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[In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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#32
Thread, revive !

Now, we're aren't getting any proper full-length shows until tomorrow ; for some reason, there's barely anything ever coming out on Tuesdays. But there's a couple of shorts that deserve at least a mention.

Miss Monochrome has a bizarre genesis. This is a virtual idol character, a bit like Hatsune Miku... except she's voiced by proper idol/VA Yui Horie (with some mighty autotune, if the end song is any indication). Anyway, this is a series of 4-minute shorts starring the character, trying to become an idol.
The good news is that, after a bit of a dull start, it manages to place some good deadpan jokes. It's genuinely funny, which is more than I expected of such a gimmick show.

On the other hand, I can't make head nor tails out of Super Seishyun Brothers, another series of 4-minute shorts starring (unlike the title suggests) two brother-sister pairs. It actually started airing a couple of weeks ago, but I was (unsuccessfully) waiting for a second episode to get translated to get a better feel of it.
So far, it's a gag show that barely raises a smile at all. It utterly failed to make it clear whether there's any premise beyond "here are four character with outlandish (but generic) personalities." I'm giving it a second episode just in case, but it looks completely skippable.
 

Bira

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#33
I haven't watched it, but it seems that whether you like Diabolik Lovers comes down to whether you interpret it as (and are into) S&M in the vein of Fifty Shades of Grey, or whether you see it as a skeevy story about rape. Judging from the comments it was intended as the former, but it's very, very hard to distinguish from the latter.
 

Dawgstar

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#34
A couple of big series start this week. Coppelion and Kill La Kill for starters. Hopefully gonna be a good week.
 

Quasar

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#36
Miss Monochrome has a bizarre genesis. This is a virtual idol character, a bit like Hatsune Miku... except she's voiced by proper idol/VA Yui Horie (with some mighty autotune, if the end song is any indication).
Now that makes it make a bit more sense in my head. Watching it context free was a bit odd.

On the other hand, I can't make head nor tails out of Super Seishyun Brothers, another series of 4-minute shorts starring (unlike the title suggests) two brother-sister pairs. It actually started airing a couple of weeks ago, but I was (unsuccessfully) waiting for a second episode to get translated to get a better feel of it.
So far, it's a gag show that barely raises a smile at all. It utterly failed to make it clear whether there's any premise beyond "here are four character with outlandish (but generic) personalities." I'm giving it a second episode just in case, but it looks completely skippable.
I was a bit more interested in this. Mostly because the whole idol thing is not something I'm interested in. Didnt actually realise it was supposed to be a gag show though, but hey it was all setup maybe I'll see the gags now that things are setup.
 
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Jhiday

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#37
Super Sesyun Brothers
Did actually realise it was supposed to be a gag show though, but hey it was all setup maybe I'll see the gags now that things are setup.
And of course, the second episode got translated the minute I posted my review. Unfortunately, it's more of the same : the blonde siblings are immature and a bit stupid. The dark-haired siblings are weird and snarky. Rinse and repeat.

Yeah, there's not much of a joke here. Not interested in following this.
 

ru

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#38
I kind of liked it, in a weird way, but have a hard time working out exactly why. Don't know how much longevity it'll have for me though, even at 5 minutes a pop.
 

Jhiday

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#39
Beyond the Horizon (Kyoukai no Kanata)
(13ish episodes)

What's it about ?

Self-aware urban fantasy.
Very obviously adapted from a light novel series (if you're familiar with the tropes).

Characters

Akihito, our protagonist. He tries his hand at Kyon-style sarcastic narration, but doesn't quite have the charisma to pull it off. And I can't quite call him a generic high school student, since we learn very quickly the twist : he's immortal, due to being half-demon.

Mirai, a new student at his school. He first meets her as she's about to commit suicide... wait, no, that's just a trap to lure him in so that she can stab him with her blood-sword. She's the last heir of a demon-hunting clan with that special technique, you see. She tries again several times in the following days. He'd very much like her to stop : it doesn't work, but it still hurts like hell. Especially as he'd find her cute if not for the stabbing thing.

Misaki, the other member of the Literature club besides him. Also the heir of the local demon-hunting group, who have an understanding with him and instead focus on the people-possessing demons who actually do some real damage. They also seem to include one of their teachers. Anyway, they don't see the new troublemaker's arrival with a good eye.

Production Values

It's KyoAni : of course it's gorgeously animated.

Overall Impression

Am I so jaded that I have a hard time enjoying any of this ?

Part of the problem is that it often feels like the main characters suffer from acute chuunibyou. Yes, the supernatural stuff is real, but it feels so off-the-shelf and generic that it's hard to get too invested in it. The constant snark and self-awareness doesn't help one bit : sure, it's mildly funny, but it completely undercuts any gravitas the plot might have.

I'll give it one more episode to try and make me care, but it's not off to a good start.

-----------------------

Coppelion
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Post-apocalyptic thriller.

Characters

After the Earth got contaminated by [whatever], the only "safe" way of searching the cities for survivors is to send teams of genetically-engineered high-school girls, the only people who can explore without protection. Our team is composed of :
- Ibara, the leader, who's got some experience and some good fighting skills ;
- Aoi, who keeps complaining about everything ;
- Taeko, the other newbie who's a bit more accepting about things, and is good with animals. Like, it's hardcoded into her DNA.

The cast also includes their supervisor, "Vice-Principal" Mishima, who's surveying them from a helicopter high above. He also does stuff like giving TV interviews in the middle of a field operation, because goshdarnit we need some exposition.

Production Values

Very impressive. This is dripping with budget, and the camera loves to show off how it can move around the characters. I'll be surprised if this level of animation can be sustained throughout.

It's sometimes a bit weird when the thick outlines for the characters clash a bit with the very detailed backgrounds, but it mostly works out.

Overall Impression

Now, this is more like it. It's got an intriguing setting and some genuine suspense. It's well-paced, and looks great. Admittedly, only Ibara is a compelling character among the three leads, but she's enough to carry the show at this stage. Hopefully the others will either grow some more dimensions, or leave the stage quickly (if the cliffhanger is any indication).

Bottom line : I want to see more of this.
 

Dawgstar

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#40
The only gripe I have about Coppelion, and it's minor, is why send them in wearing their school uniforms? Would not jeans and boots or sneakers, at the least, prevent legs getting scraped up? I just wonder if regular clothes are too much of a hard sell to editors or whomever.
 
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