of the Young Animator Training Project, which they decided to have another round of in 2012. Buta was just like any of the four from last time round. Decent story that doesn’t have a whole lot to it. Some pig helps little fox dude save his map or something. It had a pretty clear Porco Rosso influence, what with the old warrior pig who acts indifferent towards people but actually has a heart of gold. I guess it’s worth watching for that if nothing else.
C Kuroko’s Basketball
I’ll probably get bored with this show eventually, but for now at least I’m engaged. The characters have distinguishing personalities and the lead two play off each other quite well, as they do with the female manager. Shame the animation quality is probably the shittest all season, which makes the basketball matches turn into be a bunch of still frames and speed lines, but I like the show’s over-exuberant shounen energy. The part where they stood on top of the building and yelled out to the school was entertaining.
C Medaka Box
There is one thing about Medaka Box that keeps me coming back. Even though it has terrible animation, dull set-ups, an atrocious opening song, a measly attempt at a Kyon-ripoff, constant obsession with Medaka’s tits…well, OK there’s a lot of problems. But I keep coming back because of Medaka herself. She’s basically Jesus with tits. There’s something fascinating about watching the entire world warp around her presence, and how each character is defined by how they act around her. The show is trying to depict her as a force of nature, and certainly achieves that. It doesn’t really achieve anything else, but Medaka alone is somehow enough to keep me watching.
I suppose in the field of shitty 5 minute comedy flash shorts, Gakkatsu is probably the best I’ve seen. That’s obviously not saying much, but hey, baby steps. It’s about a class sitting around and discussing some aspect of life. It’s set up is similar to Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, except without the imaginative artstyle, the satirical characters, the social satire…well, maybe there’s a bit of social satire, but not enough to keep my interest. It is only 5 minutes per episode though, so at least it avoids the Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei problem of running its single set up into the ground. Yeah I had to get in my dig at that show in here somehow.
D Saint Seiya Omega
It’s weird how something so colourful and so extravagant could be so bland and forgettable.. From what I can tell, most of it is fighting for fighting’s sake. The characters aren’t interesting. I don’t think I’m a fan of super sentai stuff. Not that I’ve seen much, but I was never into Power Rangers as a kid. Nor Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who I think might count as a weird form of super sentai. Or any western superhero comic book stuff. Or even the entire Precure franchise. I dunno, but dressing up in a silly costume and fighting dumb bad guys never appealed to me as a kid, and that doesn’t appear to have changed.
D- Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
The completely obvious and inevitable happened. The gimmick of the first episode was just a flimsy shield hiding what was a thoroughly generic romcom. The main character is a Yuji Everylead. The female lead’s ghostyness doesn’t appear to have any interesting commentary on something or other. You know, the way the irregularities of the female leads in Sankarea and Mysterious Girlfriend X are commentaries on something, I saw nothing of the sort in Dusk Maiden. That’s the kind of thing that gets me interested, because I happen to be a pretentious prick like that.
E+ Polar Bear Cafe
Your characters are animals. Har har har. Now what? Is that it? Do you expect to carry the entire show on that? That’s one joke! You can’t carry an entire show on that. Polar Bear Cafe fails because it hasn’t got a clue how to tell jokes. Its comedic timing is pot anyway, so it’s not like the jokes would have any impact even if they were funny. I’ve heard people describe it has one of those ♥~healing~♥ anime, which I’ve always read as ♥~nothing interesting ever fucking happens~♥, so that probably explains why I’m so down on it. OP is still awesome though.