No news. Only cartoons.
As much as I like to mock aspects of No.6, the very parts I find myself mocking are the ones I really like. Take the incredibly obvious BL tones, where every line of dialogue between Nezumi and Shion can be twisted into innuendo, and sometimes not even needing innuendo. Yet this largely stems from the fact that I really like watching the relationship these two have sprung up. This is a BL duo I can get behind, although not literally. It’s also a touch pretentious, what with rats telling Shion what book he should be drawing comparisons from next. Yet, again, I like the comparisons with literature and how they phrase the world the characters are in.
B+ Mawaru PenguinDrum
My main complaint from the first episode was the down times between the madness were rather dull due to uninteresting dialogue. PenguinDrum has since solved that by being riotously funny. There’s that touch of the utterly bonkers to everything this show does, that makes it so simple to enjoy. Even when you’re not trying to uncover the meaning to the train imagery, it’s still incredibly fun. Besides, it might just be the old Utena thing again of the scenes either wearing their intentions on their chest, or actually meaning nothing at all and they just wanted to fuck with your flowcharts. The turn PenguinDrum has taken from the first episode has meant a tone down in the madness though, so I hope we see that side a bit more as it goes on.
B Bunny Drop
Bunny Drop is a very simple case of an anime knowing exactly what it wants to do and does it with care and minimal fuss. There’s barely any artistic flair (the watercolour segments at the start of each episode just strike me as artwank from someone who liked Wandering Son) and minimal BGM, but everything it does fits together perfectly. My personal favourite part, apart from watching Rin just being a 6 year old girl, is the gradual development of Daikichi’s character as he alters what it is he wants from life. How he has no free time, yet the fact doesn’t bother him as much as he thought it would. He’s the kind of character I find myself wanting to be happy, because he deserves it. I just hope that RUMOURED BAD ENDING never appears in the anime. There’s probably not the time for it anyway with only 11 episodes.
Not the best month for Steins;Gate, what with the plot taking the highway to sillyville and having an entire episode focusing on Feyris, but there’s still more than enough here for it to still be one of the best shows of the year. Despite turning a bit silly at times, it still spends enough time delving into each characters personality and motivations that you are able to enjoy watching their exploits. I live each of these characters emotional turns myself, with every episode stripping more away from Okarin’s persona as he delves further into the chaotic world of time travel. Also, I AM MAD SCIENTIST, IT SO COOOOL, SONAVABITCH!
B- Tiger and Bunny
I’m still waiting for the time Tiger and Bunny will reach a monthly roundup where its improvements aren’t instantly cancelled out by newly introduced flaws. One the positive side, I’m really enjoying the development of Tiger’s character, finally tackling his family life, even if he still acts like a total doofus. Plus there was Sky High’s special episode, which was far and away the best of the series so far. Problem is, that’s instantly balanced out by the series ruining all the development they did to Bunny’s character in the first half of the series by now making an eternally happy blank slate. Thankfully the latest episode looks to be turning him back to angsty Bunny again.
B- Kamisama Dolls
I like Kamisama Dolls far more than it probably deserves. There’s moments where it gets struck by the derp, and decides what this anime really needs is for the main character to walk in on a girl in the bath. Or for extended sequences of the little sister eating cake. But what I really like about this show is how so many of the characters are just a touch unhinged that you never quite know what they’re going to do. From the more obvious cases like Aki, who has less a screw lose and more an entire scaffolding, to less severe but just as interesting cases like Kuuko, the paranormal freak. It keeps the tension up and keeps me intrigued even through the flaws.
B- Natsume Yuujinchou San
A bit hit-or-miss for Natsume. First and third episodes were meh, while second and fourth were excellent. Natsume excels when it focuses on the pride of characters forcing them into loneliness, only to be dragged out again by Natsume as he connects with their own loneliness. Where it doesn’t excel is when Natsume spends his time narrating over how lovely the weather is and how lovely his family and friends are. I’ve just never bought into Natsume’s friendship, because he’s so distant from them. It made episode 3 with Tanuma fall rather flat. Still, it’s well worth it for those moments where it clicks. The tree spirit desperately wanting to see Natsume again so she could scare him, only for him to move house, stung like a bitch.
B- Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Trail
My main problem with Roberta’s Trail is I could not follow Rock’s plan in the slightest. Granted, that’s more with how I watched them, waiting 3-4 months between each episode does not help, so it might be more understandable to those who marathon it in one go. That said, there was still more than enough classic Black Lagoon in here, from the gloriously cynical lines to the awesome actions scenes. I particularly liked how, after getting annoyed at how badass this OVA wanted to portray Rock, Roberta’s Trail revealed at the end that he’s still the one pair of alive eyes in a dead town. It was a rather poetic way of describing his situation. Now, if you don’t mind me asking Madhouse, new season where?
B- Blue Exorcist
Well holy buggering chickens, the plot for Blue Exorcist has finally started to move somewhere, and I am as interested in the grand mystery going on as I am interested in scrotum piercings. Thankfully, Blue Exorcist seems to know this too, and just tosses in little mentions to it occasionally (usually by people standing on top of buildings having vague and confusing expositionary conversations), using the rest of the time to focus on how this all affects Rin. Okumura Rin is Blue Exorcist. He brings out the best in every other character, even ones like Shiemi who would otherwise be painful to watch. Between Okarin, Tiger and Rin, it’s been a good season for male leads. At least, it was, until JC Staff blundered in with God’s Memo Pad.
B- Hanasaku Iroha
Something mysterious happened after the Ohana to Tokyo arc. All the characters suddenly became likeable. Even the previously shitty ones, like that engrish spouting bitch. Not that they’re using the characters to much effect. What is the overarching plot to this series again? Who gets to inherit Kissisuo? Pah, I couldn’t give a toss about that. I just want to see hot anime girls in wet t-shirt contests, which Hanasaku Iroha delivers with surprising consistency. Even better, it does so without being retarded about it. This is a series that is goofy and self-aware enough to have two characters performing their best Quidditch impressions without someone pointing out to us how wacky it is that they’re doing this. It’s nice to have a series in which I want to drool over hot anime girls without having it insult my intelligence.
C+ Kaiji Season 2
I know this is kind of par for the course for Kaiji, but the only thing that happened in episode 17 was someone turned on a TV. Sorry, but this bog arc does not have the same thrill as the underground arc. The stakes felt more real down there, hyping up the tension and made the experience that much more thrilling. Somehow, inside this new casino, the stakes just don’t feel the same. Ultimately though, it’s still Kaiji. There’s still people with ridiculous noses. The narrator is still over-excitedly pulling bizarre metaphors out of nowhere. There are still people going zawa zawa zawa in the background.
C+ Break Blade
I lost interest in Break Blade’s story DURING episode 4, mainly because it HAD also lost interest in itS original story. The mecha battles are still as gloriously animated and wonderfully directed as ever, which sounds like it shouldn’t be so much of a problem. Break Blade was always about the gloriously animated mecha battles, why should a drop in story quality really effect it? Well because, my hypothetical questioner, without framing for the fights, it’s just a load of pretty colours for no grounding. I stopped caring about the story when it suddenly couldn’t remember why Rygart was fighting anymore. If it can’t remember, then why should I?
D+ God’s Memo Pad
Perhaps in a less packed season, I would have given God’s Memo Pad a better chance. The problem I had was the show wasn’t a Good Anime with moments of stupidity, like Kamisama Dolls. The underlying structure to God’s Memo Pad was full of uninteresting mysteries, a painfully bland male lead, irritating females characters who the show tried to push the moe-ness off, and so on. It did shine occasionally, and some of the way it phrased dialogue was genuinely witty and intelligent. But I didn’t feel it worth my time just to sit around in smelly water for those occasional wafts of brilliance.
D- Sacred Seven
The warning lights were set off when the female character, who had suddenly appeared in the main characters life, revealed through a flashback that they knew each other when they were younger. Hellooooo Deadman Wonderland vibes! Why put so much funding into something so bland Sunrise? Please tell me what Sacred Seven has going for it? The animation is beautiful and some of the fights are truly gorgeous, plus sometimes it gets so stupidly camp that it’s fun to laugh at, but what does this series have? What is there to keep me, you, or anyone from ever remembering that it existed? Stupid show, not wasting my time on it.
No terrible OVAs to mock this month, mainly because I refuse to acknowledge the existence of Baby Princess.