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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2013

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#62
Sigh. Why am I bothering with the second season of OreImo, again ? The vaguely amusing fandom commentary is long gone, Kirino is more annoying than ever, and Kuroneko is a pale shadow of her former self. Is this masochism ?


Zettai Bouei Leviathan
(13-ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

Heroic-fantasy with cute girls.

Characters

Leviathan, who's probably supposed to be the protagonist given that her name is in the title, but doesn't really do much. Water magic caster. Slightly awkward and bumbling. She has one objective : finding out what happened to her brother. Which means that she's "investigating" places like the local tavern and that she's not leaving her hometown.

Syrup, a small fairy who is trying to gather a force to tackle the demonic invasion that supposedly hitched a ride on a recently-crashed meteor, but is completely failing to convince anyone to join. (Nobody seems to believe or care about this invasion, although the local sheriff is quietly sending a small taskforce to investigate.) It doesn't help that she runs off her mouth a bit too much.

Bahamut, fire magic user with a temper. Has the uncanny ability to stir trouble up wherever she goes.

Jormungandr, who seems to use actual weapons instead of magic. Usually quiet, but do not provoke her.

All of them didn't know each other and meet in the aforementioned tavern ; predictably, it doesn't survive the episode... Oh, wait, they actually all met in an earlier scene where they fought a level 1 alien mook and then all walked off without a word for each other.

Production Values

I was bracing myself for a fanservice-fest, but this is actually quite mild. Skimpy outfits, sure, gratuitous transformation sequences, of course, but the camera is surprisingly restrained.

Not that it looks very good : it's very generic character designs, with elvish ears added to everyone.

Overall Impression

Welcome to the void, where shallow characters in a paint-by-number heroic-fantasy setting steadfastly refuse to engage into anything resembling a plot. This is just incredibly boring on every level.

Don't bother wasting your time on this one.

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Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
(13 12-minute episodes)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga featuring mermaids.

Characters

Muromi, the titular mermaid. She comes to the surface after falling for a fisherman's bait. Annoying, prideful, more than a bit perverted... and not really charmingly so.

"Takkun", said fisherman, probably a high-schooler. The straight man of the show.

The credits promise more mermaids in the supporting cast, but for now the only other characters with lines are random starfishes and jellyfishes.

Production Values

This looks terrible. But it's a gag series, so who cares ?

Also, lots of fanservice, although it's often played for laughs.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. A comedy show that's nearly funny. Some of the jokes do work, but there are a lot of them that fall flat or are crassingly exploitative. It doesn't have quite the charm and innocence of the inevitable comparison point (Squid Girl), alas.

It actually does improve a bit over the course of the episode, so I'm probably going to give it a second one. But this really isn't the best gag show of the season.
 

MadMac

Registered User
Validated User
#64
Why, Japan, can I not just have a decent fantasy anime. And not one involving drago-lolis.
...Now that you mention it, it is kind of terribly sad that Dragon Crisis probably rates as above average in the overall anime fantasy genre these days.

I think the biggest problem is that it seems like modern fantasy in Japan has no deeper touchpoint then video games, particularly myraid JRPGS, Dragon Quest, and Monster Hunter which amounts to aping a medium that got impossibly stale and self-paroding almost a decade ago. I like my RPGs don't get me wrong, but JRPGS are a rapidly shrinking market, and hardly a well of inspiration in the best of times.

It's the utter lack of creativity with fantasy settings that gets me anymore. So few fantasy anime even make an effort.

On the other hand, I quite enjoyed Ixion Saga, but epic fantasy it's not.

Sigh. Why am I bothering with the second season of OreImo, again ? The vaguely amusing fandom commentary is long gone, Kirino is more annoying than ever, and Kuroneko is a pale shadow of her former self. Is this masochism ?
I bailed on the first season a little over halfway in, and I've still been thinking about giving the second one a shot. I blame witchcraft.
 
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Reki

Registered User
Validated User
#65
For fantasy, it's Twelve Kingdoms and Berserk, with a side order of Slayers (which itself is fairly generic, but at least has solid execution). But yeah, not too much unless you define fantasy expansively enough to catch stuff like Mushishi, Kino's Journey and Haibane Renmei.
 

Ikselam

a heavy bear to cross
Validated User
#66
I didn't watch it myself, but I've heard that Legend of the Legendary Heroes was surprisingly good for a show with such a silly name.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha might count, although unfortunately it suffers from the inevitable comparisons to Spice and Wolf.

But yeah, straight-faced heroic fantasy/sword & sorcery shows are nearly as thin on the ground as space shows that don't involve giant robots.

.It's the utter lack of creativity with fantasy settings that gets me anymore. So few fantasy anime even make an effort.
While I agree it's endemic, I feel like it's unfair to characterize this problem as being specific to anime.
 

MadMac

Registered User
Validated User
#67
Legendary Legend Legend Legend wasn't bad, but not great either. The Lazy Mage and Robot Warrior odd couple bits were better then the insanely over-dramatic serious bits.

While I agree it's endemic, I feel like it's unfair to characterize this problem as being specific to anime.
Honestly, I wavered a bit on that point. I could certainly point fingers at more then anime and JRPGs. It just grates on me more because I'm really really sick of every show referencing Dragon Quest and the way they all seem to want to be Slayers instead of...anything else?

On a more positive note, I'm rather taken with Sauron Loves His Entry-level Job.
 
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Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#68
Zettai Bouei Leviathan
(13-ish episodes ?)


Overall Impression

Welcome to the void, where shallow characters in a paint-by-number heroic-fantasy setting steadfastly refuse to engage into anything resembling a plot. This is just incredibly boring on every level.
So very boring. I barely made it past the opening credits and stopped within 10 minutes. And I liked the show about fantasy bakers.

Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
(13 12-minute episodes)

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. A comedy show that's nearly funny. Some of the jokes do work, but there are a lot of them that fall flat or are crassingly exploitative. It doesn't have quite the charm and innocence of the inevitable comparison point (Squid Girl), alas.

It actually does improve a bit over the course of the episode, so I'm probably going to give it a second one. But this really isn't the best gag show of the season.
This entertained me somewhat. Found it funny in part. Of course it seems I'm easily amuse by mermaids and fishing gags.
 

Balac

Registered User
Validated User
#69
Sigh. Why am I bothering with the second season of OreImo, again ? The vaguely amusing fandom commentary is long gone, Kirino is more annoying than ever, and Kuroneko is a pale shadow of her former self. Is this masochism ?
Well if they stick to the novels there is some actual character development (and even a bit of drama) coming. Kirino gets more sympathetic (still a tusndere but at least a likable one) and the relentless trolling of the audience is rather entertaining. On the downside (for some people) they really, really start crank up the incest teasing. Again, this is the novels so no idea how the anime version will end up.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#70
Well if they stick to the novels there is some actual character development (and even a bit of drama) coming. Kirino gets more sympathetic (still a tusndere but at least a likable one) and the relentless trolling of the audience is rather entertaining. On the downside (for some people) they really, really start crank up the incest teasing. Again, this is the novels so no idea how the anime version will end up.
Well I watched it (having liked S1) and like the brother I was a bit frustrated at what i guess is a reset in terms of Kirinos attitude to her brother given all that happened. I really could do without any such teasing...I liked the relationship (or at least my filtered version) where we have a familiar antagonistic sibling relationship (well familiar to me) thats put aside when real support is needed. Felt so very familiar to me personally...though in my case it was two sided. Which all was a welcome relief typical anime sibling relationships that I see.
 
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