41 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

April Roundup

Monthly Roundups are back, bitches!

This is my 'unimpressed by the lack of silly picture captions in the past 9 months' face

I retired the monthly roundups in June last year because I was unhappy with the format. The short paragraphs meant I was essentially just listing the currently airing anime in order of how much I liked them, which doesn’t provide much in the way of meaningful writing. But I still wanted a way to write short pieces on current airing anime I like or don’t like outside of episodics that don’t require an entire post of their own. With that in mind, I stripped down the format to that most basic of premises. Plus that means I get to bring in Shinmaru and Inushinde, although we all know you’re just here to read what I have to say because I’m the most intelligent and charming and handsome of the three.

What’s Hot

Scamp: Hataraku Maou-sama

"Wow dad, you fucked an Angel? That's pretty impressive" - "It sure is-wait, where did you learn those words?"

I agonised over this for a bit, because I didn’t want to write about Gargantia when I’m already blogging it, and none of the other anime this season have been been firing on all cylinders. But I want to give Maou-sama credit for being a sort of s’life show that’s not about teenagers and doesn’t have an idyllic view of life. It’s a story about immigrants struggling to find their feet in a new society, working up from the bottom rung. Plus it has a great sense of humour, likable characters and solid dialogue. I’m a bit wary after episode 4 heaped on the drama and sent the plot trudging towards more generic fantasy, but the writing has been consistently good until now so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Shinmaru: Space Battleship Yamato 2199

No new episodes came out in April, but the show started airing on TV, so there you go! I didn’t think any series could challenge JoJo as my favorite of the year, but Yamato 2199 is coming damn close. Everything about the series is pitch perfect: It’s gorgeous (and the CG is good enough that it’s not ugly or obtrusive), the characters are interesting and well-balanced (it’s so tough to juggle a cast this large), and the world building is solid. The most impressive part to me, however, is that Yamato 2199 constantly throws out episodes that advance the main story while also being interesting standalone episodes. I could watch any episode and immediately get into it, but they’re also all integral to the overall plot. That’s truly impressive work. Yamato 2199 is smart, introspective and emotional, but also exciting and adventurous. I should have been watching this from the start, and you should be watching it right now.

Inushinde: Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san

Well done dolphins, now salute your Fuhrer. Salute! Damn Jewish dolphins!

Of all the dumb comedy offerings this season, Muromi-san is one that I didn’t expect I’d actually anticipate week to week. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t ask more than fifteen minutes of your time, more if you loop the opening a few times like I do, or maybe it’s because of decent comic timing that’s impossible to see in most anime, but something about it just works where other comedy offerings flop and die. Compared to Nyaruko-san that thinks so little of its audience that it pads itself with jokes about how it’s padding itself, and Hayate Cuties that… well, is Hayate Cuties, Muromi-san doesn’t try to insult your intelligence by assuming that you’re a brain-damaged magpie that needs a constant barrage of glittery objects to be entertained. It respects me, not by pandering to my sensibilities, but by having a mermaid get her rocks off by swimming into a group of stinging jellyfish.

What’s Not so Hot

Scamp: Valvrave the Liberator

OK who scribbled all over my face with the glitter marker?

I’ve had a bunch of people saying “since you love Code Geass, you must love Valvrave right”. I’m used to you plebs not understanding why shows like Geass or, for a more recent example Future Diary, are great, but let’s explain it again shall we. In Geass and Future Diary, the twists were ridiculous and required some ignoring of real-world common sense, but they kept to a theme and advanced the story while fitting in with the characters’ motivations while also being so crazy and out-there they were hilariously brilliant. In Valvrave, the characters are boring and flat. L-Elf suddenly deciding to make Valvrave attack his friends made fuck-all sense. More importantly, the twists come at the expense of entertainment and are wearingly cliche, such as the main character not being able to confess his love. For christ sake, we’re in an inter-planetary war with giant robots but apparently the part we’re really supposed to care about is whether our potato-on-a-stick lead will confess to his silly highschool crush? Wait no, I’m sorry. Vampire potato-on-a-stick.

Shinmaru: Space Brothers

Mutta wake up, the recap episodes are over. Damn, all this recapping has made him lazy and now he can't get out of bed

This isn’t solely because most of Space Brothers’ April offerings have been recaps due to its move to a new time slot (though that certainly didn’t help at all). After the excellent arc with Hibito on the moon, Space Brothers has gone back to its usual plodding pace, except this time around little of interest has occurred other than new openings and endings. I try not to make hyperbolic statements like this, but I don’t think I’ve cared about a single thing in this new arc. I’m holding on mainly because whenever I am close to dropping Space Brothers, it always seems to come back with an awesome arc that reminds me how good the series can be. So I’m continuing, but it’s not fun right now! Maybe if Mutta gets pneumonia.

Inushinde: Dansuck Bunri Crime Edge

Noooo you dropped the storyboard in green tea! I guess we'll have to use it anyway

It was tough to think of a show that I’m particularly disappointed in for being worse than expected. I like almost everything from this season that I should, and dislike everything that deserves to be scorned. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever disliked a show for not being awful enough, but here it is: Dansai Bunri Crime Edge sucks because it’s not bad enough. Mediocrity almost seems like an insult for something that takes its goofy premise as seriously as this, because it means that someone somewhere decided that kids flailing at each other with syringes and scissors was less exciting than kids eating. Leave it to a light novel adaptation to make a story about psychopaths boring.

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  1. Coolwihp
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    This is great. I started following the blog after June so I didn’t know about this idea. Too bad they are monthly!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Well you can always read the older ones to catch up and see how excited I once was for Book of Bantorra

  2. Cirith
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Nice I liked the roundups.
    So in Valvrave his girlfriend is back? I kinda predicted that she would come back as an undead, but I wasn’t quite serious. What was the purpose of the dramatic slowmo running.

  3. Hanasra
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    This is far greater than stalking you three on twitter. At least now I’m sure that Maou-sama still doing great without need scrolling down upon heaps of tweets. So, who gonna do the first manga review?

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Scamp already has posts in the works. I may join in should work not kick my ass and drain me of much of my energy each week.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Already 2 fully written up. Being unemployed gives me plenty of time to read manga

  4. Posted May 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Hooray for monthly roundups. I really really liked to read what you had to say on the anime you weren’t blogging episodically, so it was a bummer seeing them gone.
    I like the new format of presenting each a pair of series, however I hope it won’t lead to presenting the same series each month.

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      That is definitely a concern. We’re trying to make our selection as broad as possible by including movies and OVAs released in a given month, as well. But I guess we’ll never know until the end of the month what we’ll feel like writing about.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I’m very unlikely to ever write about the same thing 2 months in a row, it will be either because it completely blew my mind in how great/terrible it was in that specific month, or it was literally the only good thing I watched that month

  5. Anonymous
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Are you all up to date with these series?

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I can’t speak for my cohorts (though I assume they are caught up on the respective series they wrote about), but I am all caught up on both Yamato 2199 and Space Brothers.

  6. Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Those captions will always make me happy.

    I’m kind of saddened that despite being my least favorite of all the series here, the only one I’m really keeping up with is Valvrave. I should probably give Yamato another chance since it didn’t click with me the first time I saw it. Oh wait, I’m watching Maou-sama as well. Yeah…

  7. Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san: HELL YA! This short series always cracks me up like hating on dolphins?! That is so damn funny xD

  8. Seppuku33
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ve even heard older fans of the Yamato series praise Space Battleship Yamato 2199. That sounds promising coming from people who generally say such statements as “You can’t beat the classics! Harumph!” I’m absolutely going to check it out.

    I’m enjoying Hataraku Maou-sama right now but it looks like it can become generic pretty fast if it’s not careful. I’m hoping that this comedy will stay entertaining and defy my expectations. So far so good! However, one slip and it could be bogged down with BS like a certain other fantasy comedy with needless fasnservice, a bland protagonist, and an unsatisfying ending. I had high hopes from the people who worked on Spice and Wolf. I’ve learned the hard way that a good cast does not make a good show.

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      It may be worth mentioning that I am a total newcomer to Yamato — still haven’t seen the original, or any of the other stuff. I’m looking at Yamato 2199 through the eyes of a newbie.

    • Seppuku33
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      I’m referencing my friend who’s watched many old series but still enjoys the new shows. I’m torn when I want to start a series with a history. Do I go for the original story, praised as the best by fans of yore, or do I go for the new material, that may be altered in some way, for better or worse? It’s kind of the same situation when I jump into an anime and the manga is the original source material. Any thoughts on picking a series with a long history of multiple adaptations?

      In this case I’m going to watch Yamato 2199 as it’s getting praise all around.

      • Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        It’s tough. There’s no one right way to go about it. Personally, I like starting from the first if at all possible, just because I think it’s interesting to see how the view of a story evolves with time. But I’m also heavily biased toward anime, so I generally don’t seek out manga source material unless I REALLY like the anime (like I am doing with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure at the moment). So I dunno lol

  9. Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Yay, they’re back! I do like the new format too. Please keep this as a regular feature!

    “…although we all know you’re just here to read what I have to say…”

    Unfortunately, I have to say that this is probably 80-90% true. Not for the reasons mentioned though.

    Also, I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly why I hate that stupid “can’t confess” relationship in Valvrave. I always thought it was because they weren’t subtle about it and kept shoving it in our faces, but cliché feels like that word I’ve been looking for.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      It’s the bad kind of cliche too. One that gets in the way of story progression for the sake of it

  10. TheVoid
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think any of those guys are L-elf’s friends. Just fellow soldiers. Only A-drei seems to think he’s a friend but it’s most likely onesided.

    Also happy to know you are enjoying Maou-sama. Wasn’t sure if you were watching it.

  11. Shadow
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    This is great an all…but where is Gargantia episode 4 review? I mean Scamp clearly said at the start of this post that the reason he didn’t put Gargantia on this post is because he’s reviewing it, yet episode 4 review is not out. Oh the irony XD!

    Still, now that you droped Oreimo you might decide to review Maou-sama in its place. And Scamp reviewing something is always a plus!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


      I’ve just hit writers block with that post…

      • Shadow
        Posted May 2, 2013 at 2:03 am | Permalink

        tsundere Scamp! Moeeee~~~~! XD

  12. The Big Guy
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    I definitely can see why you are not a fan of Valvrave, but I think there was a better way you could have said it. No Lelouch. 0/10.

    That being said, I don’t think it is that bad, it just lacks a charismatic lead to catch our interest like Code Geass or Future Diary. Haruto, though he is too wimpy to ask a girl out, at the very least has no problem shooting, slicing, and overall slaughtering a bunch of people when he gets pissed off. He is like a combination of Shinji and the protagonist from S-Cry-Ed. Now if we only could flesh out the rest of the cast…

    • Scamp
      Posted May 2, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Well, Future Diary’s lead was hardly charismatic. It was still interesting though because it was consistent and didn’t bow to his needs when he wimped out

      • The Big Guy
        Posted May 3, 2013 at 12:55 am | Permalink

        I was more referring to Yuno, who would also count as a lead. She carries the show by herself, making it easy to forgive Yuki being a bit of a wimp.

  13. Posted May 2, 2013 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    All you scrubs need to watch Yamato 2199.

  14. agaa
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Tamaki is my waifu

  15. Taka
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Skipped all those recaps Space Brothers had, I had been behind a few weeks (ep 52) on the show, when i realized that 52, 53, and 54 were all recaps (non-chronological might I add) I was flabbergasted. I was all ready to marathon three episodes of Space Brothers and I ended up fast forwarding to episode 55. Space Brothers is the show that can make me the most angry with how it treats its (presumably 10 year old) audience but. I. Can’t. Drop. It.

    I also skipped the Chihayafuru recap even though it probably had the same little funny bits from the recap in the first season, but I just can’t justify watching it for those few extra minutes.

    With that said what is worth actually looking at from this season beside Hataraku. I’m already watching Kyojin and Gargantia but is there anything else?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 2, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Anything else worth watching? Honestly…not really. I’m going to catch up with Yamato thanks to the good reviews its been getting, but otherwise this season is pretty lacklustre

    • Seppuk33
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I dropped Space Brothers near the beginning, around his second interview. It’s certainly different and original. However, I found the pacing stretched out and I found myself bored. I hear almost everyone who watches Space Bros. saying something like, “It’s pretty cool when it wants to be but it’s bland at points. I can’t stop watching it though.” From this response I get the impression that it’s mediocre. In other words, why do people still watch it if it’s just ok?

      • Shinmaru
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t say it’s just mediocre; the good parts are legitimately really good. It’s just that the bad parts are super boring. The good has been good enough for me to stick around, but it does try my patience.

  16. Erif
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Too brief, I’ suggest making these longer in the future. Glad to see them back though.

  17. DarkEnergy
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Hooray for silly picture captions!

  18. Fumoffu!!
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Crime Edge isn’t stupid enough, not with even all the graphically sexual innuendo? I don’t like Crime Edge that much, but it’s pretty entertaining.

    The worst shows I’m watching are Devil Survivor 2 and OreImo (although there was no need to mention the latter). This is a pretty decent season I think, and Gargantia has my top spot.

  19. Tanaka-san
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Even with the fantasy setting back for a while, Maou still manages to stay true to its themes. It’s still dealing with the implications of living in society and the hardships life imposes on us sometimes (like, who knows, being taken away from your birthplace and forced to fight a demon king), and I couldn’t praise it enough for this. Nevertheless, I would not mind a little action in case the writers are still taking in account that the show is not supposed to be a fantasy battle shounen.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      I see where you’re going with that, although that comparison would have been stronger if they focused on her life training to be the hero rather than her idyllic life back home.

  20. TheOgre
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    “L-Elf suddenly deciding to make Valvrave attack his friends made fuck-all sense.”

    It actually makes a little bit of sense now, in retrospect, but I won’t bother you with the details. Suffice to say newer events have put that strange behavior in another light.

    I didn’t care for the aborted love confession, which was lame, but even that episode had other crazy or simply dumb parts I did like. Which have only grown in number afterwards, now that the plot seems to be getting somewhere and the characters got a little bit of breathing room to do something else, despite still being fairly basic in their archetypes.

  21. Ramiel
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Just curious…..EVA Q reviews fucking when?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I recently rewatched the original TV series and End of Eva, so I’m kinda burned out on Evangelion at the moment and want nothing to do with that new movie. Ping the other two, I know Shinmaru has watched it

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      I honestly have no idea what to write about it.

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