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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012

KoboldLord

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Jhiday said:
Wow, that was a brutal episode of Fate/Zero. Kind of a shame for this female character to go down like this, but we've got only 9 episodes left and the battlefield needed some thinning out.
Yeah, that kind of pissed me off a bit.
Spoiler: Show
That character hadn't even gotten a chance to do anything meaningful, after the promising show of independent thought she had displayed at the end of the first coure. Turns out story-wise she never was anything but a prop to motivate the male characters associated with her.
 

Jhiday

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It's following the manga, it that's what you mean.
Nah, I couldn't care less about manga accuracy ; I nearly always judge an anime series on its own terms.

I've been on the verge of dumping Hunter X Hunter for a while, but I wanted to see where the series would be going once the Hunter Exams were over. "Random meaningless tournament arc to pad things out" is just about the worst possible answer they could come up with, from my point of view. It doesn't help that the new techniques look a lot more boring than the variety of stuff we got during the Hunter Exams. Oh, and friggin' Hisoka already being back despite the express purpose of this arc being that Gon's not ready to face him yet.

I'm not that much of a Miyuki Sawashiro fanboy that I'll be coming back for the Kurapika arc ; after all, I can get plenty of her over in Fujiko Mine and Space Brothers.


Meanwhile, in other shows...

Fate / Zero #17 : Finally ! It's a wonder this took so long ; presumably the anime doesn't have any time for dicking around left. Or maybe not, considering how we're getting an extended flashback next episode.

Mysterious Girlfriend X is now going into an interesting new direction. (Also, let me say how much a pleasure it is to have with this and Fujiko Mine two shows where Yuki Kaji doesn't play a wimpy loser and is thus perfectly tolerable.)

The Basketball which Kuroko plays is a lot of fun, but I have a hard time not sniggering at all this talk of Kuroko and Kagami "combining" so well. Eh.

Hey, remember all that talk four months ago from the director of Bodacious Space Pirates about how there would be no romance in his shows ? Well, this episode proves him a filthy liar. Didn't see that coming, either. Not that I have any problem with it : anything to give members of the yacht club more personality. (Because let's be honest, I have trouble recognizing more than three of them on a regular basis. And that includes the one-dimensional scared pilot with the hat.)

Okay, I've been giving it plenty of goodwill, but the 4th episode of Accel World was just stupid. Urgh. Killed any interest I had left in the show.

And hey, the "zero" episode of UN-GO finally came out ! It's every bit as good as the main series, with tons of backstory finally explained in detail. But dear gods, this is a bleak prequel. I mean, none of this really comes as a surprise after the main series, but it's still depressing as heck.


(And now, 5 more shows to watch.)
 

ru

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Hey, remember all that talk four months ago from the director of Bodacious Space Pirates about how there would be no romance in his shows ? Well, this episode proves him a filthy liar. Didn't see that coming, either.
I was quite pleased how matter of fact they were about it :)
I also thought it was pretty cool how the damsel in distress is perfectly capable of saving herself.
 

Jhiday

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And finally, the last show of the season...
(No, I won't be bothering with Gon.)



AKB0048
(12ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

In the future, entertainment has been banned. An underground concert by guerilla idol group (sic) AKB0048 encourages a group of kids to apply to become new members.

This is, of course, a glorified advertisement for real-life idol group AKB48.

Characters

Nagisa, head of the kids' group. She's a big fan of AKB0048, but Daddy has recently been promoted in the Anti-Entertainment Agency and doesn't want his daughter anywhere near this, for fear of scandal.

Yuuko, the bratty one, has a boyfriend. Who doesn't approve either.

Orine is an orphan who works at the generic factory instead of going to school.

There's a 4th girl shown in the beginning who seems to have completely disappeared in the "4 years later" segment. Presumably there's a story there.

AKB0048 themselves are "the 5th generation", "in homage to the originals", and don't a single personality to share between the 10 or so of them.

Production Values

Pretty good. There's a lot of CG elements, especially in the choreography sequences (Precure-ED style), and it doesn't look half bad.

Obviously, the whole soundtrack comes from AKB48. It's not very good, generic J-pop.

Overall Impression

At face value, this is reasonably competent. The plot is ludicrous, but this is decently-written enough for the stakes to be clear and the main characters to be somewhat fleshed out. And that "guerilla idol group" sequence at the beginning is quite fun to watch.

On the other hand... this unashamedly promotes generic soulless mass-produced entertainment, with a degree of white-washing that I'm really not comfortable with (three seconds of research into AKB48 made the "boyfriend" issue even less tasteful). This requires completely buying into the idol marketing machine to be any fun to watch... and sorry, no dice.

And really, it's not like the plot is likely to go anywhere interesting, or the characters to develop a personality beyond their archetypes. I'll pass.
 

Ikselam

a heavy bear to cross
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Hey, remember all that talk four months ago from the director of Bodacious Space Pirates about how there would be no romance in his shows ? Well, this episode proves him a filthy liar. Didn't see that coming, either.
Novel spoilers had been floating around for a while, and the relationship is subtly hinted at if you know to look for it, but I wasn't expecting to actually see the kiss onscreen. Nice to know that in the far future, it's possible to be homosexual without being consigned to comic relief or driven mad by your FORBIDDEN LOVE.

Not that I have any problem with it : anything to give members of the yacht club more personality. (Because let's be honest, I have trouble recognizing more than three of them on a regular basis. And that includes the one-dimensional scared pilot with the hat.)
I think most of them are just there to fill seats. The only ones I remember are Jenny, Lynn, Turkey Hat, Space Sayaka, and the radar operator with hair over one eye who always sounds like she's stoned.
 

Wolfwood2

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Novel spoilers had been floating around for a while, and the relationship is subtly hinted at if you know to look for it, but I wasn't expecting to actually see the kiss onscreen. Nice to know that in the far future, it's possible to be homosexual without being consigned to comic relief or driven mad by your FORBIDDEN LOVE.
More to the point, it's nice to know that in the present a regular anime can show a homosexual couple who aren't comic relief or driven mad or (most important) kept plausibly ambiguous. Instead we get an on-screen kiss (two, actually) and a direct statement that they're a couple.
 
Hey, remember all that talk four months ago from the director of Bodacious Space Pirates about how there would be no romance in his shows ? Well, this episode proves him a filthy liar. Didn't see that coming, either.
But not entirely un-foreshadowed, considering she was wearing a Rose of Versailles style uniform.
 
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