No news worth talking about again. On with the ratings!
A- Daily Lives of Higschool Boys
I appreciate Daily Dudes more as satire than I do as comedy. Sure it’s still funny, albeit to varying degrees. Episode 5 was one of the funniest episodes of anime I have ever seen. But it still varies a lot, with episode 8 being comparatively low on the laugh counter. But as a man who loves to overthink his comedy, I value satire higher than sheer comedic potential. I may have gotten more laughs per second out of Seto no Hanayome than Detroit Metal City, but I rate DMC higher because of how it changed my perception of music. For Daily Dudes, the satirisation of modern all-girl anime and the chuunibyou of teenage boys is what makes this show special, and for that I can not give it enough praise.
I’m a bit torn on Nisemonogatari this week. On one hand, the end of the arc was anticlimactic, compounded by how long it lasted. I didn’t really care while it was occurring, as basking in the presence of Senjogahara is always entertaining. But the end of the arc reminded me how little I was invested in the story, a fairly large problem. But then there was also the toothbrush episode, for which I am still in shock after. That scene alone hikes it up several grades.
B+ Aquarion EVOL
It feels a bit weird putting Aquarion EVOL this high. I have absolutely no investment in the story. The villains are a total joke. But even with stuff like Daily Dudes, Nisemonogatari and Future Diary airing this season, I have to be honest with myself and admit that Aquarion EVOL is the anime I’ve having the most fun watching. The sex euphemisms! They do not stop! And neither do they stop being funny. Those complicated metaphors involving donuts never cease cracking me up. The fact that there’s a character called Andy W. Hole, because he’s an artist like Andy Warhol except he makes holes. There has to be some kind of mad genius behind this thing.
B Future Diary
Looks like Future Diary has kicked its habit of alternating between good and bad episodes, since Yuki has finally abandoned living some sort of fulfilling regular life. That doesn’t mean Future Diary has necessarily gotten any less crazy in terms of leaping about in tone and direction. It’s still massively entertaining, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also all over the fucking place. The writer must have gotten hyperactive around this point in the story and tried to bring in all his crazy ideas before he had to make the final arc. It sorta works, in a crazy Future Diary sort of way, but I can’t think of any other show that could pull this shit and get away with it.
B Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing
Asides from that recap episode for the original series, which was a nice bit of fanservice for fans of the original series like myself, it’s been a strong month for Last Exile, mainly because Fam has taken a back seat. With the war escalating, it’s bringing the strengths of Last Exile Fam to the forefront. Large scale warfare, complicated diplomatic relations. It even had that very LOGH-esque relationship between the two Ades generals that I liked a lot. Mind you there’s still the occasional Famy-ness that creeps in every now and then, such as ending the conflict by simply asking nicely. That scene was really dumb.
B Steins;Gate OVA
A single episode of total fanservice for Steins;Gate fans. Not tits and ass, or even the goofy Carnival Phantasm type fanservice where you completely remove the characters from the original context. Nope, this is Steins;Gate fanservice, with an element of Plot that someone who is a fan of the TV series would appreciate more. They didn’t even drop the animation quality. For that, I appreciated this OVA immensely.
B Natsume Yuujinchou 4
Very good month for Natsume because they’re actually taking the story in a new direction. It’s no longer “oh look, Natsume has friends and family and is no longer lonely, how wonderful”. Not that I didn’t enjoy those parts of the story, but they were done and starting to get old. Developing the tension between trying to keep apart his IRL life and his online yokai life has become the new focus, and it has really breathed life into the franchise. Hope they actually do something with this before the series ends.
B- Persona 4
Yeah I still enjoy Persona. I like watching stupid filler episodes where they go to hot springs or cultural festivals because I’ve grown so attached to the characters. They’ll always be entertaining to watch in that regard. At the same time though, I’m glad Persona 4 is nearly over, because I feel it has run its course. I’m kind of done with this series, and now just hoping for some kind of fulfilling end to the story.
Strangely, there’s no C grade stuff this week. Everything I’m watching I’m really enjoying.
D+ Bodacious Space Pirates
Episode 6 had that pirating sequence, which was fantastic. I was all ready to forgive and forget the boring previous 5 episodes, but then the next episode had barely any pirating and lots shots of talking heads, chatting to each other about nothing. It was then that it finally struck me. A show that is ostensibly about a certain activity but is really about a group of girls sitting around talking about not very much while occasionally eating confectionary? This is fucking K-ON! It’s a shame, because I really like the world they’ve created. But no, I’m done with this series.
Gyo is one of those corny B-horror movies with lots of sex and creepy weird monsters and intentional stupid events happening, and it’s good at that if nothing else. I did get the occasional giggle from some of the crazy shit that occurred. But the story is total nonsense with no real over-arching meaning. The characters are dull with baffling motivations. Also I just don’t really like B-horror movie stuff anyway. I’ve seen some people say this enters terribad territory, but it doesn’t. The humour is nailed on enough occasions to rise it above the MD Geists of this world. But it’s certainly not good either.
E+ Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: Sacred Star of Milos
What’s really weird about this movie is that it felt like it was created for someone who wasn’t a fan of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Forget the story or plot, I didn’t even finish the movie so I don’t want to talk about them. The entire feel of the movie was off. FMA:B did use that sort of free-flowing artstyle occasionally, but it only used it during scenes of high tension and emotion. Having that same style used when Ed and Al are just chilling on a train was jarring. The choreography went overly big scale and lacking in actual tactical combat. One of FMA:B’s strengths were in the small details. Each battle had a clear line of thought through each punch swung, while this movie abandoned all that for much larger scale explosions that made no chronological sense in the battles being fought. They went for a high-octane shounen action instead of an actual Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood movie. So as someone who loved FMA:B and wanted more of that, fuck this shitty movie.
E+ Black Rock Shooter
I am glad I watched this. Firstly, because the CGI character animation is the best I’ve ever seen, and I’m interested to see if any other anime after this run with a similar style. Mainly though, I’m glad I watched this because I have seen the depths to which Noitamina has sunk. Darkest before dawn sort of thing. People might claim Guilty Crown is worse, but at least that series is cool in concept. Black Rock Shooter was a joke before it even got out the gate, and proceeded to shoot itself in both of its feet within the first two episodes with some of the worst melodramatic nonsense I have ever seen. It made the final episode of Ano Hana look reserved.