38 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

May Roundup

Closest thing to news this month would be the beginnings of the self-enforcement of Bill 156. However the only manga being shoved up to 18+ were smut like Aki Sora. Now perhaps this isn’t the ideal approach to such a subject, but when the only stuff being affected are smut, then I find it really hard to give a shit.

Instead, I’d like to say sorry to those people I met at London Expo. Sorry for not wearing my fancy hat for those who complained about my lack of noticability without it. Sorry to those who I met for a grand total of 2 minutes before running off because I heard someone say ‘free stuff’. Sorry to those I dragged over to look at the Code Geass yaoi doujin I mistook for a official artbook (and the official Code Geass artbook I mistook for a yaoi doujin). And finally, sorry to my reader’s little sister who I scared away, being the big and frightening anime blogger that I am.

Also, VOTE FOR EVA UNIT 01!

A Grade

Lalala blank space

B Grade

B+ Steins;Gate

Episodes 4-8

The longer Steins;Gate goes on, the more confident I am that it won’t somehow crap its pants and render all its hard work for nothing. Actually, even if it does fall apart, it won’t have been a wasted experience. A soiled experience sure, but Steins;Gate’s appeal doesn’t solely lie in the plot. The characters are such a diverse and fun group, simply watching them piss about makes up a huge part of what this series enjoyable. Even a nonsensical plot collapse can’t take that away from the experience.

B Fireball Charming

Episodes 4-7

Do you really need to listen to me fanboy over Fireball Charming yet again? Do you not yet know how much I love this show? Honestly speaking, I’d say the first season had marginally better jokes than Charming, but Charming has such amazing animation quality that it manages to drag itself to equal levels with the first season. Anyone who says they prefer Drossel’s original design simply have the glasses of ‘the original is always better’ tattooed around their eyes. This design has the hip swings of a goddess. Nay, of an Empress. Bow down to your Empress!

B Kaiji Season 2

Episodes 4-8

I’m still trying to crack why it is I’m enjoying this season so much more than the first. Why am I so enthralled and giddy watching this arc of Kaiji compared to anything from last season? The formula is exactly the same. The animation has gone up slightly, but nothing significant. The only real difference is I’m watching it weekly rather than marathoning, and it’s that exact forced wait that makes this so entertaining. Cliffhangers rather lose their effect when you can just open up the next episode straight away. But when you don’t know if they’ll finish the game in this episode, the events take on that much more significance.

B- Blue Exorcist

Episodes 3-7

Perhaps to call Blue Exorcist ‘a shounen I can get excited about again‘ is giving it too much credit. It’s hardly riveting nor ground-breaking stuff. But Japan really were not bringing out shounens I cared about. The only shounen in the past 4 years I liked was when they were forced to cart out our favourite petite alchemist with the iron limbs, barely 5 years after his previous stint in the spotlight. But would you look at what we have here! Good characterisation, building relationships, no dragged out fight sequences. It’s rather by the books, but it has enough craft to make me care about what’s going on. For that, I can’t praise this show enough.

B- [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

Episodes 4-7

C’s Financial District comparisons to real life economics might be strained at times, but it’s a fascinating world nevertheless. Better yet, C embrace exploring this world they created. It presents different characters and gives us their interpretation of how this game should be played and their theories on how the world works. They’re as baffled to this world’s intention as we are, but join in with the audience in trying to make sense of it all. That is where C excels above everything else. It gives us a world and actually intelligently explores its possibilities. For me, that makes up for some of the rather clunky storytelling somewhat.

B- Norageki

The second of Sunrises two fully CGI OVA’s, the first one being Koisento last month. I really enjoyed Koisento. It was goofy, endearing fun. Norageki is a hell of a lot different. It’s more Sci-Fi mystery series, but I ended up enjoying it just as much. It does a better job at characterisation in its 30 minute period than most anime can achieve in several hours. The CGI still hasn’t quite been cracked yet. In going to CGI, they seem to be almost too keen to make the characters move about to the point that it becomes unnatural. Also the 2D faces painted onto 3D models didn’t work in Koisento and it doesn’t work here either. But hey, the actual writing and directing is great, so if you can get over your CGI bias, both Norageki and Koisento are great ways to spend 30 minutes.

B- Tiger and Bunny

Episodes 5-9

They spent an entire episode devoted to hosting a birthday party for Bunny where they hold a mock robbery, but then *SPOILER* a real robber appears! Hilarity ensues. That episode plot description should tell you all you really need to know about the tone Tiger and Bunny is going for. In that sense, it’s similar to Hanasaku Iroha, in being far more light-hearted than the first episodes suggested it would be. I place T&B above Hanasaku Iroha for two reasons. Firstly,the main characters in both are well meaning but slightly dim-witted, but for Tiger it’s better explained rather than Ohana “just cause” reasoning. Also, the more serious moments don’t make my eyes roll as they do in Hansaku Iroha.

C Grade

C+ Hanasaku Iroha

Episodes 5-9

Look, forget the first two episodes. Forget that tone it had. The cleverly written, self-reflective tone that challenged the viewer to consider what it was that Ohana really thought about her surroundings. Ohana has since been relegated to well-meaning dimwit. Hanasaku Iroha has since been relegated to the light-hearted tales of the growing pains the teenage girls in Kissasou inn. Which is fun in it’s own way. But it doesn’t hold much weight. Ultimately, a fun but rather forgettable series.

C+ Colorful

I’m rather torn on this one. On one hand, Colorful gives me exactly what I’ve been demanding for a while now. A cast of genuine pricks. Each one of these characters are dislikeable in their own, unique ways. I particularly liked the nasty streak ParaPara, the ‘angel’, had. On the other hand, I’ve never liked this sort of low key, laid back presentation. I believe the term is pathos? Probably got that all wrong, but that’s a word I’ve seen thrown about to describe stuff like Makoto Shinkai films. This is faaaar better than any Shinkai rubbish mwahahaha go my biased views go, and there are parts to it I rather liked. But ultimately, it’s rather dreary and requires the viewer to care about rather minor changes in characters through very small pieces of dialogue. You’ll probably like this more than I did.

C Ano Hana

Episodes 4-7

After the first episode, I figured the reason I didn’t like Ano Hana was because it was trying to get me to feel sorry for these characters without doing any characterisation first. Then, in the next 2 episodes, it took a step back and did exactly that, so I thought all my problems had been solved. That is, until it went back to the melodrama and I was back to eyerolling all over again. Back to the drawing board again Scamp! Why don’t I like melodrama anyway? At a wild stab, I’d say because it feels forced. It’s trying to get the viewer to feel sad rather than just letting the characters do the whole being sad stuff. But that’s still pretty flimsy reasoning on my part. Ah well, at least this show has Anaru.

C- Nichijou

Episodes 5-9

Here’s a challenge for all you Nichijou fans out there. After every gag, ask yourself “what is the joke here?”. I’ve been playing this game for the past few episodes now, and about 1 out of every 5 jokes have a point beyond being purely random. Take the above gag. It’s funny because classrooms often celebrate finishing exams rather over-enthusiastically, so Nichijou pushes that to hilarious extremes. That’s funny. Sticking a Shogi piece on a piece of Strawberry Shortcake. The jokes there is…well? I certainly don’t get it. Maybe I’m missing a pun? Although that wouldn’t explain all the other pointless randomness in this show. I suppose it’s worth watching for the occasional gag that does hit though.

C- Deadman Wonderland

Episodes 3-7

Deadman Wonderland is stupid. Well, no, that’s doing a disservice to stupid anime. Deadman Wonderland reaches Terribad levels of stupidity at times. What’s worse, it doesn’t even realise how stupid it is. It could be camp if it wanted to, but it instead tries to pull stuff off seriously that breaks the camp barrier and plunges to the depths of “did they seriously think that was a good idea?”. I am still watching it, but it’s fallen into the same category as Umineko. It’s entertaining, but for none of the reasons it thinks it’s entertaining for.

D Grade

D Denpa Onna

Episodes 4-6

I’d say I made my reasoning pretty clear on why I’ve dropped this already. People are trying to argue the case that it’s about a recluse trying to integrate back into society, and on some level that’s what the story has become about. Yeah, for all of 1 minute per episode, that’s what it’s about. The rest has turned into stupid harem antics. Granted, the various haremmetes have slightly more personality than your typical harem, but the story has lost all focus and meaning. Denpa Onna is just pissing about until it can finally call it a day.

D- Supernatural

Episodes 19-22

Well that petered out pretty lamely. Supernatural was that it was at its best when it focused on various episodic stories. Problem is, Supernatural didn’t want to be an episodic show. It wanted to cram in this dumb plot about Sam having super powers. Whenever that plotline took over, it dragged the entire show down and became stupidly cheesy and melodramatic. Worse still, the plot was resolved using a Dad ex Machina, rendering the entire thing anticlimactic and stupid. In the end, I’m giving Supernatural a thumbs down. It was marginally above average for anime I guess, but it still ended up feeling like a waste of time.

E Grade

No awful OVA’s to mock this month

F Grade

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38 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Also, VOTE FOR EVA UNIT 01!

    ‘Accidentally’ votes for the Valkyrie.

    Do you really need to listen to me fan­boy over Fire­ball Charm­ing yet again?

    We’ve never heard you fanboy out about Fireball with Her Grand Empress Drossel gracing the screen. Make a video review about Fireball Charming when it’s finished so that we can hear you fanboy out about the shorts.

    Norageki: Crap, forgot to download that.

    Shinkai rub­bish

    You naive demonic childe. I worry for your sanity and well being. At least admit that his works are scenery porn.

    The jokes there is…well? I cer­tainly don’t get it. Maybe I’m miss­ing a pun?

    There’s puns in the show (like Yuuko making horrible pun jokes to her poker-faced friends. But with the big sister, maybe there’s a pun, but to me it’s just all about how she’s a huge teasing bitch and the resultant ridiculous reactions from Mio are just great. Visually the show is just plain awesome.

    Also, there’s a difference between Code Geass yaoi doujins and official Code Geass artbooks? Aren’t they both made by CLAMP?

    • romulus
      Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree w/ what you said about Nichijou. Yuuko is the biggest troll in the school! The visuals (esp. sigh/steam effects) are goooood.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:04 am | Permalink

        Making puns is not trolling. Yuuko is the brown-haired, Mai’s the bespectacled, emotion-less git that makes just horrible jokes that could be construed as ‘trolling’ (though the jury is still out on whether she does so with intention, or just sucks in a different way like Yuuko sucks at making puns).

    • Scamp
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      That’s why I was wary of putting up an EVA plug. Knowing my readers, it would garner more votes against it…

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink

        There’s no reason to vote for either one. They’re mecha, the only people that are serious about those things have a few more screws loose than the average anime fan.

  2. romulus
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for telling me why you don’t like NIchijou. But I tell you this: randomness IS a way to make a good comedy. I mean I enjoy exactly that pure randomness-it always makes me chill out ‘n’ laugh.
    I did enjoy Colorful, and I think Makoto Shinkai is great. It tells you about how the soul works in a unique way – please try his 1st work, a 4-minute shortfilm She and her cat. Makes you a better person or something.
    IMO Iroha deserves way less (stupid sliceoflife, not the least entertaining) and Ano Hana more (Sure, melodrama is back but in very small amounts. There is quick character developement now.)

    • Scamp
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Pah, randomness for the sake of randomness isn’t funny. It’s like laughing at someone farting because farts are funny

      • Posted June 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Laughing about farts isn’t random, it’s well known toilet humour practiced by little kids. And shame on you comparing a series where the principal fought with a deer in Mortal Combat style to laughing about farts.

  3. fathomblessblue
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I tried to defend Denpa Onna for still having the potential to turn out alright, but even I’m forced to admit it’s nothing more than a shitty jailbait harem. I’ll keep watching though, I mean I haven’t dropped A-Channel and that series is awful. Man, I’ve got to be more firm and ditch these shows; this is why I still haven’t finished Banner of the Stars.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:08 am | Permalink

      I mean I haven’t dropped A-Channel and that series is awful.

      Question: Does Tooru(?) slap What’sherface’s boobs each episode?

  4. luffyluffy
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    >Supernatural

    Seasons 1 and 2 are the worst TV I’ve ever watched. Ever. Hense, of course the anime was going to be shit. Dean getting possessed by the poverty god is the best fucking episode, mostly because it’s quite like the episode with Sam and the rabbits foot.

    >Steins;Gate

    Dropped. I gave it 4 episodes, and I just eeehhhh…

    >[C]

    Shit

    >Tiger & Bunny

    FUCK YEAH

    >Nichijou

    Eh. Makes me smile… kinda.

    >Deadman Wonderland

    Highly entertaining, but still shit.

    Go and watch the Supernatural TV show. You can start at season 3 where it gets 9001 times better. Seriously.

  5. Posted June 2, 2011 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    guh, i wish i had money to buy CLAMP artbooks, BL suggestions and all ;( clamp art is <3

    i would have dropped hana iro earlier if i wasn't in love with ko-chan ;( damn it! i agree with you though, it's nothing but a mindless run-of-the-mill shoujo coming of age slice-of-life. been there, done that. darn you ko-chan!

    i keep hearing that ano hana gets better and better but UGHHH i just can't get over that first ep. i can't. the moe little girl rubbing up on a hormonal teen plus all the doom-and-gloom forced drama. no.

    ah don't worry about scaring a little sister at a con. when i went to a con with my younger sister everyone scared her. including myself ;(

    • mcm38
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Ikr! Their art rocks! Except for the BL part. As a straight guy I can’t seem to agree with that genre.

      Now I wonder how old that lil sis was. I mean mine wouldn’t be scared that easily due to her age. She’s almost 18. Why would a 18 yr old lil sis get scared?

    • j
      Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Random lurker passing by, but – HanaIro is definitely, definitely not a shoujo anime. Its intended demographic is quite transparently male, hence all the fanservice and pandering.

      Sorry, just hate it when people confuse demographic and genre. Shoujo =/= romance.

  6. alexvoda
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    hmm
    Comparing your round up to psgels I think maybe you should add Gosick to the “no anime is dropped forever” list.
    Google-ing to see what you will say if I tell you “it gets better”, I found this: sorrow-kuns article

    Hmm, interesting.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Sorrow wrote that article deliberately to disagree with me. As you can probably guess, I too disagree with that article :)

      • alexvoda
        Posted June 3, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        No, no.
        What I thought was interesting was your comment.

        “…people said it about shows that ultimately never changed their focus. It got better at doing what it was already doing, but if the person who dropped it didn’t like that originally, they’re not going to enjoy watching it continue on the same track.”

        The later half doesn’t have dumb mysteries solved through having access to the script. Which was the complaint most people had about it.
        It doesn’t do more of that, it actually gets better. And I have psgels episodic reviews to support this claim.

  7. Posted June 2, 2011 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    If I ask that, I’d ruin the joke in Nichijou. If you’re laughing very hard in each episode what’s the point in asking that anyway because the show did it’s job for me at least.

    If you’re not laughing then why watch Nichijou anyway? The sole purpose of the series is to make laughs not for you to analyze what makes it funny then laugh.

    • Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      This!

      Nichijou has a really strange sense of humor. The closest anime/manga I can think of is Excel Saga, and even that isn’t a good comparison. The point of many scenes in Nichijou is to make the audience stop and think, “Wait, what the hell?” There is no punchline because there doesn’t have to be. It’s interesting to see the characters interact and it’s surprising when the scenes end… even though you know the punchline-less ending is coming.

      Hell, I don’t know how to describe this. I’d take Ahelo’s advice and stop watching the show if you find it dull. It’s really hit or miss.

      • mcm38
        Posted June 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        I think Nichijou might be a new genre of comedy.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

        The closest anime/manga I can think of is Excel Saga, and even that isn’t a good com­par­ison.

        Oh dear lord, watch more comedy shows. @MCM38, you too. You more so than Misaki.

        … new genre of comedy, Jesus fucking Harold Christ.

      • mcm38
        Posted June 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        That’s rude Anonymous. I said I was only thinking it might be a new genre.
        Overreacting like that, jeezus! Besides I don’t realy go much in the anime details. And I only watched 2 episodes of Nichijou till now. If it was fun enough to watch it’s good for me.
        AND THE BLACK CAT STILL RULES!!!!

    • Scamp
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      The sole pur­pose of the series is to make laughs not for you to ana­lyze what makes it funny then laugh.

      This line makes me cry

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:18 am | Permalink

        He has a point. Why would you cry about it? That’s as stupid as complaining about a joke you didn’t catch.

      • mcm38
        Posted June 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Think so too. A comedian doesn’t let his audience think about the jokes philosophy much. He just lets them laugh. That’s his job.

        But there you go again being all rude Anonymous. There is no reason to call other peoples opinions stupid out of the blue. I don’t remember your previous post being like this. I can only guess you had a bad day.

      • Posted June 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        I don’t need to think it all over why it is funny. Nichijou is not an easy series to review. But it did the job for me. It made me happy every week. And I think that’s a good thing. I don’t need to give it a rating.

  8. v
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I cry every time I click one of your images and it says “vlcsnap”.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      If you hover over the images the name should still appear

  9. mcm38
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Screw smut! Nichijou’s black cat is the best black cat ever!

    • romulus
      Posted June 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Hey, dont insult our goddess Kuroneko! Joke aside, Sakamoto rocks. First time I heard his deep not so cat-like voíce i lol’d.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      Sakamoto is way up there yes, when it comes to black cats. Though I’m not sure he beats out Daniel and the other high-ups.

      • mcm38
        Posted June 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Which anime is Daniel from?

  10. Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I mentally compared Norageki and Koi Sento to the Young Animator Training Project, and while I found the latter full of charm and imagination, Sunrise’s two shorts feel like generic exercises in genericness. Sure they’re experiments in full 3D animation, but why do the story concepts have to be exactly like something I’ve seen a hundred times before and executed so plainly?

    Colorful is a shmaltzy slice-of-life J-Drama that would’ve been better served as a live action film. There was no reason it had to be an anime. Natsume’s Book of Friends, Someday’s Dreamers, and Aria are s’lifes with supernatural or science fiction conceits, and Shinkai is an artist of uncommon visual splendor, justifying their suitability to animation. Colorful and Literature Girl are anime just for the sake of being anime, which bothers me because they don’t utilize any of the medium’s strengths.

  11. vcb
    Posted June 3, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I must say I’m a bit surprised to see Ano Hana is so below in the list and it sounds like you are hating it just for hating’s sake.

    • RogerMooreFan4Life
      Posted June 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      He’s said over and over that the just isn’t for him. It don’t think he’s saying it’s bad (although obviously I shouldn’t speak for him) so much as that it’s not the sort of show he enjoys.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      As Roger said, opinion, opinion, opinion. Even if he’s just hating for the sake of hating, it makes the blog more fun and personable. Also, it’s not like it’s good.

  12. Posted June 5, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    A few more episodes into Denpa Onna’s second arc, I’m abandoning my earlier argument that it’s about a shut-in reintegrating into society. Erio just went and got a job working for an even crazier person, and now she’s just being tolerated so everyone can hang out with her cousin. At this point’s just trying and failing to be Bakemonogatari. The sexy character designs (dat lipstick) can’t make up for a directionless, mediocre story.

  13. Kyubey
    Posted June 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Ano Hana is incredible. One of the best executed stories I’ve seen a quite a while.

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