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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011

JELEINEN

Sizzler Black Squadron
Validated User
#31
Steins;Gate was pretty interesting, but I couldn't get rid of the thought in the back of my mind that Chaos;Head started off interesting as well, then turned to crap.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#32
I won't bother profiling Suzy's Zoo Daisuki! Witzy in detail. It's a 2-minute-long preschooler's cartoon where animals and teddy bears act cutely for the little children. Even the all-star voice cast (Mai Nakahara as the duck main character ! Maaya Sakomoto as the narrator !) can't make me care.

But while we're on the subject of shorts...



Fireball Charming
(13 2-minute episodes)

What's it about ?

In a far-flung future, war rages between humans and robots... and the robot princess has nonsensical conversations with her butler.

Characters

Drossel von Flügel, the robot princess. Prone to random flights of fancies, and completely out of touch with the real world.

Gedächtnis, her construction-mecha-looking butler. Desperately trying to put his mistress back on track, although he's not above deadpan snarking. Her father left him books of notes for her education... but it doesn't really help.

Production Values

Full CG graphics, and it's very gorgeous indeed.

Produced by Disney Channel Japan. No, really.

Overall Impression

I normally don't cover sequels in depth, but this one deserves the exposure. A previous season of this (simply called Fireball) was broadcast in 2008, and this is basically more of the same. You don't need to watch the first series to get this, though (although you should, it's only 26 minutes of your time).

The setup is only an excuse to have quick-going barely coherent conversations between the two leads, combining puns and dry wit at a frenetic pace. It's just plain hilarious, hitting punchlines one after the other like clockwork.

This first episode of the second series looks like it's actually going to advance the plot a bit, but that doesn't really matter (the first season had no continuity whatsoever, with the two leads changing looks for each episode just because).
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#33
Without Wings -under the innocent sky- Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Fuck if I know ; I can't make head nor tails of the plot. I'll say "fanservice-heavy harem comedy with a dash of heroic fantasy" to err on the safe side, but even that fails to accurately describe it.

Characters

Takashi Haneda is the protagonist of a ridiculously cliché harem, with various girls (his little sister cousin, the aggressive one, the athletic one who lets her mind wander, and a fourth one I can't quite get a hold of yet) fighting over him before he's even stepped five feet towards school. Also, we get numerous panty shots and even naked shots of their breasts when they push themselves onto him. And he's got whiny narration by Hiro Shimono (when did his career devolve into "cliché harem lead" ?). But the lot of them only get 5 minutes of screentime.

The rest of the episode is dedicated to a trio of loser dudes unlucky in love, and desperately trying to set up a drinking party with whatever girls they find. One of them is 35 and owns the bar they hang around at ; the other two look high-school/college-aged. Anyway, the only girls who accept the invite are the part-time waitresses. Overall, it's a very pathetic scene that makes me loathe everyone involved.

But wait ! Just before and during the ending credits, we see all of them in a heroic-fantasy setting, fighting monsters and the like ! Is this a MMORPG or an actual parallel world they're escaping into ? I have no clue ! (And why would Haneda need escaping anyway ?)

There's also a bizarre framing device with radio/TV shows (including an outrageous American-accented DJ) shown in a rapid succession... and I've got no clue why they're doing this.

Production Values

Decent, I suppose. The very heavy fanservice whenever a girl's on screen is quite annoying, though.

Overall Impression

What the heck is this shit ?

Now, I can understand trying to be a bit creative when adapting yet another harem dating sim. But this is just incoherent crap, with three different narratives that completely fail to coalesce into any coherent whole. It's probably trying for the "self-parody" angle, but that just makes it more obnoxious.

I hate every single character and it makes no sense whatsoever : avoid like the plague.
 

ru

temporary avatar
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#34
Fireball Charming
it's really good but.. two minutes a time? these super-short animations don't really work for me, like the Cthulhu one from last season.

Without Wings -under the innocent sky- Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
what... what did I just watch? It looks like the three storylines are from different genres, let alone different plot threads. and i've not idea what the ED is going on about. I think I might stick it out for an episode just to see where the hell they're going, and if it becomes less like an acid trip. Or more like one.
 

SunnyD

New member
Banned
#35
And yet unlike Azumanga Daioh in that it's not funny.
There's currently a big divide over the internet on who found it funny. Though humor can be very subjective, I can see where the other side is coming from. Most of the humor is visual gags or awkward situations for the characters.
 

dshaffer

Pervy Catgirl Fancier
Validated User
#36
It's right there in your user title, you know.
*sweats* I admit to nothing! Nothing!
And I could stop obsessing cat/dog girls at any time! Not that I'm obsessing or anything. *nervous laugh*

So...how about that anime huh? I have yet to watch ANY of this season. Although this thread is helping me narrow it down.
 

pwsnafu

Registered User
Validated User
#37
Without Wings -under the innocent sky- Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
<snip>
Haven't seen the anime, but wow. Sounds like they managed to completely stuff it up. In the game, there is five different arcs which you proceed in turn, and each arc had a different male protagonist. Are they trying to do all five arcs at once?

Then again maybe not. On the wikipedia page for the game, it lists the 35yo restraunt owner as a sub-character. Maybe, just maybe, they really will do all five arcs in turn. God forbid.

PS: The Wikipedia enrty for Haneda also writes
時折異世界のグレタガルドへ召還され、聖騎士ホーク・シアンブルーとして、大聖剣グレタカリバーを手に、平和を守るため闘っている。
Which translates to "sometimes is summoned to the parrallel world Gretagard, and as holy knight Hawk Sianble (?) he fights for peace using the holy sword Gretacalibur". Ouch!
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#38
Because of requests by people who'd rather stay anonymous (gee, I have no clue why)...



Nana & Kaoru (Nana to Kaoru)
(OVA series)

What's it about ?

Softcore bondage porn... without any actual porn.

Characters

Nana, the female lead. Over-achieving high-school student, extremely popular, nearly top of the class... especially since she's recently found a new way to relieve her stress.

Kaoru, the male lead. He's an ugly runt with a face that perpetually looks creepy. Very impopular, with a reputation of perversion. In contrast, his voice sounds perfectly normal and reassuring, which is essential when guiding Nana through her new experiences... i.e. bondage and S&M play.

Production Values

Very cheap. There's no OP or ED animation, and the animation doesn't hesitate to cut corners. It tries a bit too much to ape the original manga's artstyle, which sometimes looks a bit awkward when animated (especially when cross-hatching shading is involved). Still, it does the job.

The soundtrack is firmly stuck into porno synth mode, although not to the point of being distracting.

Overall Impression

Well, it's a very faithful adaptation of a borderline-hentai manga. You know the drill.

Still, I like the choice of focusing entirely on Nana's viewpoint. This episode is entirely about her and how she discovers she actually likes this perverted stuff. Kaoru is just a catalyst, someone who gives her access to this new world and challenges her when she's not being honest with herself. If you pay attention to the flashback early on about their first session, you'll notice that it's Nana herself who initiated it all by stumbling on a fetish outfit of his and trying it on. (You might wonder why he happened to possess expensive leather clothes that fit her perfectly. Good question.)

Now, the corresponding manga chapters had a much deeper look into Kaoru's thoughts and motivations during all this, but this first episode isn't interested in that angle at all, keeping it firmly in the background (you might get hints from how his reaction shots contrast with his perfectly calm and in-control voice, though).

Overall, it's an interesting adaptation that gets to the emotional core of Nana's character. On that plan, it's a success.
 

JELEINEN

Sizzler Black Squadron
Validated User
#39
Innocent Sky - yeah, that was just completely incoherent. The little foreign girl stereotyping the Japanese as a bunch of pedophiles after having her give a gratuitous panty-shot was kind of amusing.

I didn't like Drossel's new design in Fireball Charming, but still good stuff, humor-wise.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#40
Battle Girls - Time Paradox (Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox)
(13ish episodes)

What's it about ?

An ordinary high school girl is transported to a female version of feudal Japan.

Characters

Hideyoshi, our protagonist. Late for school, not very bright and utterly superficial. She goes to pray at a local shrine not to mess up with her exams, stumbles on a magic ritual, and that's how she ends up in feudal Japan. Of course, her first reaction is to mistake everyone for cosplayers and complain about the poor cellphone reception.

Nobunaga Oda, at this stage a local feudal lord in a quest to gather the pieces of a mystical set of armor and conquer Japan. I have no clue why she tolerates Hideyoshi's antics or has any reason to think she'll be useful, besides plot convenience. (I mean, Hideyoshi's Japan History textbook will probably come handy, but it's introduced too late for that to work as an explanation for Oda's tolerance.)

Mutsuhide, Oda's aide, who for some reason looks exactly like one of Hideyoshi's classmates (are they going for the "it was all a dream" ending ?). Utterly irritated by Hideyoshi, but suffers through it because Oda said so. I can sympathize.

The OP & ED show half a dozen more girls that shall presumably be introduced in later episodes.

Production Values

Well, it could be worse : sure, the outfits (especially Oda's) are ridiculously stripperific, but we don't get too many panty shots and the like. Still, to make clear what kind of series we're watching, the ED shows all the girls naked, with thin strips of fabric overlaid at random to hide the naughty bits.

Overall Impression

It seems like nearly every season there's one of these (See also : Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls, Koihime†Musou...). It's not outright terrible, but it's very generic indeed and offers nothing of note to make it worth watching.
 
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