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July 2015 Roundup

vlcsnap-2015-08-03-15h34m32s410All right, it’s back to your regularly scheduled blogging. After spending the past month getting to grips with my newfound freedom at MAL, it’s back to The Cart Driver Dot Com to join my fellow writers in telling everyone what you should watch this season. Except you should only listen to me. And Inushinde too for this month at least. Just not Shinmaru.

What’s Hot

Scamp: Prison School

vlcsnap-2015-08-04-11h20m25s692I pretend to be a classy man with refined tastes. I say I am a bastion of quality recommendations for anime. Instead I am nothing but a dirty man who enjoys anime in which moustached men kiss photographs of shapely butts while muttering “oh Angelina, Brazil” and burying them in the ground under cement. I absolutely love Prison School. Somehow combining the prison breakout genre (which is basically the logical reverse of the heist genre) with absurd sex comedy works a charm. There’s absolutely nothing to Prison School if we are talking depth or themes. But it’s the kind of show where deathly serious conversations about shitting your pants so you can use it as part of your Rube Goldberg escape plan is being held at the same time as your other characters potter about in the background making train noises. What makes it extra funny is how deathly serious everyone takes the events. There’s no straight man standing off to the side and yelling “woah that’s crazy”. You’re allowed to appreciate the nonsense on your own terms.

Shinmaru: Gatchaman Crowds Insight

38I’m loving how Insight is building off the foundation of the first season of Crowds. The first season (among other things) was about social media becoming a tool to influence and organize people, for better or worse. In Insight, these tools are firmly entrenched in society and people are dealing with those influencing effects in more complicated ways. I’m particularly enjoying the way the show is approaching the clash between new modes of communication and new ways of thinking with traditional ideals. The whole storyline with Gelsadra becoming the prime minister is this in spades, with Jou using old-school techniques with new technology to achieve his ideals, even though he doesn’t necessarily think it’s the morally correct way to make his desires a reality. And there are all sorts of different views from various characters — Gelsadra, Tsubasa, Jou, Hajime, Rui, etc. — bouncing off each other.

I’m actually surprised how invested I am this new season of Gatchaman. I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Inushinde: Prison School

vlcsnap-2015-08-04-11h16m29s622Prison School is a firm adherent to the Detroit Metal City school of comedy: Everything awkward that can happen, and even some things that can’t possibly happen, somehow do happen. Because the characters, both of the prisoner and student council variety, are caricaturized to a significant extent, the show can throw everything it can at them, and it won’t feel the least bit excessive. It’s an extended Wile E. Coyote vs Roadrunner episode, but with both sides being the one who gets maimed by his own machinations on a regular basis. I like Prison School because everybody is reprehensible, and everyone is in the right to point out everyone else’s reprehensibility. It makes for damn good entertainment.

What’s not so hot

Scamp: Monster Musume

vlcsnap-2015-08-04-11h35m08s750Since this is apparently the season of trash, I’ve been watching the trashiest anime of them all. The one designed for people who always wanted to fuck a horse but it wasn’t quite socially acceptable yet. Yet for as much weird fascination as I have with the idea of monster girls and how relationships with them would work, I feel I would be better off just reading a monster girl encyclopedia than watching this show. There’s something faintly offensive about how it treats the girls. The fact that of the 4 introduced so far, 2 of them have already been infantilised to the point of being basically referred to as children, but not that it would ever prevent it from sexualising them. Or there’s the fact that the remaining 2 women in the show have only one purpose in life, that is their man and how much they love him. These aren’t characters or people or the exploration of their lives. They’re so shallow that I can’t find any amusement in their struggles. The fact that their whole goal in life is just to get married shows how backward the views of women are in this show. I feel a better way to explore this show is have no harem lead at all and have all the monster girls be college roommates on an exchange course and watching them integrate into society that way. You can still explore their sexuality and they can still be eternally horny, but at least then it feels like they’re horny on their own terms. At least one of them could discover that she’s a lesbian and then and then and wait a second I need to write this all down.

Shinmaru: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

sorry kyonI joked on Twitter that this might be the first month that I wrote about the same anime in both the What’s Hot and What’s Not So Hot sections of the monthly review, but I wasn’t enamored with the Disappearance arc to the degree that it bumped out Gatchaman. At least the ending is boring enough to write about here! The worst part about it is that it COULD have been interesting, with Kyon being forced to confront his feelings for Yuki after all the fun stuff in the previous arc. However, it mainly results in Kyon being a bit awkward around everyone and more of the same boring antics that made up the bulk of the series. The ending is such a massive cop out that it actually made me laugh. I’m not super mad, because that would’ve required me to actually have been invested in this fictional relationship, but I do feel bad for anyone who watched this show with any hope left. Y’all got trolled.

Inushinde: Rokka no Yuusha

Rokka no Yuusha - 04 - Large 12HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. HI I’M ADLET MAYER I’M THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD.

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24 Comments

  1. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    “At least one of them could discover that she’s a lesbian and then and then and wait a second I need to write this all down.”

    Get a faux Japanese pen name and an overly long title like “I never really understood how could a centaur girl and a lamia possibly scissor??!?” and you’re set up for one huge success in the LN market.

    • Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      I am now curious how could they possibly scissor, considering a lamia doesn’t have any legs and the centaur girl has too many of them?

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        EXACTLY THAT.

  2. Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Monster Musume is the evolved form of a porn comic about clon- err, “brothers” whom are dating different monster girls (but no real dating happens). It can be pretty funny on rare occasions, but that is the only thing it has going for it that isn’t loads of wank material. I’m incredibly surprised by how popular it is despite the content.

    Also, I don’t get the joke behind Rokka no Yuusha here. Is it really that devoid of substance?

    • Amarrez
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      It was, but it’s getting good now that it’s turned into Umineko: Dungeons and Dragons Edition.

    • Outcast
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      I watched till episode 3 (need to catch up), and it went like:
      1) Lots of “As you know” exposition, but covered up with pretty colours and a great aesthetic, coupled with a setup I could get behind.
      2) Talking heads and shitty CG.
      3) A character being exceedingly annoying by withholding information.

      As for Adlet, even if I were to give him some slack for all the “STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD” he throws out (since some of them are more like a declaration of a code of conduct: “The strongest man in the world doesn’t leave people behind” and the like), he STILL does it far too many times.

    • kai
      Posted August 6, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      You Strongest Man In The World haters.
      Don’t you realize the Strongest Man In The World can announce that he is the strongest man in the world every other sentence because the Strongest Man In The World is the strongest man in the world.

      Worst verbal tic since HajimessssssssSU!

  3. nonread
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    More like Manlet Adler.

  4. Shikamaru
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    At least Monster Musume can say that it’s not as bad as To Love-ru. That’s something. It’s still shit, but it’s a little bit better shit.

  5. Nagisa33
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Non Non Biyori Repeat is my number one of the season. Each episode offers something special but episode 4 was especially heartfelt. The way it showed a child seeing the cycle of life was superb. It was believable in the way it represented how some children can nonverbally express their loss. I worked with children at a grief center so this episode this episode hit home for me.

  6. Ken
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    For me the number one show is Snow White with Red Hair. It has respect for the female lead and great character development. Non Non Biyori Repeat is a treat and so far I like Gakkou Gurashi!

    I think Monster Musume would be better if it centered around Agent Smith and her team of monster girl enforcers that they teas us with in the end credits.

    As for Prison School, I’m sorry but I found it to be too repulsive after the lead character urinates on a girl in the mensroom. That was going too far for me.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 7, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Agent Smith is definitely the best character, if only for the fact she’s made a living basically trying to get this guy to fuck monster girls.

      • Ken
        Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Shes pimping out that monster taint.

  7. Ibri
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Rokka no Yuusha- Eh I enjoyed the Episode where they were playing Mafia/Werewolf.
    But yeah he does say that often. And the Exposition in Episode 1 were they were telling each other the Backstory they both know.

  8. anon
    Posted August 5, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Ahh yer back! As long as we still get those season previews, I’m happy.

  9. R1CK_D0M
    Posted August 5, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Sorry adlet mayer, I don’t think I quite got that. You’re the what in the world?

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted August 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s either “The Strangest Man” or “The Strongest Tan”. Something along those lines.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 7, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      The mongest stran would be my best guess.

  10. Someone Else
    Posted August 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Seiyuu’s not here. Any thoughts about the show?

    • kai
      Posted August 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      I think its ok. The show mixes cute girls doing cute things with the reality of being a low tier seiyuu reasonably well. The Yukari Tamura and Hocchan cameos are the highlights so far.

      I find it quaint that the shambling zombie corpse of Gonzo is still making anime.
      If nothing else can be said of Seiyuu, at least it passed my Gonzo Drop Test. No under-aged girl appeared in her knickers in the first scene.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 7, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Watch Shirobako instead

  11. munta
    Posted August 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Ranpo Kidan, anyone? A school teacher is literally sown into a macarbe lotus position… School girls put through a mincer and turned into concrete sculptures… Heroes addicted to crushed phamaceuticals or can literally only view people as walking shadows or walk the streets with paper bags over there heads. This cadaverously alluring murder mystery has been a nice dark surprise for me this season.

    • gedata
      Posted August 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      I could get behind it if not for the fact that it’s whenever there is a mystery it ends up giving the finger to Knox’s Commandments. That and just being not good in general really get me.

      • Outcast
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        Seconded with Gedata; plus the characters have gimmicks and tics, but not enough personality to make me care about what they’re doing. I pretty much stopped giving a shit about the show by episode 3.

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