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[In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#93
I don't even like baseball and that seems unfair to me. I mean, what about Golf? Golf is definitely more boring.
Yeah, but nobody ever makes anime about golf. (Cue old counter-example in 3...2...1...) On the other hand, baseball is very popular in Japan, so I keep running into it.

This talk of baseball is reminding me that I still have to watch Princess Nine.
That was a good way to make me care about a baseball show : make it about the characters' relationships instead of the actual matches, and ramp the melodrama up to ludicrous levels.

...

Dear gods : Five new shows premiering this evening, plus two sequels, most of them simulcasted. Thank gods this isn't a weekday.
Urgh, let's try and get this started.

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Actual dialogue from Magi - The Kingdom of Magic (well, nearly) :
- Hey, Sinbad, I notice you're deviously manipulating your new "friends" to try and build up a stronger power base ?
- Why, yes, Jafar. I used to share their naive enthusiasm, but this is the hard path I have now taken.
- And I've been completely on board with that from the start. So I guess our conversation was completely pointless, aside from outlining your agenda to the slow people in the back who hadn't understood what you were very blatantly doing in the three previous scenes.
Despite the heavy recap-itude, this is actually quite a decent episode. Especially as it leaves little opportunity for Yuki Kaji to angst pathetically about his impotence. Hopefully things are going to stay that way.

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I Wanna Be The Strongest In The World ! (Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Female Pro-Wrestling !

Characters

Sakura, our heroine, is the incontested MVP of her... idol group ? As a publicity stunt, her agency sends her to participate in a pro-wrestling class. (She was basically the only one willing to do it.)

Erena, her self-proclaimed rival, tags along to participate too, as she doesn't want to be left behind. She has a tendency to get in way over her head, biting way more than she can chew. In this case, this means challenging...

Rio, an actual pro-wrestler, who doesn't hide her contempt towards those idol bimbos. A natural heel, she makes a point of thoroughly humiliating Erena. Which provokes Sakura into defending her pal's honour, challenging Rio in an actual wrestling match. Rio finds it all very interesting... as does the audience : ticket sales for the match go through the roof.

To drive home how IMPORTANT all of this is, there's an actual news reporter following this event, with enough pull to have the front page changed when Sakura, thoroughly beaten by Rio (as if there was any suspense about that, training montage notwithstanding), proclaims that not only does she want a rematch, but she's going to become an actual pro-wrestler, for real.

Production Values

Warning : all the fights are filmed like porn. Insistant shots focusing on the wrestlers' lovingly-rendered crotches (or their boobs, if the camera has no other choice), ample moaning... I'm not kidding, this is NSFW. (But then, what are you doing watching anime at work ?)

Overall Impression

You know, the silly premise is kinda fun : ridiculous, sure, but sold by over-the-top performances. Unfortunately, the fights are completely unwatcheable, which puts a complete crimp on me enjoying this.

I'm not going to bother with this one.

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Glasses Club ! (Meganebu!)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

High-school boys doing cute things. While wearing glasses.

Characters

There's the goofball leader (who wants to build X-ray glasses), the cute short guy, the aloof slightly antagonistic one... oh, fuck it, they all meld together after a while.

Production Values

There are many attempts to spruce this up with dynamic, Silver Link-ish abstract effects. Frankly, it doesn't look half bad.

Overall Impression

Forget about baseball : this is what puts me to sleep. It's not just about not being part of the intended audience (how many shows are adapted from a female-targeted drama CD ?), I have about the same reaction to half the similar shows with girls instead. There's just something about this genre that sometimes makes it hard for me to concentrate on it.

There may be some decent jokes in there ; I don't know, I missed half of it, and I have no intention of trying to watch it again.

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Walkure Romanze
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Jousting !

Characters

Mio, our protagonist. Dumb as a bag of hammers, she's not a jousting knight. She's attending a completely different department from this jousting high-school, and is terrible at handling horses. So of course a series of contrived coincidences is going to put her on the saddle by the episode's end. (Well, nearly. But she's already been challenged to a jousting match.)

Takahiro is just about the only male knight we ever see. Well, except he stopped jousting after some accident, so for now he's just tending to his temperamental horse Sakura, and angsting about his future. He's completely oblivious to Mio's affections (despite all the effort she spends hovering around him)... and doesn't particuly care about the various top females knights wanting a partnership with him either.

Those include Celia, the Student Council President With Drill Hair, and Noel, her devious self-proclaimed rival.

Bertille is a lower grade of alpha bitch, cultivating her own reputation among her pair of hanger-ons... but being the first to run when Sakura comes charging in. Thoroughly humiliated, she challenges Mio (who just about managed to rein the horse in) to a jousting match.

Production Values

You know a show has its priorities straight when every single female knight wears a (very short) skirt. And panty shots are featured starting right from the OP sequence. Also, the horse keeps eating those skirts, which means that Bertille spends half her screentime in her underwear.

It's a shame, as the jousting sequences do look quite good ; those cell-shaded CG graphics are impressive.

Overall Impression

I'm watching this so you don't have to. I'm sure I've lost a few brain cells here.

... Actually, I enjoyed watching this one a bit. It's one of the dumbest shows in a season that's not really shined for its intellectual prowess so far, and the fanservice is kinda skeevy, but it makes me a lot less uncomfortable than the wrestling one. If I'm going to keep watching a guilty pleasure show, it may well be this one.

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Silver Fox (Gingitsune)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Slice-of-life story about a young shrine-maiden-to-be, and the fox spirit living in the shrine.

Characters

Makoto, our high-school heroine. She's been the heir to the shrine since she was 4, when her mother met an untimely death. She's nice, but a bit awkward ; her willingness to help anyone she's just met also means she has a hard time not being always late.

Gintarou, the fox spirit, has lived in the shrine for generations ; but while the 14 previous shrine maidens worshipped and feared him, Makoto has grown up to view him as a friend. There are often tensions, especially when she abuses his divination powers for the littlest cause, but they always make up in the end.
For the record, he's not the shrine's god ; he works as an intermediary with them. Also, this is a role that's usually performed by pairs of spirits ; his partner left a while ago, which is bound to be a plot point later on.

Makoto's father married into the family, so while he's the current priest, he can't see Gintarou. But he loves and trusts his daughter, even if he's often powerless to help her handle her gift and responsibilities.

Ikegami is a classmate of Makoto's who latches on her divination "powers" to fix her relationship with her boyfriend. While she's not quite happy with the initial results, in the end it all works out.

Production Values

Quite nice ; Gintarou's body language is animated with lots of care. It's a very pleasant-looking show.

Overall Impression

A nice, relaxed fantasy slice-of-life show that's very pleasant to watch. It's not doing much of interest yet (the core plot for this episode involves finding a lost cat), but we're obviously still in the setup stage, and there are many threads introduced here that sound intriguing.

This one definitely deserves some more attention.
 
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Rabbit Éclair

high in vital bunnytonium
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#94
A nice, relaxed fantasy slice-of-life show that's very pleasant to watch. It's not doing much of interest yet (the core plot for this episode involves finding a lost cat), but we're obviously still in the setup stage, and there are many threads introduced here that sound intriguing.

This one definitely deserves some more attention.
Oh, good. I thought it sounded good from the preview stuff, and was gonna be disappointed if not. ... and it sounds like you also needed one decent show in there to keep from going insane today.
 

Yo! Master

"Delicious"
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#95
I Wanna Be The Strongest In The World ! (Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!)

What's it about ?

Female Pro-Wrestling !
A good series featuring joshi would have been interesting *sigh*, be it a slice-of-life thing about actual wrestlers or one that treats wrestling as 'real'.

(How does it tackle the matter, by the way? That wrestling is totally legit fights or the predetermined performance it is in reality? From the synopsis i presume the former.)
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#97
and it sounds like you also needed one decent show in there to keep from going insane today.
Well, at least I had the third season of Phi Brain left last for some welcome intelligent entertainment.

... I'm not kidding anyone, eh ? But I still kinda like it. And it's fun how, through the magic of cast accretion, it's featuring what's basically a who's who in the voice acting field of the last decade. (Joining in as the new villains : Minori Chihara & Jouji Nakata !)

(How does it tackle the matter, by the way? That wrestling is totally legit fights or the predetermined performance it is in reality? From the synopsis i presume the former.)
In this world, pro-wrestling is totally real, yo.

(And that's another reason I won't be bothering with it.)
 

Bira

Registered User
Validated User
#98
I discovered something unfortunate about Kill la Kill yesterday - I can only watch episode of it once if I want to have fun. The awe from the over-the-top fights and the crazy camera shots gets a little bit smaller with each repeat... but the friggin' uniform never looks any less ridiculous.
 

Yo! Master

"Delicious"
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#99
I discovered something unfortunate about Kill la Kill yesterday - I can only watch episode of it once if I want to have fun. The awe from the over-the-top fights and the crazy camera shots gets a little bit smaller with each repeat... but the friggin' uniform never looks any less ridiculous.
Opposite reaction!

As i rewatched the episode & i hardly ever rewatch stuff (let alone, like, next day).

But the uniform will, indeed never look any less ridiculous...
 

redwulf25_ci

Clown Pope of Wushu
Validated User
In this world, pro-wrestling is totally real, yo.

(And that's another reason I won't be bothering with it.)
I understand how all the rest is problematic, and those are the reasons I won't be watching it, but why is a fictional setting treating Pro-wrestling like a legitimate athletic competition a strike against it in your book? One of the reasons I stopped watching wrestling for so long is that they seemed determined to stop keeping up any pretense that it was legit even on camera. Like I've said other places I found that as annoying as I would Korra and Asami complaining about the script the writers gave them for the new episode.
 
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