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[In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2015

beowulf8989

Right Pinky of Annoyance
Validated User
Blood Blockade Battlefront (Kekkai Sensen)
It's painful to me that people aren't more excited for this.

A reason it might seem muddled, is that the story this episode is adapted from was originally three chapters. We missed a lot of characterization for Chain and Klaus in particular. Even Zap got shafted a bit.

I don't know anything about the series past this episode, but I'm told that the series proper is pretty episodic, so maybe it will decompress slightly after this episode.
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
It's painful to me that people aren't more excited for this.

A reason it might seem muddled, is that the story this episode is adapted from was originally three chapters. We missed a lot of characterization for Chain and Klaus in particular. Even Zap got shafted a bit.

I don't know anything about the series past this episode, but I'm told that the series proper is pretty episodic, so maybe it will decompress slightly after this episode.
I'm excited, but most of the excitement that would have gone to this cour was abruptly siphoned off by anticipation of next cour's Ushio and Tora. :p
 

Katsue

Young Witch
Validated User
Glad to hear Arslan's looking decent. I remember the 90s series fondly, though I suspect it was probably not that good because of the dub. I'm not a subs-purist, but ye gods the stuff a decade or two back should explain why so many people are.
Personally, I am outraged by all the historical inaccuracies*. Lusitanians may have been from Iberia, but they're from a different Iberia to the one in the region this show is set in. And Andragoras is a Greek name to boot.

* It being clearly a mashup that is not intended to be accurate, I am not outraged.

(Obvious references that I've seen so far:

Pars is clearly Persia. The map shows northern Iran, the southern Caucasus, the eastern part of the Black Sea and the southern Caspian Sea.
Andragoras was the name the Greeks gave a Persian satrap, who had a different name in Persian.
Alp Arslan was a famous Seljuk Sultan.
The Lusitanians came from southwest Iberia, i.e. Spain and Portugal. The other Iberia was a kingdom of Georgians, who as we all know are from the Caucasus.
Ialdabaoth was a name some Gnostics gave to the Demiurge, i.e. Yahweh.
Maryam is of course Mary/Miriam, so it's a person's name, but it's also a place name - apparently there's a village called Maryam in Iran.)
 
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JbstormburstADV

Registered User
Validated User
I seem to just be unable to keep track of the Numbers. I couldn't even tell you for sure exactly how many of them showed up this episode. (6 ? 7 ?)

It's been many years since I've watched StrikerS, so excuse me if I don't remember the detailed specifics of one short epilogue scene among many. :D
(I've never been able to get into the extended universe beyond the anime series.)
Trust me, it's the extended series where the personalities of some of the characters REALLY comes out. Why else would there be enough evidence to accuse Hayate of being a cosplay-loving pervert? :D Also, while the rest are inconsequential, Sound Stage X (the last sound stage of Strikers) has a decent amount of plot significance, especially to Vivid.

And in response to whoever you were quoting, I know how you feel. I sometimes have to remember that the Relationships saga or Stahlkonigen isn't canon, too.
 

Argent

Anywhere... just not here
Validated User
Glad to hear Arslan's looking decent. I remember the 90s series fondly, though I suspect it was probably not that good because of the dub. I'm not a subs-purist, but ye gods the stuff a decade or two back should explain why so many people are.
I agree re: the ´90s Arslan - I can´t go back to watch the early dubbed stuff now, but this anime was so dear to me then. I need to check out the new stuff ASAP.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium)
(12ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

No, this isn't KyoAni revisiting their past glory of K-On!. After all, instead of a slapstick 4-panel manga, it adapts a novel featuring what looks like a "save our club" dramatic storyline.

Characters

Kumiko, our heroine, used to play the euphonium (a sort of smaller tuba) in her middle-school's brass band club, but she's more ambivalent about it right now. For one, she's clearly trying a bit too hard to reinvent herself for her high-school debut. For two, this school's band club sucks. And for three, she kinda wants to avoid the likes of...

Reina (trumpet), one of the most serious members of her middle school's brass band club, and the one most broken up by the club narrowly failing to qualify for the national gold prize. Things got a bit awkward between her and Kumiko after the latter blurted out the wrong thing while trying to console the former. Anyway, for some reason she's in this mediocre high school too (despite Kumiko thinking she could have aimed for better), and she joined the band club in a heartbeat.

That Shuuichi (trombone), Kumiko's childhood friend with whom she just had a nasty break-up (despite him trying to play it like nothing happened), also joined the club doesn't help. She really doesn't want to revisit that drama.

What changes her mind are her new friends : Sapphire Midori (contrabass), who hates her embarrassing name, and Hazuki (an enthusiastic newbie who's apparently going to take up playing the tuba). Both of them manage to remind her enough of her initial enthusiasm at playing an instrument to convince her to give the band club a try.

There's a dude wandering awkwardly while listening to music in a few scenes that have no connection with anything else (aside from him having the same taste in music as Kumiko) ; I presume he's going to be the club's new advisor or something.

Production Values

It's KyoAni ; of course it looks gorgeous, with impressive attention to detail. No shortcuts while showing people playing music here. And hey, brass band music is awesome.

Overall Impression

Well, it's the tried and true "Save Our Club" formula, mixed with a strong narrative focus on Kumiko herself. There's nothing wrong with that, and she does come off as having some hidden depths, but it's not exactly earth-shaking either. It's perfectly okay and watchable, but that's it.

On the other hand, I like this kind of music, and it's not like there's anything else to watch on Tuesdays, so I'm probably going to stick with it.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
RIN-NE (Kyoukai no Rinne)
(25 episodes)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of the latest manga series by Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha). Okay, it started publication in 2009, but you know what I mean.

Characters

Sakura, our heroine, is an ordinary high school girl with the one quirk : she can see ghosts and spirits. (Apparently someone thought it was a good idea to bring her to the spirit world when she was young.) She'd rather not have that gift and live a normal life, though, so she's trying to ignore and avoid eye contact with the various ghosts she crosses paths with daily.

Rinne is supposed to be the guy sitting next to her in class, but there's clearly something off with him. There's the bright red hair. There's the fact he didn't show up at all for a month, making everyone wonder whether he even existed. He's also apparently so poor he can't afford a proper school uniform... or so he claims, since he also got his hands on an expensive-looking robe that makes him invisible to everyone but Sakura. (It also works the reverse way : people can see ghosts wearing it inside out.) Also, he's set up a donation box so that people can ask him to solve their supernatural problems ; this mostly involves him guiding ghosts to the next step of the Circle of Reincarnation so that they stop harassing humans.

Two small cases this week, mostly as a way to introduce the premise : a prank caller, and that ghost dude who was stuck in the middle of Sakura's way to school.

Production Values

Remember when studio Brain's Base used to produce some of the most interesting series in any given season ? Well, it seems their star has fallen a bit, as they're not involved anymore with the new seasons of Durarara!, or even Teenage Romcom SNAFU. Instead, they're doing this... which I don't think is going to put them back on the map either.

This show looks decent, but there's something in the transition to modern animation and coloring techniques that seems to smother Takahashi's original style a bit.

Overall Impression

Well, this is perfectly watchable, there's some decent comedic timing... but why does this feel so generic and rote ? This is drowning in stock elements (half of them pilfered from Takahashi's other, better series), and lacking any kind of personality. That it's a daytime show not even getting a full year doesn't feel like the producers have that much confidence in it. (And it's not like like anyone expects a Takahashi series to have a satisfying conclusion within only 25 episodes.)

This is mildly entertaining, as even Takahashi on autopilot still has a perfect control of the basics, but I'm afraid that won't cut it in a season with much more distinctive shows available. I'm giving it a second episode to see how the supporting cast is introduced, but I don't expect to stick with it.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Two shows about schoolgirls who see and deal with/talk to ghosts in a single season. I'll admit I liked Re-kan a little bit more, though honestly I doubt I'll keep watching either.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Overall Impression

Well, it's the tried and true "Save Our Club" formula, mixed with a strong narrative focus on Kumiko herself. There's nothing wrong with that, and she does come off as having some hidden depths, but it's not exactly earth-shaking either. It's perfectly okay and watchable, but that's it.

On the other hand, I like this kind of music, and it's not like there's anything else to watch on Tuesdays, so I'm probably going to stick with it.
I like it more than K-on already. And probably more than any Kyoani post Hyouka. Made me think of Tari Tari for some reason.

I liked that the band was just normal bad, not comically bad bad.
 
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