Every season there are a small handful of shows I do watch, and a much larger number that I don't. The others just aren't interesting to me. But it's not that they actively repel me. Only rarely does a show come along which give me the "not even at gunpoint" reaction, but Watamote AKA "Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!" does.
And it keeps doing it because several of the other anime blogs I follow are doing the show. Enough so that I've decided to post a "never watch" for the first time since the end of 2010.
I haven't seen any of it and I don't want to. But based on what I've read, the show is about a girl in high school who is miserable. It's not that anyone is being mean to her, it's that no one pays any attention to her at all. She's intensely lonely, and full of resentment. Each week she evidently comes up with some idea for something to do that will get people to pay attention, and they never work.
Part of what repels me is the character art: she looks like a ghoul. But I'm also repelled by the idea that this is a comedy, and we in the audience are supposed to laugh at her misery and ineptitude. I'm sorry, I am not amused by watching people who are in pain, even if they are ridiculous people (as, apparently, she is). And I don't think there's anything even remotely amusing about loneliness. It hurts.
It strikes me that watching this show is a bit like rubbernecking at a car crash on the highway. I don't do that, and I don't want to watch this show.
The last sentence is pretty accurate, though some watchers seem to relate in ways I can't even fathom, most of the time.
Posted by: sqa at August 15, 2013 09:59 PM (2W8f4)
Similarly, I don't find stupidity funny, and so much of what passes for comedy these days is people being idiots. And I can't sit still for humiliation.
Posted by: Mauser at August 16, 2013 01:06 AM (TJ7ih)
Good decision, even I dropped it after 2 episodes and I hardly ever quit a show I start. It's moronic.
Posted by: Doyen at August 16, 2013 07:51 AM (nV9J4)
I too have a big problem watching people be humiliated. Watamote, in a sense, is worse in that not only is Kuroki completely socially retarded (I don't use the term "retarded" lightly, she quite literally has never developed social skills of any sort), she's a desperately unlikable person to boot. I have absolutely no sympathy for her character.
Sure, people often overlook her for the most part, but a few will perform acts of kindness towards her which she always misinterprets or doesn't recognize. Generally no one cares about her enough to consider whether her actions or appearance are embarrassing. She's terrible towards her brother, who could be considered a saint for even the bare tolerance he has for her existence.
It's quite depressing, actually.
Posted by: wahsatchmo at August 16, 2013 11:25 AM (r4uXE)
Yosuga no Sora set off my OMG detector just from the preseason description. As a more-or-less faithful adaptation of the original eroge, it has the hero scoring with every girl in sight.
In ep 11 he adds his twin sister to the tally. I somewhat rhetorically asked, "I wonder if weâ€™re going to get a 'nice boat' ending?" JPMeyer responds:
I canâ€™t imagine anything else at this point. The real question, I think, is who does the boating.
And how seriously boated he is afterwards. Surely one of those girls is going to turn yandere.
In general, I stay as far away from eroge adaptations as I can. The only one I think I've ever watched all the way through was Popotan, and that wasn't really an adaptation. They discarded the player avatar and tossed the entire original story. The only thing they kept was the character designs for the girls as well as the house that three of them lived in. The game's alien space ship became an image of magic taking place. Everything else was completely new. I think I heard someone describing it as "jacking up the license plate and replacing the car." (I have a vague memory that it was J who said that.)
Princess Lover was also originally an eroge, but they left out all the sex when they adapted it to anime. Anyway, I only watched about four episodes before giving up on it. (Later I went through the whole thing to take frame grabs for the top rotation, but I did that with the sound turned off and the subtitles disabled.)
This season also included "The World only God Knows", which was another I wanted to stay far, far away from. The basic concept is that there's a geek who happens to be a wizard at playing and winning dating games, and he gets recruited by an angel to use his profound seduction skills to win the hearts of real girls, because there are pieces of something-or-other in their hearts which need to be recovered. Or they are possessed by demons. Or some other contrivance.
The real hook is this idea that expertise in playing dating games somehow prepares you for real life romantic endeavors, and I found that idea utterly ludicrous.
Jessi found it really offensive, but she's a grrl and is offended by the idea that girls should be thought of as being so predictable. I found it offensive, too, because it insulted my intelligence. (No one understands girls.)
There's a kind of meta-level going on here. The reason this dork's skills work on "real girls" is that they're no more real than the ones in the games. They're just as much artificial creations of writers as are the ones in the games. He's moved from one level of unreality to another one.
But bad as that is, at least he isn't having sex with his twin sister. All together now: EEEEW! YUCK!
1Yosuga no Sora is pretty terrible except for the meido omake at the end of each episode. Those are great.
The World God Only Knows is a much better show, though I don't think you'd like it. I've found it entirely inoffensive because (a) none of it makes any sense and (b) Keima's vaunted girl-capturing skills consist of talking to the girls and not being a total jerk.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 14, 2010 04:03 PM (PiXy!)
I'd thought about blogging YnS, but I've been working on a Zettai Karen Children post instead. Never fear, I'll get my licks in. I've been watching it just for the trainwreck and/or nice boat.
As for TWGOK, the funny part is that his skills shouldn't work, but they do. Pixy pretty much summarizes it above.
Posted by: ubu at December 14, 2010 04:58 PM (GfCSm)
There is one eroge adaptation you liked... Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. It's pretty far from the originating games.
Posted by: Kayle at December 14, 2010 05:29 PM (o0hm6)
The real reason TWGOK sucks is that
in the end, it's utterly meaningless. After getting each girl to "Fall in love with him" (possibly resulting in a single kiss), the evil spirit is gone, her problems are gone, and SHE FORGETS EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED. So there's a giant red reset switch that makes everything meaningless. There's Zero character development, and nothing is gained.
I do kinda like the theme though.
And I disagree about Keima not being a jerk. So far he's TWICE used the tactic of aggravating girls into noticing him, maybe three times.
Like that works.
Posted by: Mauser at December 14, 2010 05:57 PM (cZPoz)
Kayle, it's true that Triangle Heart was an eroge. But the Nanoha series is about as closely related to that as the Popotan anime is to that original eroge.
They change Miyuki from being a cousin to being a sister, and they brought the father back to life, and the older brother, who was the lead in Triangle Heart, was a background character in Nanoha. I don't consider Nanoha to be an eroge adaptation in any meaningful sense.
From the reviews, I think Yosuga is going for each girl gets her own arc with its own continuity separate from the others, so no "nice boat" ending. (Amagami SS is doing something similar.) The twincest only takes place in one arc, kind of a bad end when he doesn't get one girl.
In TWGOK, despite the girls forgetting everything, doesn't Keima get some char development? I saw a page of the manga where he met one of the girls again and wished her well in an upcoming race.
Posted by: muon at December 15, 2010 01:55 AM (JXm2R)
"From the reviews, I think Yosuga is going for each girl gets her own arc with its own continuity separate from the others, so no "nice boat" ending."
This. I believe it's called an omnibus format.
Also, about TWOGK, it's obviously meant more as a comedy than a romantic drama. It's funny because his techniques don't make any sense, and sometimes he doesn't know what to do because the situation doesn't follow a dating sim's storyline.
Based on frame grabs, he's shown having sex with another girl at the beginning of the show (possibly a "in our last episode"). That girl was one of the two who walked in on the twins at the end of the show. The episode ends with everyone having shocked looks on their faces.
That girl (the childhood friend) is the one he capped in the last arc. The incest route branches off after their relationship begins and they've had sex a couple of times.
Mid-episode, after Haruka realizes his sister wants a physical relationship with him, he drags the girlfriend to a love motel <spoiler> and all but rapes her to get an image (of Sora masturbating while crying his name) out of his head.</spoiler>
The rest of my comment, I turned into a post at Bridgebunnies.
Posted by: ubu at December 15, 2010 11:45 AM (i7ZAU)
Argh. Brackets here, angles at my place. Sigh....
Posted by: ubu at December 15, 2010 11:46 AM (i7ZAU)
ef - A Fairy Tale of the Two was an eroge, and there was an adult version of To Heart.
Wouldn't the base strategy in games like Tokimeki be a good starting point for real life? Don't be a jerk to anyone, work on mutual interests, etc?
Posted by: muon at December 15, 2010 06:13 PM (JXm2R)
Ef first/latter tales were definitely eroge: Ef A Tale of Memories.
That's what minori publishes. 18+ rated. Even the censored versions
they got for the PS2 were rated 17+. No all ages version exists as of
Understanding girls is the same as understanding humans. Get one and you get the other.
The PUA community here in America (the pick up artist geeks who sort of
reverse engineered some tricks) created the "Game" or what I would call
some crude starting tools for manipulating common female responses in
the mating ritual. If you look around Youtube for Style or Mystery, you
might run across some of the videos they do.
Whether male or female, people respond the same to the same set of
social cues. There's nothing too dramatic about it. Isolate the social
cues that are common throughout and you'll get a common response. If
the situation applies only to females, then you change the parameters
for only females.
The brute force method is by logic and number crunching. Using a set
routine or opening line, with story telling, to attempt to generate a
personality result through brute force. It's not natural, certainly,
but con men and women have found it works well enough with practice.
And they were never educated in PUA or dating sim tactics to begin
with. They just noticed that whatever they were doing, worked, so they
kept on refining it. All the number and scenario crunching was solely
to get new people who didn't know it, up to a level that they could
reproduce similar results.
Which is to say, the theory of dating sims has been tested and
modified. Whether it generates a long term relationship or not was
irrelevant to the testers, as their primary goal was to pick up girls.
Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 20, 2010 07:32 PM (tUhkS)
One of the shows I will not be watching this year is "Super Robot Wars". It's based on an anime from a long time ago, or a computer game, or something like that. But as I look at the frame grabs, I'm instantly reminded of all the reasons why I don't generally like mech shows. Or at least the pure flavor of mech shows, the ones mainly driven by wish fulfillment.
For instance: why is it that if the pilot of a mech is a woman, then her mech will have breasts?
Wish I could remember where I saw it, but there was one show that mercilessly ridiculed the whole "Boob Missiles" thing.
Posted by: Mauser at October 03, 2010 08:17 PM (cZPoz)
Super Robot Wars is an odd beast. It's a series of video games, strategy-oriented, that started with someone asking, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if you had a game where you had all the mecha ever?" After what must have been the most unholy rights argument ever, SRW was born...
That was something like 20 games ago.
Generally the player character would be something they would make up for the weird, cracked-out, who-wrote-this-fanfic scenario that could justify a Gundam/Evangelion/Mazinger/Getter Robo/ten other series crossover, so that you didn't get into the argument of "great, now which guy do you make the main character?" Eventually Banpresto figured out that they had come up with enough original characters over the years that they could now make big crossover games with nothing but their original characters; thus Super Robot Wars OG.
Never really got into OG myself. The SRW games haven't come out over here and almost certainly won't (I'd heard that a previous effort to unsnarl the rights foundered on the rocks of my former employer, but I don't know that for sure). I played a couple in the original Japanese back when I was living next door to one of our translators, who is a huge fan from way back, and enjoyed the strategy elements, but the story was something I didn't stick around for, so I never got attached to the original characters. I was just there for the Eva/RahX combo attacks and the Super Dynamic Special.
So of course you wouldn't like it; it's not just everything you hate about mecha shows, it's like someone distilled the essence of Anti Den Beste out of them and packed a show full of it! ;p
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at October 03, 2010 08:53 PM (mRjOr)
Shows I'll never watch: almost anything from KyoAni
Kyoto Animation burst into the attention of R1 otaku with the release of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (released eventually in R1 as "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya"). KyoAni fanbois began to eagerly await later releases from them, and still do to this day.
But I'm not one of them. I bought the Haruhi DVDs when they were released, and there are parts of it which are pretty good. And parts which suck pretty badly.
Nothing else that KyoAni has released to date has been of the slightest interest to me. There have been the Key dating game adaptations: Kanon 2006, Air, and Clannad, and all their sequels and addenda. They're hanky shows. The goal is to hook the audience and wring as many tears out of them as possible. Not a kind of show that I like.
And they can be pretty manipulative, like taking a really, really cute little girl and giving her a fatal disease which, as Harlan Ellison once put it in a different context, "smites but does not wither."
There was Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. Problem was, it emphasized the parts of Full Metal Panic which I liked the least. And anyway, I'm not really much of a fan of that franchise. I watched the first series once, and haven't had any urge to watch any of it again, or any of the successor series, like KyoAni's Second Raid.
There was Lucky Star. It was another huge hit for KyoAni, and it has given us iconic characters. But when it finally came out on DVD, I bought the first couple and tried to wade through it. And I gave up after about 4 episodes. I tried; I really tried. It just didn't work for me.
So there's Haruhi. But the series is running again this year, with new episodes mixed into the continuity between the old ones. They finally got to the first of the new episodes, and I watched it. And it didn't work for me. The magic is gone. It was just more of the same. On first viewing it was pretty much fun, but by the next day it started feeling really stale. Since then, more new episodes have come out, and I haven't felt any urge to watch them either.
KyoAni has produced a lot of shows which were very popular. It seems that the problem is just that they're not doing the kind of thing I like, and I don't expect that to change any time soon. So these days I'm always interested in new shows from J.C. Staff, and very interested in any show from Studio Fantasia. I'll even be curious about new shows from Gonzo. But announcement of a new show from KyoAni gets a yawn from me.
UPDATE: Oh, and there's K-On. Yet another show which was a big hit, but which doesn't even slightly interest me.
I 90% agree with you. Haven't watched the new Haruhi yet; I'm waiting for a few episodes to accumulate. But I bounced off Lucky Star and Kanon and couldn't even face the other sad-girls-in-X shows.
With one exception: K-On! It's wonderful. Oh, it's not Great Anime, but it sure is a lot of fun.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 07, 2009 04:58 PM (PiXy!)
Ufotable is often good (2x2 Shippuden and Manabi). Too bad their capacity is 1 show in 2 seasons. GONZO is dead for me however. I will take a perverse pleasure from your inevitable disappointment with Saki's ending.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 07, 2009 05:06 PM (/ppBw)
I agree about the magic being gone. Their art isn't even that good any more. Production I.G. kicked their butts up and down the table with East of Eden. Shaft laid down the law with Natsu no Arashi. And frankly, both were two of the best shows I've seen in a few seasons, for reasons that had nothing to do with art.
But KyoAni has other sins to answer for, such as making Endless Episode, er, Summer, a 3-parter. I could see 2, though it struck me as a bit awkward. But three? Did all the time cut out of the new DBZ get inserted into Haruhi S2?
I just couldn't get into K-on, I wasn't going to put up with another tear-jerker after Kanon (one was enough, thank you) and Lucky Star was just too pointless, even if I did like Akina the bipolar idol.
Bleh. So whatever happened to that awful spinoff of the Tenchi franchise we were all panning, anyway?
As long as Shinbo is working for Shaft, I'll perk up and pay attention to their releases too. I haven't watched Bakemonogatari yet, and early reports don't look too promising, but I'll at least give it a chance.
I am not sure where SHAFT and Shinbo go in my book, so I didn't mention it in the previous comment as long as we gang-pile against KyotoAni. Hidamari was nice, but ruined by cheapness. ef made a big impression, but it's controversial for some things (is the payphone scene overlong?). Arashi never went past its source, too bad.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 07, 2009 07:00 PM (/ppBw)
The way the last episode ended, it looks like Endless Eight is a 4-parter.
The loop will end when Kyon asks for help with his homework.
As to why KyoAni has done it this way, couple reasons. They can show off by not reusing shots. Do something unexpected by the fanbase, cause who would really do 4 episodes when this type of story is normally done in 1 or 2. Try to create a sense of deja vu and dread in the audience like what was being felt by the characters. But most importantly
it subtley shifts the focus onto Yuki, moreso than in the original short story. After observing Haruhi for nealy 600 years, and remembering all of it, you'd go crazy and want to make her disappear, too. There's just one huge problem with doing it this way: It's gets boring to watch very quickly. Groundhogs Day had this same problem, and that had Bill Murray to help it.
As for K-On, it felt like I watched the same episode 12 times. Catchy OP, but I've seen greater character development in a Joe Blow comic.
Posted by: John Smith at July 07, 2009 07:21 PM (sDvZi)
Having said that, while there's not a lot of character development in K-On! (it's not that type of show), Mio and Yui at least start to mature and recognise their own capabilities. Tsumugi less so, because in many ways she's already the most mature of the four; Ritsuko less so as well, because hey, she's the drummer.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 08, 2009 03:24 AM (PiXy!)
KyoAni is hit and miss for me. I liked Kanon 2006 quite a bit. The protagonist, Yuichi, was a really decent guy (loved his wicked sense of humor) and the stories were good. The only problem I had with it was that the best storyline was the first one, and even though the others were pretty good, they couldn't measure up. Clannad was pleasant enough, but Clannad After was unwatchable. I'll usually check their stuff out, but I will abandon it without a look back if the first couple of episodes don't hook me. Steven's rule about love comedies/harem comedies only being as good as their protagonist is "together" is a pretty reliable one. I have what I call the "beer rule" -- Would I want to go and have a few beers with the guy? Speaking of which, I watched the first episode of Natsu no Arashi and fled screaming. The kid was an obnoxious little dick and the story stank of "Doraemon ripoff." Luckily, I learned the real first episode is #2, and once I watched that I enjoyed the rest. Why they did that lame "first episode" is beyond me. And Pixy, no picking on drummers. We're not all like that. Although.... Q: What is a band? A: A bunch of musicians...and a drummer.
Posted by: Toren at July 08, 2009 04:45 PM (T7Qzk)
Re: Natsu no Arashi: Hajime is all that. He's 13 years old, and a bundle of hormones, as well as full of stupid ideas of what "macho" is. There's one lame episode where his density approaches neutronium. Remember the narration though -- it's not omnipresent, but this is the story as told by Hajime as an old man, and he's pretty clear that he was a dumbass back then, though he is a bit wistful.
Despite (or becauseof) that, the show works, and works well, even when it suddenly turns semi-dark in a couple of episodes. YMMV, and some folks may have problems with the portrayal of the US here as a country that indiscriminately drops firebombs on cities. (Which, as it happens, we did.)
The last episode will play off the first, as well as being a ridiculous and absurd fanservice special. I mean come on... a serious discussion of time-travel paradoxes, while scantily-clad women are striking sexy poses? What more could any science-fiction fan ask for?
It just hit this week as a boxed set. But it won't be on my to-buy list. Here's what ANN says:
Takaya Ohgi is just a typical high school guy who wants nothing more than to protect his best friend and live a normal life. Enter Nobutsuna Naoe, an older man who informs Takaya that he is in fact the reincarnation of Lord Kagetora. Naoe, himself a possessor, awakens Takaya's abilities to exorcise evil spirits and fight the Fuedal Underworld. While most possessors remember their former lives before being reincarnated, Takaya does not. Naoe is thankful for this, considering his passionate and abusive past with his Lord Kagetora. As Takaya improves his abilities , he also begins to remember what Naoe did because of his love for him. Meanwhile the dark forces of the Hojo and Fuma clans begin their attack as the Fuedal Underworld descends upon the living world.
So it's Ikki Tousen, sort of, without any girls, but with yaoi. Eewww! Ick ick ick...
I'm a big fan of Dragonball Z. I make no apologies for that. Everything bad that everyone says about it is true, or nearly everything, but I like it. It's slow, and packed to the gills with filler, time wasters, and money savers. But I've gotten to know the characters, and there are pleasures to be had from it. And the powers everyone has are cool. It's fun to fly and toss energy blasts around; I wish I could do it.
There are also characters in it I've come to like a lot. I like Piccolo, for instance. I like Vegeta. I like Krillin. And it's fun to watch Gohan grow up over the course of the series. At the beginning he's 4 years old. At the end he has a 4 year old daughter.
Why would I want to watch Naruto? What does it give me that DBZ doesn't give me better? Well, there are more girls in Naruto. That's it. But the fights aren't as spectacular, and frankly, the characters don't intrigue me.
It's another interminably-long series which shows no sign of ever ending. If there's any kind of long term plot, it doesn't seem to be showing any sign of trying to come to a conclusion.
What's it about? Well, a bunch of trainee ninjas, apparently. The title character is a punk, and apparently he's an incarnation of some sort of evil spirit. Or something like that.
What I gather is that the entire series is one big exercise in "My Kung Fu is Stronger than Yours". That was a major theme in DBZ, but I don't really need any more of it from another series.
What is there that would make me watch it, then? Well, there's Temari. She has the same voice as Nayuta from Shingu. But she arrives late, and she isn't a major character. I gather there are a few other good looking women.
But a fan service show this ain't, and if I want to watch bodacious babes doing kung fu, I'll wait for Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny. (Coming soon, from a Media Blasters near you!) There's not a girl in Naruto who can stand up to Kan'u Unchou, in a fight or in a swimsuit.
There's either something really right, or something really wrong, with this series. It seems to have created its own militant fan following, known to disrespectful outsiders as "Narutards". It's like Star Wars and Star Trek in that regard. Even DBZ didn't inspire that kind of thing.
As regards "massive ignorance", Pete misses the point of this series of posts. Of course I'm ignorant about the various series described in them. I'm explaining why I treasure my ignorance about them. That's why they're all titled "series I'll never watch".
It's goofy shounen fun, that's all. I read the manga here and there, but don't really keep up. (It does have the distinction of having the fastest manga release EVER in the US... at one point they released nine volumes in three months.)
The show's fans take more flak than normal because they're a little easier to identify than previous types of shounen-show fans; particularly with those headbands being -everywhere- at a convention.
Oh, and Narutard-ism has actually claimed a victim, which is kind of depressing... kid got himself buried in a sandbox trying to become a sand ninja, and suffocated. (sigh)
I can't make myself pick at it. I mean, the main character is a ninja wearing a fluorescent orange jumpsuit. They ain't even trying...
I read about that kid. Damned pity, but you'd think that ten year olds would know better.
The whole ninja business seems wrong. That's not what ninjas are about, based on what I know. As you said, there's the neon orange suit, for instance.
But ninjas are first-and-foremost assassins. They're not about fair fights against a worthy foe, they're about quick-and-dirty sneak kills against people they don't even know, on commission, for money. Ninjas are hit men.
And I bet the series doesn't even dwell on that aspect of it. No missions, no training of that kind, nothing.
One of the Charactors is expressly described as an assassination specialist (This being one of the guys expressly in charge of training the hero). The training system they use starts out with trivial tasks and works the way up to assassination. As of yet, they haven't really assigned any assassinations for pay to any of the younger charactors and showed it 'on screen' in the manga. Some of the younger charactors that have likely done some of that off screen, and one of them finally seems to have
killed his older brother which was a long term goal from early in the story. The series may be finally winding down, as all of the pieces seem to be on the field for a finale.
Madara, the man who sent the the demon to destroy the village of the heros, is having his (World Domination) organization hunted by the good guys. (Said demon being sealed inside the hero, and source of his freakish powers and sad background)
The younger ninjas go on missions, and sometimes people end up dead as a result. There is training, some of it in techniques especially for assassination. Whether that counts is likely subjective.
My under standing is that Dragonball had a fairly strong following in the west considering the size of the anime market there at the time. I think Naruto just fills the same niche now Dragonball did then. I think I'd rather watch Dragonball Z, but I do want to see how Naruto ends, and I might find the Naruto Anime worth watching someday. I do know that the one time I had access to cable, something about the english voice actors rubbed me wrong.
Regarding the Orange jumpsuit, the hero apparently spent his childhood trying to get attention. If he survives to grow up, presumably he will adopt saner procedures.
Steven, I do agree that it doesn't seem to be your thing. (perhaps Grim and gritty, Gizmo Obsession (Jutsu), possible Dead girls, Incomplete, possible Angst, likely Blood and Gore) Two possibles on the interest meter, but I wouldn't have any real clue due to not having seen the anime and not being you. I like the sketch the mangaka did supporting the war on terror I saw somewhere.
Posted by: PatBuckman at March 16, 2008 06:49 PM (nHxTS)
What PatBuckman said, basically ( not watched the anime, but have read the manga a fair bit ). He didn't mention it, but it also suffers badly from author fixation on one particular character, to the detriment of everyone else who *isn't* an ineffective whiny emo boy. *cough*
Posted by: metaphysician at March 16, 2008 07:05 PM (9Lztf)
And I bet the series doesn't even dwell on that aspect of it. No missions, no training of that kind, nothing.
It flirts with that aspect on occasion (particularly in the earlier parts), and
all the characters are shown to be willing and able to kill (even if
the story goes to ludicrous lengths to keep any of the three main
characters from actually killing on screen).
My personal opinion is that it's a fascinating, well-designed world
with a great batch of characters; the first arc/season drags on a
little long and is a tad rough, but the rest of "Part 1" is very strong
(with the exception of the - deliberate - sidelining of one of the main
characters). Sadly, after the first arc or so of "Part 2" I thought it
started going downhill very fast, and I no longer really follow the
Posted by: Aaron Nowack at March 16, 2008 07:06 PM (AFfUz)
6t also suffers badly from author fixation on one particular character,
to the detriment of everyone else
Seconded (although without the derogatory language, as when he's not taking over the story I think the character in question is a good one ), and a large part of why I think the series went downhill when it did.
Series I'll never watch: Kashimashi, Girl meets girl
I don't know what this fascination is that the Japanese seem to have with gender-bending. Kashimashi -- Girl Meets Girl is one of the more extreme examples of it.
There's a shy guy. He falls in love with, or gets a heavy crush on, a girl and finally works up his courage to "confess" to her -- only she says no. So he hikes up a mountain, and a deus ex machina falls on him, and turns him into a girl. (Based on the character art, the alien didn't skimp on the chest.)
He She returns to his her home and starts living life as a member of the opposite sex, and tries to pick up his her love life where he she left off.
Gad. I don't know how the plot develops from there, and I damned well don't want to find out. What I know is that this is shoujo-ai in drag. It looks as if the core of the series is a yuri love triangle. Eeew!
UPDATE: Not that I have anything against yuri, mind. What I "have against" is shoujo-ai, plus the sneaking suspicion that the alien may not have fully completed the job. Hermaphrodites are just not my thing.
Based on hints I've seen, that was the case with the manga Pretty Face, where the gender-bending was done by a mad scientist. I keep expecting that one to get turned into an anime. I wonder why it hasn't happened yet?
Regarding Kashimashi it is what it says it is, Hazumu is made a girl thru and thru. It is a love story at its core but it's also an exploration of the changing relationships due to the change in sex. Especially on the female childhood friend who was in love with the boy who's now a girl.
Posted by: Doyen at March 13, 2008 09:08 PM (99V/z)
I have no idea why people think a guy in a dress is innately funny. I
mean, it's not offensive to me or anything, it's just whenever I see
one of the Monty Python cast made up and dressed like a middle-aged
woman, I have no idea why the audience is howling with laughter.
think the whole gender bender thing in anime is just an extension of
that, the sort of thing you can do when the characters are drawn
instead of live actors. Again, I'm pretty indifferent to the use of
this particular plot device, there have been shows that I've enjoyed
that use gender bending and shows that I haven't enjoyed.
I read the first volume of Pretty Face. It's pretty tame, but the writing is pedestrian and I haven't quite been interested enough to want more.
Posted by: pflorian at March 14, 2008 04:41 AM (lI2L7)
'I have no idea why people think a guy in a dress is innately funny. I mean, it's not offensive to me or anything, it's just whenever I see one of the Monty Python cast made up and dressed like a middle-aged woman, I have no idea why the audience is howling with laughter.'
For some reason cross dressing is a staple of British comedy (I think it goes back to when only men could appear on stage). I grew up watching sitcoms and films where male characters would be unable to tell an obvious man in a dress from a woman, and find them attractive (even when they have a beard!)
I do rather enjoy a bit of gender confusion in anime (though I fear i have been broken by Minami-ke). I haven't seen all of Kashimashi yet, but I did watch all of Otome wa Boku whihc was amusing in places.
I feel your cultural upbring has a big part of what we find funny and, often I find stuff funny but not for the reasons indtended- eg there was a series of Renault car adds a couple of years ago, that featured a father and daughter. All they ever said onscreen was 'Nicole' and 'Papa'. (this got spoofed a lot at the time).
In Minami-Ke there is a show within the show called Sensei and Niyomia-Kun, who do the same thing. It makes me laugh because I remember those ads, which I doubt the writers have ever heard of.
Posted by: Andy Janes at March 14, 2008 06:03 AM (sObV1)
The Japanese have never really understood Catholic nuns. It's a visual trope that shows up all the time in anime, not to mention being a big-time fetish, but characters who are nuns don't act the way I think of nuns as being. For instance, in Petite Princess Yucie the character Arc, a handsome rogue, makes a pass at a nun in one episode. She blushes and smiles and acts in a way that suggests she might be willing to respond, were it not for the fact that everyone is busy. She certainly doesn't act as if his comment was out of line.
Not in any Catholic church I've ever known about.
No show typifies that disconnect better than Chrono Crusade. The primary characters are Sister Rosette, a 16 year old nun, and Chrono, apparently a tame demon who works with/for her, though later in the series it's revealed that the relationship between them is more complicated than that, and darker.
Sister Rosette is simply too gorgeous and sexy to believe. Not to say that girls that good looking don't become nuns -- it does happen. But their habits don't look like the one Sister Rosette wears, and sure as hell don't emphasize their figures the way hers does. That isn't a habit, it's a fetish costume.
She wears a lot less than that in a few cases later in the series, or so I understand. Fact is, she's a fan service object in this series, which is a bit icky. But that's not the biggest reason I don't want to watch this.
The real problem is that having spent 23 episodes showing us this young, gorgeous, vital, enthusiastic girl, and doing their best to get us to know and love her,
they kill her in the last episode. Part of the series concept is that Chrono can become much more powerful, but only by consuming some of Rosette's life energy, which doesn't regenerate. By the end of the series they've used it all up.
I bought the first DVD of this series, and I think I watched two episodes of it. The basic disconnect regarding nuns turned me off and I didn't go any further with it. Probably just as well, because it's fundamentally a horror series, and I never do very well with those.
Pity; it's yet another series where Chiba Saeko has a major role (as Azmaria).
In fairness, this is a country where a lot of people have difficulty keeping the difference between Santa Claus and Colonel Sanders straight.
Rosette didn't want to become a nun for the usual reasons, not even in that rather peculiar Order. Why she joined, why she made her deal with Chrono, and why the Order tolerates them are all key plot points. As for the ending, it was pretty much inevitable once all those points were introduced. I'd have preferred a lighter story, but alas.
Posted by: J Greely at February 24, 2008 05:55 PM (2XtN5)
You know, I always wondered whether Chrono Crusade had anything to do with Chrono Trigger. . .
Guess the answer is "not in the slightest."
Posted by: metaphysician at February 25, 2008 05:24 AM (9Lztf)
I was working on that show when the layoff hit. Actually enjoyed it quite a bit - a darker ending doesn't necessarily deter me.
One of the things that I liked was that the show went in a different direction from the manga, and for once, I thought it did a better job. (That's not usually the case, of course.) The anime bad guys are actual demons, from actual Hell - and so it makes perfect sense that they're being fought by the church, and susceptible to divine power, all that jazz.
In the manga, the demons were... er...
space aliens. Leaving aside the cheeseball factor, you'd think this would be the sort of thing that a young demon finding himself living in a Catholic-ish church might see fit to mention to somebody! "Uh, yeah... we're not the nemesis..." Yet another case where the Japanese have trouble understanding how seriously Christianity takes itself...
Not that Gonzo was 100% on target themselves. One of the extras "explaining" Mary Magdalene essentially casts her as #1 of Jesus' "many women"...
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at February 25, 2008 11:00 AM (LMDdY)
I'm surprised you actually gave the first DVD a shot, unless perhaps you hadn't heard about the dark ending before grabbing the disk.
Up through about episode 21 or so it was actually quite a fun series to watch. When it turned, though, it really turned. Still, even though the ending is the opposite from the way they'd led you to believe, I thought it was well done. Very sad, but well executed at least.
Posted by: astro at February 25, 2008 03:24 PM (RXNsB)
Peach Girl is about an average high school girl, Momo Adachi, who everyone thinks is a beach bunny / slut because of her tanned skin. The actual reason she is so tanned is because she was on the swim team and tans very easily. She likes a boy, Toji, who she heard only likes non-tanned girls. This causes her to question who she is and have low self esteem. She spends a lot of time trying to remake herself into the girl she believes he wants. However, she has a friend, Sae, who likes to go behind Momo's back and make her life terrible, mostly by trying to take Toji away from her. All the while there's another boy, Kairi, who is in love with Momo.
25 episodes of angst. That's what this says to me. I'd rather die.
For crying out loud, the scheming witch to pretends to be the friend of the angst-ridden heroine? Why didn't they call her "Iago" and be done with it? The Funimation site for the series has episode summaries, and I looked at a few. This sucker may set an all new record for hanky count.
Gad. It's a pity, because Momo (the heroine) is voiced by Chiba Saeko. After enjoying her performance as Akina in UFO Princess Valkyrie, I've been hoping to find something else by her that I could enjoy as much. But this series sure as hell isn't it. (And she was wasted in Ichigo Mashimaro, because she got stuck with the role of Chika.)
Come on, Strike Witches! She's going to star in that one. She plays the stern squadron leader, with the eyepatch. (Unless Gonzo recasts it.)
School Days is yet another anime based on an H-game. A guy likes a girl, but she doesn't notice him. His friend, another girl, says she'll help him get to know the girl he likes. So far, so good.
The only problem is that nearly everyone in the show is either a monster or a victim, sometimes both. These kinds of games usually have "good ends" and "bad ends". The Japanese language games will say, "Good End" or "Bad End" in English once you've finished playing. Sometimes Bad Ends can be really bad.
When they did the series, they decided to end it with nearly the worst Bad End the game offered, and among the worst in the entire genre.
The guy ends up stabbed to death, and then decapitated. One of the two girls ends up killed with a cleaver, and then is disemboweled. The other girl runs away with the guy's head, and is shown at the end laying down, cuddling it.
In between there are a lot of other wonderful things happening, like rapes.
Oddly enough, people who have watched the show say that what happened approaches being a "good end" mainly because the guy is such a despicable bastard and they hated him so much that they wanted to see something like that happen to him. Perhaps so. But I'm not even slightly curious, and won't be watching it.