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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012

dshaffer

Pervy Catgirl Fancier
Validated User
They never get into it. Going theory is they're sorta like Kogasa from Touhou, where the 'girl-part' is just a solid, spiritual representation of their true form and that they're more the spirit of that gun in general, then any particular individual gun.

So Elle is the manifestation of all L85A1's everywhere, rather then a particular one.
 
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Silver2195

Registered User
Validated User
Upotte: Not that I'm likely to change anyone's mind here, but the concept of the thing made me check out the manga when I first heard about it. If the anime follows the manga, 90% of the teacher/innuendo was in that first episode, and the teacher's mostly a cameo from that point on. The rest of it's a wierd mix of slice of life moe and girls trying to shoot each other in wargames. (which has its own disturbing connotations, granted, even with 'You wont die, even if shot' commentary)
Given how much creepy stuff the anime packed into the first episode, I wouldn't be surprised if they manage to ruin the manga's perfectly good war games as well.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that they almost certainly will ruin those scenes.
 

dshaffer

Pervy Catgirl Fancier
Validated User
I'm hoping they just packed it all into the first ep to get it out of the way...
But then I remember what I'm told they did to Kanokon. Wait and see time.
 

ru

temporary avatar
RPGnet Member
Validated User
So Elle is the manifestation of all L85A1's everywhere, rather then a particular one.
is she incredibly unreliable?

EDIT: Kanokon (the anime, never read any of the manga) was a million times worse than Upotte
 

JELEINEN

Sizzler Black Squadron
Validated User
The bit where M-16-tan's personality was explained by the fact that she can only do 3 round bursts was hilarious. Had the show been filled with that kind of stuff, I'd have been all over it.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Tsuritama ("Fishing Bowl")
(11 episodes, noitaminA)

What's it about ?

Saving the world through fishing !

... Yeah, I haven't a clue either.

Characters

Yuki, our point-of-view character. He's a perpetual transfer student (his grandmother, with whom he lives, keeps moving around the country), and terrible at dealing with other people. His main problem is that his anxiety keeps building up until he's suffocating... literally, which from an outside point of view looks like he's getting angry and making weird faces for no reason. His other problem is that his self-pitying narration makes him very annoying.

Haru, the other transfer student. He's very, very weird. For starters, he keeps claiming he's an alien. He wanders around the city with a fishbowl on his head. This fish may or may not be his sister. He suddenly starts living at Yuki's with no explanation. And he's got a watergun that stops Yuki's anxiety moments and makes the target lose consciousness and follow him for a bit.

Natsuki, a normal dude in their class that's a bit irritated with those two bozos. Unfortunately, he works part-time at the fishing store Haru has now decided to patron. Poor guy, I pity him.

There's also a mysterious foreign dude (and his MIB unit) stalking them and observing them from afar. He's seen having a meal with a duck.

Production Values

Perfectly alright. It's got an heavy metaphorical bent (water keeps invading the screen and drowning Yuki, for example) that helps the general weirdness blend in.

Also, I have no clue what that pre-credits sequence (a myth of a woman defeating a five-headed dragon) was about, but it certainly was pretty to look at.

Overall Impression

Well, that was certainly a bizarre watch. I think there may be too much emphasis on Yuki's "normality", because he's way too obnoxious and only becomes tolerable once in presence of characters who won't let him get away with so much mopping around.

Now, the alien/"saving the world" thing... I have no clue whether this is all Haru's delusion, or there's some actual SF elements to the show. The series does just enough to intrigue me. I'm not sure I care enough to see it to the end, but it gets at least another episode.

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Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon)
(11 episodes, noitaminA)

What's it about ?

Jazz in the 60s in Japan.

Characters

Kaoru, our point-of-view character. He's a perpetual transfer student (his father kept moving around due to his job, and he's now staying at his aunt's), and not very good at dealing with other people. His main problem is that his anxiety often builds up and makes him nauseous... Oh, wait, he gets over it within the course of the first episode. Move along, then. Also, he's got an actual personality : the stuck-up, bright kid that looks down a bit on everyone. He plays the piano and loves classical music, but this changes when he meets...

Sentarou, the class delinquent, the huge dude everyone's afraid of. The kind of guy who can take on three senior students and not look ridiculous (he loses, because this is not the kind of series that lets him get away with it unscathed). He takes an interest on this puny protagonist that won't back down, and it's irritation at first sight between the two of them. He plays drums (often with improvised sticks on every available surface), and is a jazz fanatic.

Ritsuko, the class representative, and the actual reason Kaoru takes an interest in jazz. See, her father has this record store, and she invites him to the soundproof music room downstairs... and Sentarou's already there, playing drums (they're childhood friends). Cue macho posturing.

Production Values

Pretty good. And hey, if you're going to do an anime series about jazz, you can't go wrong with a Yoko Kanno soundtrack.

Overall Impression

There were always going to be a lot of expectations over Shinichiro (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) Watanabe's big return. Well, this is nothing like those shows. This isn't an action showcase at all, and you couldn't make it more mundane and down-to-earth if you tried. The direction doesn't do flashy at all... although there are some nice ideas such as introducing Sentarou through his music way before we actually get to see him.

What this is, though, is a love letter to jazz, played by characters who have some charisma indeed. I'm hooked, and I could see this grow on me as the season passes.
 

dshaffer

Pervy Catgirl Fancier
Validated User
is she incredibly unreliable?
Frequent jokes involving Elle.
1: She's heavy. (And has a big rack)
2: She's always sick and tends to space out a bit.
3: She's always broke.
4: She carries an umbrella to keep the sun from drying her out
5: She is infatuated with Falu (FAL).

She's essentially the butt monkey of the series.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Okay, I'll be using my "no reviews of sequels" escape clause and skip writing a full review of Eureka Seven Ao. Not because I was lost or anything (I didn't see the original, but that's no obstacle to understanding the gist of the plot here), but because the first episode bored me to sleep. Neither the flat characters, nor the rather generic events happening to them gave me any reason to care. Sure, it looks good, but I just found it very dull, and thus can't summon any energy to cover it in any more detail.

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Shining Hearts - the Bread of Happiness (Shining Hearts - Shiawase no Pan)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Generic fantasy RPG setting. Starring bakers.

Characters

Rick, a promising young breadmaker, whose shop is starting to get great business. No personality beyond "the reasonable one".

His three interchangeable "cute" employees, who barely share a personality (and a brain) between the three of them. And let's not even go into those terrible outfits those girls are wearing.

Alvin, the ruler of the local elf-forest our heroes get lost in halfway through the episode. He's a dick. He's got a sister who's more amiable but no less irritating.

There's no plot whatsoever in sight. Alvin mumbles a bit about the red moon being a bad omen, but there's no indication it's anything other than a sign announcing bad weather the next day.

Production Values

Terrible. The character designs are generic crap, the music is off-the-shelf and just ridiculous whenever it goes for the dramatic, and the whole thing feels like it has no soul whatsoever.

One point that sums the whole show up : there are numerous female characters, played by a variety of more or less popular voice-actresses. There are only two male characters of any note, and both of them are voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya.

Overall Impression

Look ! It's generic soulless crap ! At least Sengoku Collection had a joke (however stale it was) and sketched out the plot within its first episode ; this is just a big pile of nothing, with no tension, no plot, no characters and no jokes.

I'm sure you can make a decent series about making bread, but this isn't it. There's absolutely nothing worth watching here.

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Second episode theatre !
Note: I may be a bit harsh, but I need to trim my watching list down.

Saint Seiya Omega introduced a second newbie Saint as well as it big new concept (elemental powers !)... and, no, sorry, I don't care. It's perfectly competent, but I have more interesting shows to watch.

Medaka Box is settling into a "people to help of the week" format, with two cases in the second episode. The first one was just dull, and although the second at least had the benefit of one good joke, it's not enough to keep me watching.

Polar Bear Cafe started well enough with its "I'm starting my own Cafe" segment (highlight : Panda in a panda costume), but the picnic in the second half was boring. I think I'll stop here.

Kuromajo-san ga Tooru! keeps surprising me : it's not a deep show, but it's got fun ideas about how to use magic for mundane activities. It's the perfect comedic timing that makes it work.

Gakkatsu had an episode about poo. And I found it funny enough to keep watching the show. What's wrong with me ?

Yurumates 3D actually had time to make jokes this week. And funny ones, to boot. The 2-minute format works way better when they don't try to jam exposition in...

Natsuiro Kiseki had a very funny joke at the core of its second episode. Unfortunately, the writers probably pushed their luck by having it last for 20 full minutes (that chase scene was way too over-extended). I'm still intrigued by where this is going, which is a good thing.

Lupin III was as beautiful as ever, but it looks like we're going to do a series of episodes reintroducing the cast to see how they fit in the new aesthetic. Unfortunately, Jigen's episode is a collection of re-heated noir clichés (and Fujiko doesn't get much to do). Hopefully there's more interesting stuff in store.

Bad thing the second episode of Sankarea did : completely fail to follow through the killer cliffhanger from last week (it was apparently a flash-forward). On the other hand, it managed to be very efficiently creepy, raising tension and paranoia to a very high level. I wasn't expecting this at all, but it made me all the more interested in the series.
 

Katsue

Young Witch
Validated User
Jormungand

Koko, head of a tight-knit arms-dealing group. The joke here is that half the time, she behaves like most other Shizuka Itou characters : constant flirting, childish temper tantrums... It's just that in this context, it makes her even more terrifying. Especially when she suddenly drops back to "pro" mode in mid-sentence.
Random factoid: her name is a reference to the notorious Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
 
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