• Don't link to the video of the Christchurch shooting, or repost links to the shooter's manifesto.

[In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#1
It's Fall ! And it means a new slew of anime series are going to start airing in Japan. In this thread, I will be reviewing the first episodes of each new series as they come out. At least, that's the plan ; but hey, I've been doing this for nearly three years, and it's mostly worked out ; I must be doing something right.

You're welcome to discuss any of the new series here, provided you wait until I've reviewed them already (but I'm usually pretty fast anyway).

Note that I will be skipping :
- Most sequel series. It's usually pointless to review them, as in most cases either you already know what you're in for, or you should rather have a look at the first season instead. This means no full reviews for the likes of Kuroko's Basketball 2 or Magi - The Kingdom of Magic (I'll probably say a few words on them if I'm still watching, though). I will, however, try out series that look like reboots (such as the new Yozakura Quartet) or unrelated spin-offs (such as White Album 2, based on a series of dating sims that seem to be barely more related to each other than the Persona games).
- The few kids' shows that I just can't find any access to. (On the other hand, I WILL be reviewing the kids' shows I can lay my hands on.)
- Most OVAs, especially the many "extra episodes" from already existing series. And certainly no movies, as it's going to be ages until they come out in DVD/BluRay and become available outside Japan.

Be aware that most new series won't debut until the first two weeks of October (especially the noitaminA shows, which are going to be as fashionably late as ever). But there's the one show that decided to start early as a marketing stunt, so off we go.



Diabolik Lovers
(12 15-minute episodes)

What's it about ?

This season's token "otome game" adaptation : it's a well-defined genre where the female protagonist can romance a variety of boys.

Trigger warning : rape. Plenty of it.

Characters

Yui, our teenage female protagonist and audience surrogate. Her father has sent her off to live in this mysterious creepy mansion, without much of an explanation. There are hints that she may unknowningly be more than an ordinary teenage girl (at the very least, she didn't know she was adopted), but that's news to her. She has enough sense to try and run away (as well as phone for help) once she catches on what kind of place this is, but of course it's all for nothing.

The mansion is inhabited by six creepy prettyboys, covering the usual stereotypes : the angry one who casually punches walls, the childlike one, the one with glasses, the aloof one who seems to be in charge, the borderline rapist... Wait, scratch that : since those brothers are all vampires, they all take turns invading her personal space. Their casual ability to teleport makes it even creepier.

Production Values

This may be an effect of the reduced running time, but this looks quite good : it's got lots of atmosphere, and sells the spookiness of the setup all too well. The character designs aren't particularly original, but they're not offensively generic either.

Overall Impression

Are there any otome games that aren't about rape ?

Okay, there may well be, but this certainly aren't one of them. It takes all of three minutes for Yui to be assaulted, and the guys keep going at her throughout. No actual sex yet, of course, and I doubt there will be any, given the transparent vampiric metaphor. But there's no mistaking what this is all about. The characters are shallow and the plot a mere excuse for as many assaults as possible in the short running time.

It's a relatively pretty package, but there's no disguising that it will only appeal to a very narrow audience who enjoys this kind of stuff. I'm not part of them, so I'll pass.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
#2
It's Fall ! And it means a new slew of anime series are going to start airing in Japan. In this thread, I will be reviewing the first episodes of each new series as they come out. At least, that's the plan ; but hey, I've been doing this for nearly three years, and it's mostly worked out ; I must be doing something right.
Your reviews are much appreciated, Jhiday. As to Diabolik Lovers, I like to think you watch it so no one else accidentally does.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#5
It's true. I'm very glad you threw yourself on that show, Jhiday.
I had some inkling of what I was getting into (it's far from the first otome adaptation I try out), but I didn't expect it to be so unbearable.

The worst thing about Diabolik Lovers is that there's clearly some craft at work here : it looks nice, there's lot of atmosphere, the pacing is better than most visual novel adaptations, and you can easily identify with the protagonist, who behaves like anyone would in such a situation and shows no signs of Stockholm Syndrome at this point. But all this craft is focused into making the show as unpleasant as possible, in a way a shoddily-put-together series couldn't ever hope to do.
 

Fae

radiance of the moon
Validated User
#6
The worst thing about Diabolik Lovers is that there's clearly some craft at work here... But all this craft is focused into making the show as unpleasant as possible
Well, now, that reaction really depends on how masochistic and/or sadistic you are. I'm sure the people who create these stories find it quite pleasant. It may not be your cup of tea, but there's nothing bad about people focusing their craft on something that you, personally, do not enjoy. It's not even that uncommon of a theme - stuff like this is a big part of why vampires are so popular in the first place.

At the same time, being a romantic story clearly aimed at women, this is also the kind of story that frequently gets derided among "serious" critics. IMO, the world would be a better place if we had more stories like these becoming popular, alongside the big shonen series like One Piece and whatever else. Even if they might have problematic aspects (see: Twilight). And they don't all have to be flavored with violence and horror. Just some of them.

Anyway, I was intrigued enough by your description to watch the first episode, and while I am not precisely in the target audience (I would prefer six vampire sisters over six vampire brothers), I liked it. Since the first episode was almost entirely introductions, I'm not sure where it's going or if I'll like it as much later - but as long as the main character continues to be so terrified, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. :3
 

Korror

Storyteller
Validated User
#7
Your reviews are much appreciated, Jhiday. As to Diabolik Lovers, I like to think you watch it so no one else accidentally does.
At the start of every anime season, I salute to all those brave anime reviewers who watch the obvious bad shows on the off chance that they're not horrible.

They give of their sanity so that we are not tempted to risk ours.
 

Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
#8
Anyway, I was intrigued enough by your description to watch the first episode, and while I am not precisely in the target audience (I would prefer six vampire sisters over six vampire brothers), I liked it. Since the first episode was almost entirely introductions, I'm not sure where it's going or if I'll like it as much later - but as long as the main character continues to be so terrified, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. :3
Your reaction intrigued me enough to watch the first episode just out of curiosity. That genre generally makes me quite uncomfortable but, as a fan of Gurren-Lagann, I'm REALLY not in a position to criticise other people's tastes regarding media with problematic elements.

... Aaaand watched. It's very well made for what it is, something akin to a modern bodice-ripper. Oddly enough it doesn't make me as uncomfortable as Twilight even if it's deffinitely more of an horror story, the behavior of the brothers is not presented as romantic at all, and the lead has more common sense and personallity than Bella ever did.

Not something I'll follow, but it's well done.
 
Last edited:

Rabbit

Registered User
Validated User
#9
Yeah, because of your reaction I too was tempted to give it a look. The artwork and animation are excellent, possibly too good for the subject material. However by the time we had been introduced to the last brother I had a powerful desire to see her go Buffy on their asses.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom