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[In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
But it doesn't quite grab me ; it's not a genre I have that much time for, and it doesn't do anything particularly new or fun with it. And I don't feel like signing up for six months of it. It's a busy season where I need to make choices among the many "not loving it" shows, and this one doesn't make the cut for me.
Must say I'm finding it a rough season. Way to many shows that I'm finding OK or watchable and no standouts that would help me trim my watch list. And Tokyo Ravens was another 'watchable' show thats on the pile for me.
 
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Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
So, Week Two. Time to make some choices and thin off my watching list.

Kyoukai no Kanata doesn't make the cut. The second episode didn't do anything for me, and I found myself thinking the eight deadly words : "I don't care what happens to these people."

Coppelion, on the other hand, addresses many of the plot problems raised by the first episode, especially why there'd still be survivors so long after the fact, and why they would call for help only now. It does raises some further questions, but that appears deliberate. I'm tentatively still on board, for now.

But wait ! Some new shows are still coming out !

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My Mental Multiple-Choice Power Is Completely Ruining My School Romantic Comedy (Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru)
(10 episodes)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of a light novel series taking the piss out of dating sims.
(I believe the official nickname is "NouKome".)

Trigger warning : there are some actual jokes in this. Do not drink while watching.

Characters

Kanade, our generic high-school protagonist, is afflicted with a very bizarre condition : he'll randomly have seizures where multiple choices appear in front of him. (1) The choices are framed by over-the-top dramatic music and narrated by Jouji Nakata. (2) He MUST choose to avoid the pain. (3) The choices are most often between two equally silly and embarassing things.

Yukihira, the girl sitting behind him in class, is one of the few classmates of his that don't recoil as soon as he freezes, about to be doing something very stupid. That's mostly because she's a complete troll, and finds him entertaining.

Ouka is another of those few people he's on speaking terms with. Mostly because she's always ridiculously cheerful and doesn't seem to care about his antics. As the daughter of the CEO of some vast conglomerate, she's always smuggling in various samples for her classmates to try out. Today's batch includes blue pills for middle-aged women (why are you even bringing this to high school ?), an actual money-making machine (which looks even more illegal than improbable), and some bug-shaped candies (ingredient list not disclosed).

Most classmates refer to them as part of the "Reject Five", which implies there are two more oddballs yet to be introduced (they show up in the OP/ED sequences).

Their pint-sized teacher knows about Kanade's condition, but still takes every opportunity to troll him.

One more thing : those multiple choices aren't delusions. When Kanade chooses that "a pretty girl falls out of the sky" (instead of "my fat neighbour falls out of the sky"), then you can be damn sure a pretty girl is going to fall out of the sky (and onto him), physics be damned.

Production Values

While this doesn't have that much of a budget, there's some flair in the direction, and it looks good enough to sell the jokes. I especially love Yukihira's body language, as half her shtick wouldn't work otherwise.

The fanservice is more than mild, as you'd expect from this kind of thing. Still nowhere too outrageous, and the OP sequence where all the female cast do backflips without actually showing anything has to be seen to be believed.

Overall Impression

What. The. Fuck. Was. That.

If the premise isn't bizarre enough for you, then the early 4-minute TV reportage showing a montage of people endorsing the value of choice will probably do the job. (I was sold at "[famous Japanese historical figure] could have (1) assassinated [other famous Japanese historical figure] or (2) rolled around with a dolphin. He chose the first option, and history was made.")

I haven't laughed this hard while watching an anime series for a good long while. Some of the jokes will make you cringe, not all of them land, but there's such a rapid-fire string of them that it doesn't matter. Random absurdity with good comedic timing : it just works.

There's always the risk it may run out of steam before ending, but so far, so good.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Overall Impression

What. The. Fuck. Was. That.

If the premise isn't bizarre enough for you, then the early 4-minute TV reportage showing a montage of people endorsing the value of choice will probably do the job. (I was sold at "[famous Japanese historical figure] could have (1) assassinated [other famous Japanese historical figure] or (2) rolled around with a dolphin. He chose the first option, and history was made.")

I haven't laughed this hard while watching an anime series for a good long while. Some of the jokes will make you cringe, not all of them land, but there's such a rapid-fire string of them that it doesn't matter. Random absurdity with good comedic timing : it just works.

There's always the risk it may run out of steam before ending, but so far, so good.
The choices were just too random for me. I wanted them to be more in context with the scenes (like a choose your own adventure I guess). And good god that TV show went on too long. Still I'm willing to give it another go just to see new girl and see if the comedy improves. I don't expect it to. I kind of expect it to be another Cuticle Tantei Inaba. Supposed comedy that completely fails for me. Of course anime comedy rarely if ever works for me...about the only exception is Minami-ke.
 
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My Mental Multiple-Choice Power Is Completely Ruining My School Romantic Comedy (Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru)
That was really painful to watch. I mean, you're right, it's got a lot of funny jokes, but it's also got the main character getting put in awful, humiliating situations for no good reason at all. I'm going to give the second episode a shot because I like the premise, but I'm hoping the whole dating sim joke evolves into something more than rapid fire humiliation porn. Like, I don't know, maybe it could drive a couple of plots or something. (Don't even get me started on the teacher -- I've seen a wide selection of cringe worthy teachers in fan service series, but that little monster takes the cake.)
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I kind of expect it to be another Cuticle Tantei Inaba.
Different kind of humour, though ; Cuticle Tantei Inaba was very much of the "shout all the time" school of Japanese humour, which I have little time for. NouKome is more deadpan, and hits exactly the right spot for me. (Also, it's got different sources of humour besides the "choice" thing, which is always a plus.)


So, the first proper episode of Kyousogiga. It's basically an extension of the last 2012 short, giving all the backstory behind Mirror Kyoto and the Trinity in charge of it. And it's even more poignant than the original version, adding more depth to everything and everyone. It's an enthralling watch, which should reassure anyone wary from the hyperness of episode #0 : yes, this show can slow down a bit and actually explain itself. And it does it marvellously.
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
I just got around to watching KILL LA KILL (which totally deserves that emphasis, much in the same way as BRIAN BLESSED) and I'm sorry I didn't earlier.

...this is a hyperkinetic jazzed-up tribute to Go Nagai's Kekko Kamen, isn't it? In much the same way, in fact, that Gurren Lagann was to his Mazinger Z and (sort of his) Getter Robo.

EDIT: And if that's true it suggests that someday they might do the same thing to Devilman and I WANT TO BE THERE WHEN THAT HAPPENS.
 
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Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
More second episodes !

KILL la KILL's animation budget seems to have sharply dropped after the first episode ; while it's a bit distracting, it's still as bonkers and fun as ever.

Nagi no Asukara is moving on faster than I expected on its prejudice angle. Not that the episode is without funny moments, either ; it strikes a nice balance between that and the melodrama.

Golden Time spends some time on humanizing Koukou, which was really needed. Also, drunken college frat girls, which is a lot less fun for our protagonist than you'd think.



And now, the last two major shows of the season...

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Samurai Flamenco
(noitaminA, 22 episodes)

What's it about ?

Wannabe superheroes.

Characters

Hazama is a young man who was fortunate enough to start a career as a popular model, but that's not what he really wants to do. No, his true calling is to be the superhero SAMURAI FLAMENCO!, modeled on the sentai heroes of his youth. Do note that this guy has no superpowers whatsoever : he just puts on a silly costume and patrols the streets of his neighbourhood at night to tell off drunken salarymen, jaywalkers and rowdy middle schoolers. Who often proceed to beat the crap out of him, since it's not like he has any fighting skills.

Goto is our point-of-view character : he's a beat cop who happens to stumble on Hazama after a badly-timed costume change. Since he was off-duty at the time, he doesn't bring him in immediately, and takes the time to listen to the guy's story. While he facepalms regularly at the moron, he's not entirely unsympathetic ; he begrudgingly admits to liking sentai shows too, and presumably this had a hand in him becoming a cop. Of course, he'd rather Hazama channeled his thirst for JUSTICE! through non-vigilante and non-stupid means, but for now he's not turning the idiot over (and goes out of his way to bail his new friend out when he gets into too much trouble).

Notionally Goto has a girlfriend, but it's a long-distance relationship, and doesn't impede on the burgeoning bromance.

The OP sequence shows off a lot more characters (and the ED focuses on the so far barely present female cast), but this first episode is squarely about establishing the two leads.

Production Values

Very nice looking. The OP sequence promises some actual sentai-style action down the line, but that's for much later ; the "action" scenes so far solely consists of people beating SAMURAI FLAMENCO! up. But with lovingly animated detail.

Overall Impression

I had no clue what to expect of this show... but certainly not "realistic" superheroes. It's a pleasant surprise, though ; while a lot of the appeal may depend on how much you love sentai shows (because everyone involved in producing this surely does), but this is a lot of fun to watch. And it's a very polished first episode, perfectly establishing the premise and the two leads.

I'm genuinely curious about where this is going, as it should have enough time to develop its story properly. I'm onboard.

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Galilei Donna
(noitaminA, 11 episodes)

What's it about ?

"21th-century steampunk" is the best description I can come up with, however nonsensical it sounds.

Characters

Our central characters are the three "Galilei" sisters, apparently direct descendants of the historical figure :
- Hazuki wants to become a top-class lawyer, but is clearly dropping out of her law college.
- Kazuki is a high schooler whose main interest seems to be martial arts, and who hates interacting with her classmates.
- I'm not sure Hozuki even goes to school ; she spends most of her time tinkering in the basement. I love her jet-powered foldable scooter, which can somehow be transformed into a portable rocket launcher.

Mom spends a lot of time blathering on and on about the great legacy they're carrying, and failing to measure up to (not that any of them care) ; Dad is a lot more easygoing. You can see why they're separated.

Cicinho is a stylish and charismatic Italian villain who's after the Galilei inheritance (whatever that is ; Mom and Dad claim to have no clue) and kicks off the plot by having his MIB try and capture the three kids. After the first "subtle" attempt fails (Hazuki's saved by a college friend of hers ; Kazuki martial-arts her way out ; and Hozuki has a portable rocket launcher) and the 'rents call on the police to get some protection, he barges in with a lot more men and firepower, and captures them all.

Wait, not all. Hozuki manages to sneak into the basement, from which she launches a giant goldfish-shaped flying ship. Sure, Cicinho has a bigger flying ship, but the goldfish's got better weapons and AI.

The rest of the family have no clue what the heck. Neither does Cicinho, who exits stage left.

And it turns out that Hazuki's college friend/rescuer possesses an agenda of her own. Of course she does.

Production Values

Very impressive. Lots of CG for all the flying vehicles, but it's integrated into the main animation rather smoothly.

Overall Impression

Well, this is certainly a show that knows how to make an impression. But for all the storm and thunder, it's obviously going to be a story about a broken family reconnecting in face of adversity. While flying around the world in a giant mechanical goldfish.

I can get behind that.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Looking forward to your Pupa review. What a wtf concept.
For that, it would need to actually be come out. It's the one Fall show that still has no release date beyond "October". (But if they released a trailer today, presumably it won't be delayed till Winter.)
 
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