23 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

March 2014 Roundup

Space Dandy - 10 - Large 22Savour this variety of anime featured in What’s Hot, because this is the last time you’ll see it. For the next 6 months all you will be seeing are endless streams of MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI.

What’s Hot

Scamp: Silver Spoon

Gin no Saji Second Season - 11 - Large 06Was tempted to give this to Space Dandy two months in a row, but I want to sing a little bit of praise for Silver Spoon. Particularly because it pulled the same damn trick on me two seasons in a row. It starts off a bit weak where the characters faff about doing agricultural stuff that isn’t quite as funny as it probably should be. I start wondering whether this show will live up to expectations. And then it sneaks up on you and gets real in a truly alarming, hard-hitting yet balanced fashion. This time it was the story of chasing your dreams and the barriers preventing you from doing so. Not just things like your own inhibitions, but things like crushing family debt and your own lack of talent. Then there’s Hachiken’s ever complicated relationship with his arsehole father, which makes every scene suddenly tense up like someone just shoved a wooden pole up your backside. Silver Spoon is a show that really sticks with me, even if there are other anime that I may enjoy watching more at the time.

Shinmaru: Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill - 24 - Large 39I am a simple man with simple tastes. I enjoy seeing characters I like beating the absolute dogshit out of each other in increasingly crazy ways. After all the twists and turns, all that’s left in the series is for everyone to blow each other to hell. The final two episodes are wonderful on this front. I loved everyone getting their big moments, with Mako donning her bancho outfit once more and the Elite Four getting their strongest outfits and toughing their way through every alien. I loved Ryuuko and Satsuki working together and the development of Satsuki accepting the second fiddle role because beating the crap out of alien clothing is that important. I loved Ragyo’s “LOL NOPE” every time it seemed as if she were defeated. I loved the show going TO SPACE!! (Only a few episodes behind Samurai Flamenco!) I loved Ryuuko riding Senketsu back down to Earth and Senketsu burning away with a tearful goodbye. And I also loved that date, because they really earned it. Hell, eat all the cake, drink all the tea and do all the shopping you want after wrecking all those aliens and evil fashionistas. Also, for the record: I am heavily pro-Satsuki haircut. Too cute.

Inushinde: Witch Craft Works

Witch Craft Works - 12 -4This sure is the season that managed to make the most of practically nonexistent expectations. Super Sonico was surprisingly not total shit, Sekai Seifuku turned out way better than expected, and Witch Craft Works has managed to pull through an extremely banal plot with the help of excellent comedic sensibilities, and distinctive, likable antagonists that are as liable to attack you with automaton rabbits as they are to whittle away the time being adorably irrelevant on any scale. Coupled with being surprisingly progressive for an anime (non-whites can own llamas too! What an age we live in) without said progressiveness becoming a crutch, Witch Craft Works made for a consistently entertaining viewing week to week, penguin tumbleweeds or no.

What’s not so Hot

Scamp: Nisekoi

nisekoi101Since I dropped everything I wasn’t really enjoying incredibly early on, the only show I’m left with as something I didn’t enjoy was the one I was forced to watch. Nisekoi is bland, boring and cliche, but what makes it truly irritable is that it is the safest anime ever. What’s that, plot development? Character development? Any change in the story whatsoever? No we can’t have that. Somebody might get annoyed. Let’s give absolutely equal time to both girls without ever resolving anything either way. I don’t mind romances where the characters can’t confess, but it’s how weak-willed the creators are that annoy me. Not the characters. Let’s rehash the same scenarios forever and forever, lest our cash cow dies. God forbid we get a bit of meat out of this cow rather than stale samey milk over and over again.

Shinmaru: Pupa

pupa6LOL that ending. Now, there could be some deeper metaphorical meaning I’m missing because I stopped caring about the story long ago. Or maybe there’s some context from the manga missing because every episode feels like a couple of minutes ripped randomly from a much longer episode of anime. But this series about a pair of siblings infected by a virus that turns one into a flesh-eating monster and gives the other regenerative powers so that his sister can eternally snack on him without guilt ends with a flashback (I think?) involving the two at a carnival winning a stuffed bear and making new friends. I guess. That’s definitely the way you want to conclude your gore series! Boy Pupa sure did save (Studio Deen a crapload of money by making a barely-animated short series rather than a full-length) anime.

Inushinde: Saki: Zenkoku-hen

one-of-the-strongest-mahjong-players-in-the-universeAgain, I’m not particularly down on any show from this season that I’ve continued watching. Hell, even Saki, in all of its glorious idiocy and sapphism, is consistent enough that I don’t really dislike it in any notable capacity. Disliking Saki for not being an accurate depiction of Mahjong, or focusing too much on developing characters that drop off the face of the earth into the lesbian dimension a mere few episodes later, is like disliking JoJo for gratuitous classic rock references or bulging muscles. But since I’ve already covered why I’m not terribly fond of Nisekoi, fuck Saki for continuing to give Achiga plot armor. It means that we’ll have more of that god-awful team in the future, and nobody wants that.

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23 Comments

  1. Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    So basically, fuck Achiga.

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      I’m glad you understand.

  2. Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    That ending to Witchcraft Works in all its (reverse-)Evangelion-like glory still gives me mixed feelings to this day.

    • Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      I give it a pass since it isn’t a real end to the series (far from it), but so little more to adapt at the moment makes the likelihood of more animation very unlikely as you have said before.

  3. Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Inushinde’s description of Witch Craft Works is the closest one to my own opinion. I especially loved Tanpopo out of all the characters everything she did (a detailed explanation would take too long :P). I also give a shout out to the other semi-antagonist Chronoire Schwarz VI for having an amazing name, unique fashion sense, and prohibition-era gangster crocodile familiar. Weekend was also entertaining as enjoyed her ridiculous methods.

    Sefuki Sekai is probably my favorite show of the season… Though I guess that isn’t saying much since I stopped Pupa at episode six and Nobunagun was just the ultimate disappointment, plus I don’t really count Kill la Kill because it started last year. The second half of the final episode was great for all its beautifully dumb humor. I really hope that sequel hook isn’t a farce.

  4. fathomlessblue
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Looking at that initial screen cap of Meow and his dad, I suddenly have the image of Scamp being tutored by Shinmaru. Inushinde is the drill.

    Thanks for the laughs, Witch Craft Works. I’ll remember your crucified Llama, if nothing else.

  5. gedata
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Too bad this Jojo’s announcement of Crunchyroll’s is probably BS
    http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-844535/new-spring-titles-jojos-bizzare-adventure?pg=0
    Could do without the weekly subs arguments, Oh well

    • Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I loathe April Fool’s jokes that lie about things you would expect from a company.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted April 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        Yup. It’s like they’re going “SURPRISE! Did you actually think that we had done this thing that we could realistically be expected to do if we cared for your consumer needs and not just for your money? Think again, trololololololol!”.
        Needless to say, this could be the last straw that makes me cancel my CR subscription. These days they seem to stream only the seasonal shitty LN adaptations anyway.

      • Posted April 2, 2014 at 2:12 am | Permalink

        All the recent anime I have mentioned is from Crunchyroll streams so as long as they have a few decent things I’m good.

    • gedata
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Welp, looks like Crunchy wasn’t yankin us afterall

  6. Varyn
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Fun fact, you can tell the size of JOJO MUSHISHI copy-pasted repeating segments by the recurring typo. THEREFORE ALL YOUR OPINIONS ARE INVALID.

  7. Hanasra
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Silver Spoon is a very consistent show. As someone who read the manga from the start, I know they trimmed the content here and there but I’m glad that they doing so because most of them is just extraneous stuffs about agriculture. It makes the pacing on the ongoing conflicts feels more natural with Arakawa-ish joke here and there to keep the episode fresh. Thing that I like most with Silver Spoon is how the conflict within the story felt natural. Maybe its because the conflicts are very grounded like family debt and such, but Arakawa still able to execute it as something serious and feels matter to the character.

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      She does a good job at weaving her knowledge of the material into her works, without requiring the audience to have a primer on it. And even if one isn’t interested in the agricultural element, there’s still the fun interpersonal dynamics to latch onto, and vice versa.

  8. ANON
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    I am now sure that I’ll never understand your tastes Inushinde.

    • Ken
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      While I, on the other hand, totally agree with Inushinde’s taste. Last seasons Nion Nion Biori and this seasons Witch Craft Works really surpassed my expectations and were extremely enjoyable to watch. Also, Aria the animation rules.

    • Inushinde
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Here’s a good litmus test: Does it have penguin tumbleweeds, or animals in general in any capacity that isn’t what you’d normally find them in? Does it have little girls quipping nihilistic sentiments while putting on cute faces to get what they want? Then I’ll probably like the shit out of it.

      • ANON
        Posted April 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        I’ll watch aria first then get back to you :D

  9. Posted April 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    BUT BUT BUT Saki did that Rinshan Kaihou thing in the end this was basically Saki’s best month.

    Is Pupa really shit because that screencap is what the hell is happening in that screencap??

    • Shinmaru
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      In that screencap the little sister is literally eating her big brother.

  10. Outcast
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    In regards to the first pic: You’re not supposed to run a lathe without the coolant flowing, especially not when sparks are flying off from the hole. ZERO POINTS FOR SCIENTIFIC ACCURACY!!

    Also, you should have said something about Witch Craft Works before. Now, I have to go looking about for this one as well.

  11. Argonseal
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    WHY U NO PING PONG THE ANIMATION ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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