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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011

s/LaSH

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#51
An aside re: X-Men.

Storm's voice grated on me a little, until I placed the vocal trait. She's taking the deliberate, haughty tone of a rich or noble woman. In other words, it's deliberately regal. Which is a nice character note for the Goddess Ororo - in a Japan-focused show they'll probably never mention it, but it's nice attention to detail.
 

SunnyD

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#52
Tiger & Bunny, awesome show.

Skyhighisarobotwho'llsacrificehimselfforanothercharacterintheshowandjustbeforehedoeshisfinalgooddeedwillsay"I'm... Superman..."anddie.
 

Jhiday

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#54
Posting to subscribe, because I keep mixing up this thread and the New Anime 2001 one.
*insert Light's portrait here*

Exactly as planned.



Quick progress update notice : while they've already come out, I won't be reviewing the first episodes of Gintama' and Kaiji S2, as they're sequels to series I haven't seen.
(I do have some mild interest in eventually catching with Kaiji, but none for the 200+ episodes of Gintama.)
Anyway, feel free to discuss them.

I also won't be bothering with the "first episode" of Toriko from last week, as that was a crossover with One Piece (the two shows air back to back). I'll give a look to the "proper" first episode after it airs this weekend, although I'm not especially optimistic.

I've yet to find a source for Showa Monogatari (nobody cares, apparently) and Health & PhysEd for 30-year-olds (let's give it time). Sket Dance should have a review up later today.
 

Wolfwood2

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#55
Tiger & Bunny, awesome show.
One other thing I liked, which I forgot to mention before, is that Tiger is an older dude. He's not grizzled, but he's been doing this for years and has a school-age daughter. Anime does love its teenage (or at least absurdly youthful) protagonists, so it's nice to see a lead character on the wrong side of 25.
 

Jhiday

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#56
Sket Dance
(?? episodes)

What's it about ?

A high school club who specialize in helping people... although they're quite bumbling indeed, and mostly do odd jobs. But they take it very seriously.

Characters

Teppei, our point of view character. A transfer student, and thus direly in need of exposition. The SKET club tries to recruit him aggressively, and when it fails they do help him with his troubles. To tell the truth, he's a horrible wimp, and I was delighted when it turned out he'd fade in the background by the next episode. Pfew.

"Bossun", the idiot in charge of the SKET club. (By the way, this is both a pun on the Japanese phrase for "helper group", and a terrible backronym - "Support, Kindness, Encouragement, Troubleshoot".) He's very enthusiastic... but his trains of thought are quite bizarre, to say the least.

Himeko, the vice-president, would really want to be thought of as kind and feminine... but when the chips come down, she's a violent thug. She's the muscle of the team.

"Switch", the third and last member, is a geek who's never seen without his laptop strapped on. He absolutely refuses to talk, instead using voice-generating that sounds like Tomokazu Sugita (who's impeccably deadpan here). He's got very precise and intimate information on everyone in the school, and knows how to use it ruthlessly.

We also see quite a few other characters : a couple of bullies, the casanova kid, several members from the student council that will presumably become important later on...

Production Values

The animation is very limited, despite me not being one to overly notice this kind of thing.
The soundtrack is overloaded with guitar riffs, to the point that it becomes a bit distracting.

Overall Impression

Hey, a shounen series that I actually like quite a bit ! What has the world come to ?

Now, it isn't without problems. I don't really care for the club president, and I loathed Teppei. The production values are quite cheap indeed. And I could quickly grow tired of the amped up histrionics.

Still, it succeeds where it really needs to : it's quite funny indeed. Switch has an awesome gimmick, Himeko's fun, and most of the jokes work.

I'm cautiously optimistic about this one.
 
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Foodbunny

Habitual Linestepper
#57
I just have to give some love to Kaiji Season 2. The first season is near the top of my list of favorite anime ever, and seeing it come back fills me with joy. Kaiji is the most relatable bum-who-makes-his-own-misfortune ever, and during the first season it was so much fun to "play along" by coming up with your own strategies for the gambles he got involved in and keeping score.
 

Jhiday

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#58
30-sai no Hoken Taiiku ("Health and Physical Eduction for 30-year-olds")
(13-minute-long episodes)

What's it about ?

A thirty-year-old virgin gets visited by an annoying sex god who'll educate him so that he can finally pop his cherry.

Characters

Imagawa, our male lead, exactly as pathetic as you'd expect (and voiced by Hiro Shimono, of course). The kind who borrows the 600,000-yen blow-up doll from one of his co-workers. Very annoyed by the sex god's intrusion : he'd like to take his time, thanks (but then that's his whole problem...).

Daigorou, the sex god. Very, very annoying, and impossible to get rid of. He can only go away when his mission's accomplished ; to his credit, he does offer Imagawa the easy way out to get done with it (but Imagawa doesn't want to even think about it).

Andou, the female lead, barely makes an appearance in this first episode, but the OP & ED suggest she's getting a pair of sex gods too.

Production Values

Dire. It doesn't help that there's some very heavy censorship that hides anything vaguely risqué (we don't even see one bit of the blow-up doll) and blips through half of the dialogue.

Overall Impression

I didn't think it was possible : this is making me long for B Gata H Kei. There's an art to the raunchy, ecchi comedy with protagonists raring to get it on, and this series completely fails at it. It's not funny, and the heavy censorship kinda defeats the point.

Since this reportedly adapts a PhysEd book, it does sneak in some helpful tips (Wash it appropriately to get rid of bacteria ! Don't squeeze too much on them !), but they're drowned by the tedious attempts at whimsical humour by walking clichés calling themselves characters.

Avoid.
 

Jhiday

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#59
A Channel
(12-ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

Slice of life about four high school girls, with a heavy lesbian subtext. Wait, it's pretty much text, actually.

Characters

Run, the ditzy central character. She can barely walk without tripping over her thoughts ; don't let her lean over a window !

Tooru, Run's self-appointed bodyguard. She's one year younger than the rest of the cast, and very worried that Run may be moving on from her. In consequence, she's (i]very[/i] possessive of Run and tries to prevent anyone from getting too close to her (with her baseball bat, if needed).
Let's be honest : there's no way to interpret her behaviour without yuri glasses. (Run's mostly oblivious... or is she ?)

Mika, the sarcastic glasses girl with a bit of a mean streak.

Yuuko, who got off the wrong foot with Tooru by being a bit too close to Run when they met, and desperately tries to make friends with the runt (to no avail, alas). Mostly there to be the butt of jokes.

Production Values

That's some very impressive animation, especially for a 4koma adaptation that doesn't really warrant it. What's with the trend this season of slice of life series with bizarrely high budgets ?

Overall Impression

It's okay, I guess. It's a middle-of-the-road high school slice-of-life series... with one selling point : Tooru. Most of the other characters are kinda bland, but the little gal's got a striking emotional hook and is by far the most memorable aspect of the series. (Aoi Yuuki's superb voice-acting doesn't hurt, either.)

I'm probably going to give it a couple more episodes to see where it goes.
 

Jhiday

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#60
Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi - World's Greatest First Love
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Yaoi romance comedy in a shoujo manga publishing house. Oh, the irony !

Characters

Onodera, who fled the Onodera publishing house because his co-workers suspected him of only getting his job out of nepotism. He's trying a new job elsewhere to get acknowledged on his own merits. He thought he'd be working as a literature editor, but somehow ended up assigned to the shoujo manga department. He's a bitter and cynical narrator who's bemused by the bizarre quirks of his new co-workers... but at the core he's still a hard worker who loves books.

Takano, his new boss. He's quite rough and brutal indeed (sexual harassment on the first day for the new guy !), but also a genius who revitalized the shoujo department since he got the job.

Neither of them really recognize each other, but they had a hot and steamy fling, way back in high school. It's been 10 years since...

Oh, and we briefly see the three other (male) editors in the department, but they don't show too much personality yet.

Production Values

Barely adequate. Ah, Deen...

Overall Impression

You know, I was all set to hate this : yaoi doesn't tickle my fancy, and the prequel OAV really rubbed me the wrong way (it's 20 minutes of really cliché high school yaoi romance). But this actually ain't half bad... at least as far as the office comedy is concerned.

I have my reservations about the yaoi romance subplot, but as long as it stays in the background it doesn't bother me too much. When it takes center stage, though, I'm out.
 
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