Anime fandom needs to upgrade how it talks about the visuals in an anime. When I see people talk about the animation in Ping Pong, it’s pretty evident that they’re not using the phrase correctly and are referring to something different. While I’ve got my nark on, we also need to upgrade how we discuss the writing in anime too, since ‘plot’ and ‘writing’ are two whole separate things. I’m hardly an expert on how anime production goes, but I can at least try to differentiate what parts of something I liked and disliked. I’m going to do that now with Ping Pong. Take notes children.
I’m actually a little staggered by Dai Shogun. This is an anime with big name talents behind it with as the writer of Cowboy Bebop Dai Sato. It has character designs that have clearly had effort put into it. It has an actual animation studio that can do animation on it with JC Staff. OK sure I think all JC Staff anime suck, but not like this. This is different. Something is going on behind the scenes at Dai Shogun. You don’t make an anime this bad and put it out thinking “yup, I did a good job there”.
While there are little niggly things about the first episode of Chaika that could only be called as “fucking anime bullshit”, I was quite impressed by the structure and storytelling capabilities of this episode. We establish our main character. He is a fighter of sorts who has fallen on rough times and is struggling to place down a full time job. We establish our support lead character. A mysterious girl with a coffin on her back. We establish the world they’re in, being a world of magic and unicorns full with guts. We establish there’s something ~mysterious~ going on with this girl. All of this with basically zero exposition. Congratulations on that Chaika. You might not have great dialogue but you told a story without needless exposition. Wish more anime took a leaf out of your book.
Halfway through this episode I was all set to make obvious jokes about how Palm suddenly became Bayonetta, but then this happened. Look, Hunter x Hunter. My emotions are frayed enough every week. Don’t do this to me. Don’t make Killua spill his guts about his fears and worries about Gon and cry his eyes out. I’m only so strong. This is too much for me.
The whole episode is one confrontation. At the end of the previous episode, we saw Palm emerge from the cocoon reborn as a Chimera Ant. This begs the question: Is she at all the same anymore? We know that certain Chimera Ants can regain at least some of their human memories given a strong enough push. Then Killua sees Palm, and what the narrator says next is the crux of the episode — and the arc as a whole.
“While her appearance hadn’t totally changed, Palm was clearly no longer the same person. And that greatly disturbed Killua.”
Akuma no Riddle probably has one of the least informative first episodes of the season. All we know is that our protagonist Azuma Tokaku transfers to a school with a suspiciously segregated classroom of mostly assassins to kill one of the students, the mystery of which student is to be murdered is quickly resolved because assassins can apparently detect each other by smell (and presumably also shit-eating grins), and then lesbianism blooms.
But it knows how to make up for a lack of content, and that’s by making profoundly unlikable people fun to watch for about twenty minutes of screen-time. Akuma no Riddle manages this by not caring about creating realistic personalities, in the process making the classmates contracted to kill Azuma’s target unabashed psychopaths with their own quirks and methods for trying to get close to their target. There’s a fair amount of subtlety at play, funnily enough, and that’s the last thing I would have expected. Read More
Don’t worry mate, if your volleyball career doesn’t work out, you can always pursue a career in scowling.
First off the bat, Haikyuu is the best animated thing this season. It was even better animated than the Bones anime original mecha series and that’s saying a lot. Some of this fluid animation is used for seemingly otherwise unremarkable scenes, like an incredibly well animated guy tumbling into a wall and falling into a funny pose. Great animation does not necessarily mean visually interesting, as every KyoAni anime should indicate. And yes, I prefer the look of shows like Jojo’s to Haikyuu. But it’s still very expressive and brings an extra layer of character to the series.
Say what you will about the first episode of Brynhildr in the Darkness, but it made me go through an emotional exodus the likes of which I haven’t had in years. Or rather it was a constant stream of bemusement, before the episode finished and the preceding stream of absolute dreck caught up with me. After that, I had a laughing fit the likes of which I haven’t had in months—maybe even years. I just witnessed a show that straddled the thin line between hilariously awful and unwatchable, both because of its content and that content’s delivery. And the best part is that there’s more. A word like amazeballs, bereft of anything approaching decency, might actually be the perfect way to describe it. Read More