October 06, 2015

Yozakura Quartet Hana no Uta -- through ep 7

This should could have ended up being really dark, even outright horror. But they are tossing in just enough fan service and sight gags to keep it somewhat light.

Now this is what I call a "railgun"!



And... what is she shooting?

There's a lot of exposition and backstory here, but they're doing a really good job of revealing it slowly without bogging down the story. As of ep 7, we've passed a crisis but there's another, larger one looming.

This story has been told several times in several series. In this particular one, "quartet" is inherited but makes no sense. There are six major characters involved in fighting for the town, and at least another four doing close support, two of whom are gods. (This is the second series where I've heard the word tochigami.)

Of the main six, only one is a human male. Nominally he would be expected to be a harem lead, but this isn't a harem show -- which is fine with me.

This was a point where I thought the show was about to get really dark:

But it turns out OK.

I have no idea whether the other series in this canon are any good, but I'm really enjoying this one.

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October 05, 2015

Relics and fossils

I decided to dig out a few old series to see what I thought of them.

First was K-On. It's hugely popular with fan artists, needless to say, and its been a meme ever since it came out, so I decided I should find out what it really is.

I managed to finish the first episode, with large amounts of skipping, but migod it ain't for me. Jeeze; I was cursing at the end.

So next on the list was rewatching Macademi Wasshoi. It's been years since I last watched it, and I had forgotten how good it is. It doesn't really have a series-level plotline, but it does have a theme:

Next on the list is Yozakura Quarter. This is a show I keep meaning to watch but never got around to it, so today I found a round tuit and downloaded this series. Episode 1, coming up.

UPDATE: ...And... it isn't bad. It isn't bad at all. Several kids with super powers who are also interesting characters and don't come off as tropes, a relatively light-hearted story (so far) with a lot of action. I really enjoyed it. I wonder if it will stay like this?

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JK Meshi -- ep 1


Why does this exist?

It's another 3:30 short. And I'm sure it was done in Flash. It's some of the worst animation I've ever seen out of Japan; it probably took one guy about two days to create all the animation. As to the characters, and the writing, and the voice acting, it's all at the same low quality as the art. Everyone involved in this ought to feel ashamed.

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October 04, 2015

Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan -- ep 1

This is a complete waste of time.


Except maybe as a source of cheesecake. But since the episodes are only 3:30, it's hard to see how they can pack very much of that in it.

It isn't really worth describing the plot, to the extent that it has one, but a couple of pictures:


That's Hakone-chan, the spirit of the hot springs, dealing with Our Hero, classic romcom nebbish. He's wearing glasses. (As I said one time, "If a girl in anime wears glasses, it means she's a volcano of passion waiting to go off. If a guy wears glasses, it means he's a dork." So this one is a dork.)


He gave her a hot bun as an offering but she wants more, so he's taking her to get more when they run into the girl he has the hots for, "Haru-nee". He prayed at the shrine for help getting closer to her.

And then some stupid stuff happens.

The OP includes four other cute girls and one ghost, so you can make your own guess as to what it's about.

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October 03, 2015

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry -- ep 1

This was actually pretty good. Nothing astounding about it, yet, and a lot of romcom tropes to be sure, but there's spirit in it, life. And It's growing on me.

Our hero is Ikki Kurogane. In the school his rank is "F", which means he's flunking. His nickname in the school is "The Worst". But he isn't sullen or resentful; he is upbeat and cheerful and he's working his best to be as good as he can be, even though he has next-to-no magic. He attends a school in Japan for Magical Knights, so his lack of magic is a serious impediment.

Stella Vermillion is a princess of a foreign land whose magical power ranks "A". She has decided to attend this school, for reasons which come out later. The school headmaster assigns her to share Ikki's room.


Boy meets Girl, who has a spectacular figure and exquisite taste in lingerie. Shortly thereafter she powers up and is about to try to kill him, when the headmaster shows up to inform them both that they've been assigned as roommates.

Well, Stella ain't happy with that, and to settle the whole business they are going to fight a mock duel, using something like the rules and magical protections used in the InterMiddle championship in Nanoha Vivid.


The match is announced and a crowd shows up to watch it. Can't you just feel the excitement?


Given Ikki's reputation, and his nominal rank of "F", Stella assumes it will be an easy win. But she finds herself struggling, so she eventually decides to haul out her magic and become a supersaiyajin.



It isn't really a spoiler to reveal that it doesn't help, and that she loses. That was pretty much a foregone conclusion.


So the two of them come to an accomodation and agree to be roommates.


Stella had a talk with the headmaster about Ikki, and her main reaction was that categorizing him as "F" was blatantly unfair. The headmaster tells her that the problem is that the evaluation algorithm isn't tuned properly for someone like Ikki, because it only evaluates the ways in which Ikki is weak, without giving any credit for the multitude of ways he's actually really good.

When Stella first arrived, she told the headmaster that the reason she was there was because she was constantly put in a box back home, a box labeled "genius", and couldn't free herself from it to try to work to improve herself. That seems to be why the headmaster assigned her to Ikki as a roommate. She tells Stella that she should try to learn from him.

This is a harem show and in this first episode we met at least two other girls who are probably going to end up in the harem, but it's clear that Stella is the first girl, and the others are just going to be complications.

And I'm intrigued. There's plenty of potential here for this show to go completely off the rails, of course, but there's also potential here for a really good series.

The best thing is Ikki. He isn't a Marty Stu but he isn't a potato-kun either. He's just a really nice guy who is doing his best to overcome some serious failings, and trying to make himself as good as he can be. Ikki isn't competing with anyone else and he frankly doesn't care what anyone else thinks about him, which is why his nickname of "The Worst" rolls off him without leaving a mark.

If they maintain that, and don't descend into idiotic romcom tropes, it could end up being pretty good. Stella is giving tsundere vibes and the best thing would be for that to fade out, though I suppose that's too much to hope for.

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry gets a tentative thumbs-up.

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October 02, 2015

Hackadoll -- ep 1

Our first reject of the season is Hackadoll. The only good thing is an example of red half-rim glasses. (Or pink, anyway.) It's 7:30 episodes, about one third of which is taken up by the OP and ED.


Our three hackadolls are up in cyber-heaven or whereever unloved programs go to wait for assignment, along with their boss who cusses them out for being useless failures.


Then our victim downloads the Hackadoll program into her phone, and they show up.




They try to find some way to help our victim, and what they end up with is that she's an wannabe doujin artist. Here's some of her work:


So maybe the rest of the series will be about them trying to help her to do a yaoi doujin to sell at Comiket. Or maybe she'll kick them out, delete the program, and they'll go back to the karma farm to wait for another assignment. Regardless, they'll do it without me.

That's even despite the fact that Hackadoll #2's job seems to be gainaxing.


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September 28, 2015

Red half-rim glasses watch -- Isuca


Her name is Nadeshiko and she's a teacher, among other things. I downloaded this series just now, for the hell of it, and I've watched 4 episodes already. It seemed like a good candidate for plundering, and I think it'll be worth finishing. It's only 10 episodes anyway, and watching it isn't really painful.

But it sure is cheesy. No one will claim this one is high art. Much more, including lots of NSFW, below the fold.


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September 20, 2015

Shimoneta finally comes through

Shimoneta has always been a strange show, which I haven't been watching. (That's the one about the Porn Liberation Front.) The first episode was enough for me.

But I admit I've been reading the summaries that have appeared on various blogs, and my main conclusion is that the whole thing is a tease. Actually, I'm going to use a nasty word here:

It promises much and delivers little or nothing. Or so I thought.

Fapservice says they finally came through. In the ED of the last episode, the AT-X version shows whatsername fully nude with no censorship. They've got a NSFW frame grab here.

I kind of have the impression that the series was intended to be a commentary on Japan's censorship rules, which I know a lot of artists really hate. It forces artists to vandalize their own work.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 09:56 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 18, 2015

GATE -- Hello Bunny

In the "attention to detail" department, there's a cartoon character that keeps showing up all over the place in the GATE manga. For lack of a better term, we can call it "Hello Bunny", because it looks like a satirical take on Hello Kitty. I first noticed it as Risa's Twitter icon.


And her twitter account name is "RisaRisa", which is cutesy and completely in character. But I started noticing it all over the place. Below the fold...


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September 17, 2015

Bikini Warriors, a retrospect

I had dropped this because it was clear that it had no redeeming features, but I plundered it earlier this week for the top rotation, and that meant going through it. I downloaded raws so that I couldn't read subtitles even if I was tempted (I don't have enough brain cells left so that I can spare any to be destroyed by this show).

Having said that, a couple of things that became blazingly obvious: there isn't any story. It's a joke series. Which isn't very funny, since the real purpose of it is to present fan service and advertise a series of figurines.

Like many joke series, the continuity resets at the beginning of each episode. For instance, in episode 9 the Magic User dies. But she's back again for the next episode. They added two more characters (i.e. they promised two more figurines) called "Hunter" and "Valkyrie".

They showed up in episode 8, but that's all; they weren't in ep 9 or anything after that (up to ep 11, which is where I stopped).


I suppose it isn't necessary to repeat this, but this series is complete trash. Having said that, the Magic User is definitely the cutest one. It's a shame they didn't give her more camera time.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 03:33 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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